Most forms of martial art will eventually lead to contact training at some level, whether is is light contact, semi-contact or full contact. Whilst training it is important to wear the right equipment. But what is the right equipment and what protection will it afford you?
During this article I hope to point you in the right direction towards choosing the protective sparring gear that is right for you.
This is probably the most important piece of protective equipment you can purchase. Head injuries are serious and can even be fatal. When choosing head gear for martial arts sparring there are certain features you should look out for.
These questions can be asked of most martial arts equipment.
Head gear should be comfortable to wear (not too loose and not too tight), light for ease of movement and padded well around the crown and base of the head as these areas are most likely to be damaged and are most vunerable.
Body armour is used primarily in Taekwondo and Karate sparring. Its function is to protect the trunk of the body especially the ribs, kidneys and liver from damage.
There are varying styles of martial arts glove on the market. Each style has a particular function to perform. Boxing gloves come in standard sizes 10, 12 and 16 ounces. the heavier gloves are for sparring training the lighter gloves are for competitions. Bear in mind, boxing gloves are designed for use with hand wraps.
Martial arts sparring gloves are usuall open handed, allowing for strikes with fists or open hands and finger thrusts. They are lighter for quicker strikes. Mixed martial arts use a specific glove that is designed for grappling and is very flexible.
Shin and foot guards
shin and foot guards offer as much protection for the attacker as they do for the defender. Often they are made from foam and poly-urethane (P.U.), are easy to clean and light.
The most iimportant thing to remember is the cheapest is not always the best. You must feel comfortable in you equipment and be confident it will protect you. Shop around. Many places will be able to tell you what the equipment is designed for and what you can expect from it. a good site to begin with is there is a wealth of information here and questions can be answered quite quickly.
Good luck in your discipline!