After a perforated ear drum in one staff fight, we have allowed staff fighters to wear wrestling ear guards under the fencing masks-- but not all staff fighters do this.
Concerning training to protect the head-- GOOD IDEA. Forgive me the commercial, but in DBMA head protection skills (a.k.a. "protecting your IQ") are considered foundational. Staffs can be tricky things however-- the drift shots with a staff may be very hard to read and some nasty whacks to the shin can result
if one is in a blocking state of mind.
Tail wags to Dog Russ for the kind words. I would say that DBMA staff material is primarily Inosanto Blend, with the core power strike coming from GT Gaje of Pekiti Tirsia. Krabi Krabong is also a source and there are important elements of Bando as well.
We also regard the staff as an important tool in body health and draw heavily upon Bando's Dhanda Staff (yoga with the staff) in this regard.