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What Sparring Gear Will I Need For My Martial Arts Class?

Sparring with a live opponent can be the ultimate test for a martial artist. There are some things you need to consider first before rushing into an intense sparring session. Do you have the right equipment, for example? Before you decide on any martial arts sparring gear be sure to ask your instructor what he or she recommends. They will be able to tell you precisely what equipment you will need for your sparring time and training. Some schools will be even be able to recommend the size you will need as well as explain how the equipment should correctly fit.

You will also need to consider your style of martial arts and what that particular method of sparring will require. For instance, some styles require martial arts shoes and other styles forbid them. Some insist on a certain style of martial arts uniform or karate training equipment. You need to know what is required and what is not allowed. Here are some examples of the more common martial arts gear you will need:

Martial Arts Shoes - Finding a Pair That Works

Martial arts shoes are going to be at the top of your list if you plan to spar. There are two different types of footwear: Vinyl or foam dipped. Which ones should you invest in? This really is a personal preference. Foam dipped shoes are more slide resistance than vinyl shoes. However, vinyl is much more comfortable and sturdier. When in doubt, ask your instructor.

Martial Arts Sparring Clothes - What Type Works Best?

The top three types of martial arts sparring materials are foam, cloth and vinyl. Cloth sparring gear offers a better, more comfortable fit and can be less expensive than the foam sparring gear. So what's the drawback? You won't get as much protection from cloth during the impact from hits, thrusts and kicks. Conversely, foam sparring equipment offers great protection but can be really bad about collecting sweat and is therefore considered much less comfortable.

A great alternative to both of these options is vinyl sparring equipment. This inexpensive material offers more flexibility because it is sewn together instead of glued. Also, because it breathes much better than foam, it absorbs any sweat instead of pooling it underneath the gear. (Just beware that vinyl will absorb sweat into the material and you'll have to air the gear out when you get home otherwise it'll smell like a dirty gym)

Why You Should Add a Mouthguard to Your List of Needed Martial Arts Sparring Gear

Using a mouthguard during sparring is just plain smart. Most dojos have a strict no face contact rule; however, accidents do happen. A mouthguard cushions the shock of a blow to the head and can greatly reduce the risk of a concussion. It can also keep your teeth from being knocked out or broken. Spending a few extra dollars now is much better (and more attractive) then having your teeth knocked out and having an expensive visit the dentist later!

Why a Chest Protector is an Essential Piece of Sparring Gear

Some martial arts styles discount the importance of the chest protector; however, this piece of sparring equipment is important and should be included in your martial arts gear bag. If you are worried about cost, you can find inexpensive karate chest guards for around twenty five dollars. Not a lot when compared to the alternative of cracked ribs or a bruised abdomen. The goal of sparring is to land a jab or kick on your opponent. Those blows can be surprisingly powerful so make sure that your midsection is protected!

When purchasing sparring equipment the best bet is usually to invest in a martial arts sparring set. These sets typically include all of the essentials such as headgear, mouthpiece, gloves and shoes plus you'll get a reduced price compared to getting all these items individually.

Make sure all of your martial arts sparring gear is the correct size and fits securely. Not only will it put you at a disadvantage with your opponent if you don't, but having something that doesn't fit correctly could easily get you injured. Protect yourself first and foremost!

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