A Basic Guide to Protective Martial Arts Equipment
Most combat sports require you to wear some protective gear, at least when sparring, to protect yourself and your opponent from hard injuries when trading blows. After all, sparring can get extremely physical, but the point of sparring isn't to take down your opponent like it is in a real match. That being said, if you're just getting into martial arts, you need to get some protective martial equipment before you start sparring with serious opponents.
However, not all protective martial equipment is made the same, which is why you need to spend some time carefully considering a few important factors when shopping. One of the most important factor to consider is where the equipment is made. The equipment you're looking at should be ISO certified, in order to ensure it can withstand the impact of heavy hits. Being ISO certified means the equipment has been put through extensive tests to affirm its quality.
Unfortunately, with so many new manufacturers swarming the market, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to ensure the quality of protective equipment. That being said, when you're looking at equipment that's meant to protect your body, you should pay attention to how dense the cushioning is. In most protective martial arts equipment, the insulation is made of foam. Polyurethane foam is the highest quality of foam available nowadays, as it's flexible and contours to your fists and body.
The most important piece of protective equipment is the headgear. You should invest in one that will protect your head optimally, as one bad hit can become very serious and problematic. For that reason, you need to be certain about the quality of the helm you're going to buy, and take the time to check out what it's made of and how much protection it offers. It should be comfortable to wears, and it should cover your head all the way down to the jaw.
And the second most important piece of protective equipment are gloves. Depending on your specific needs, you'll come across models that offer better performance, or are tailored for a specific martial art. Generally, sparring gloves are open-handed, which means the fingers aren't covered. This type of gloves allows for more flexibility and better dexterity. Again, make sure they fit your hands well, and most people prefer gloves that have a velcro closure. When wearing the gloves, you should be able to form a fist without feeling like something is jammed in your hand.
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