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What Gear Do I Need For My First Martial Arts Class?
One of the most frequent questions our customer service team hears is “What supplies do I need for my first martial arts class?” I’d like to begin by stating that it is always best to discuss this question with your instructor prior to purchasing anything, but we will cover some of the more common beginner supplies.
Should I Enroll my Child in the Martial Arts?
With the release of the new Karate Kid movie last week, many parents are wondering if they should enroll their child in a martial arts class. If you or your child has never attended a martial arts school before, it can be a scary decision that comes with many questions.

The biggest concern amongst most parents is whether or not their child will be safe when practicing with other students. That is a very valid concern, because many of the martial arts require some contact with other students when practicing self-defense techniques, throws, or sparring. However, most instructors request help from assistant instructors during kids classes to try to prevent accidents from occurring. In addition, most schools enforce a minimum age requirement for sparring and other techniques that require contact between students. The best advice I can give you would be to watch your child take at least one introductory class prior to joining any martial arts school. You will be able to tell very quickly whether your child is comfortable in the dojo by his or her body language when interacting with other students and the instructors. In most towns, there are multiple schools to choose from, so you will probably want to visit a few prior to joining any dojo.
Our Quest for Unique Martial Arts Supplies
When we first opened shop in the 1970’s, there was not a huge variety of martial arts supplies for us to carry. We sold a small assortment of Karate uniforms, traditional weapons, books, and training equipment, but very little protective equipment or accessories. During the 80’s and 90’s, as the martial arts grew in popularity, we saw a huge increase in new items we were able to offer our customers. Over the last 10 years however, it has become increasingly more difficult to find new and unique martial arts supplies. Don’t get me wrong, variations of existing products are developed regularly. Everyday it seems like I come across a supplier selling a new color of sparring gear or a kick-shield with a slightly different design, but I am always on the lookout for something “completely” different from the norm.
New Mortal Kombat Movie in the Works

On August 18, 1995, “Mortal Kombat” was released in theatres throughout the United States. The movie was a film adaptation of the popular and controversial video game known for its intense game-play and gory fatalities. As a martial artist and video game fanatic, I was a huge fan of the video game series and was really looking forward to the film's release.

On opening night, I sat shoulder to shoulder with other “Mortal Kombat” fans in one of the most crowded and energized movie releases I’ve ever experienced. As the movie began and the techno-sounding theme song started playing, the crowd around me literally erupted into a roar of excitement. One hour and 40 minutes later, the movie ended and I found myself wishing for more.
The Social Side of KarateMart

One of my favorite things about working for is all the interesting people I get to meet. Over the years, while attending tournaments and talking with customers on the phone, I’ve been lucky enough to meet thousands of martial arts students and instructors; many of whom have become very close friends. Now, with all the great social networking websites available online, we are hoping to develop a more personal relationship with all of our customers.

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