Martial Arts are undoubtedly effective for achieving physical fitness and learning how to defend yourself. However, the sport is also a wellness risk as it exposes its practitioners to possible physical harm during training or sparring. This is why it is important for every smart Martial Arts practitioner to wear protective gear for his/her sake as well as the opponent’s sake.
So, which protective Martial Arts gear is vital and which ones can you do without. Here is an overview of the most important Martial Arts protection gear.
The head is an open and sensitive part of the body and, as such, should be protected all the time. Headgear is designed to cushion you against impacts made by strikes to the head. Headgears vary in design and style, but they should cover at least the skull, ears, and jaws to prevent concussions.
For extra caution, some headgears feature face cages to protect against strike to the face. However, some fighters consider face cages a nuisance and prefer not to wear them.
Gloves are standard Martial Arts protective gear. The hands are the tip of the spear and the first line of defense, and they should be kept safe at all times. Additionally, the hands are bony and high-impacts strikes may cause significant damage to the opponent’s face; this is why bare-knuckle fist fights are not popular with many professionals.
As such, gloves should be worn at all times to protect your hands and knuckles from being hurt as this may temporarily keep you out of the game.
A majority of strikes made in Martial Arts are aimed towards the chest. If unprotected, high-impact strikes may result in broken ribs and internal injuries. Chest protectors are thick clothes mostly made out of compounded foam. The foam absorbs the shock of strikes and also offers the flexibility necessary to move freely and quickly.
However, chest guards and other protective gear made of clothing varies in design and efficiency. While some brands are made of tough materials, others are soft and not fully protective. Of course the former cost a bit more, but the investment is worthy considering how important it is to stay safe in the ring.
Shin and Forearm Guards
Arms and legs are used for both offense and defense, and they arguably take the most impact of training or sparring. To this end, they are prone to injuries, and they can also be used to injure your opponent. As such, shin, forearm, and feet gears are recommended not only for the wearer’s safety but also the safety of his/her opponent.
Injuries to the teeth and jaws are much more painful than your everyday injuries, and they take longer to heal. This is why a mouth guard, although inexpensive, is one of the most important Martial Arts protective gear. The fact that a mouth guard should always be worn when fighting or sparring is an unspoken rule in combative sports such as wrestling and Martial Arts.
Boots are a necessary protective gear when sparring. They are designed to be strong enough to absorb shock but also gentle enough not to injure the opponent.
Although some fighters prefer wraps of clothing around their feet for maximum agility, boots do not compromise one’s expertise. For maximum agility, the boot should fit perfectly; it should not be too tight to hurt your toes or too loose to come off when kicking with your legs.
Although few fighters will target the groin areas in a fair fight, accidents do occur, and they can expose your most sensitive parts to seething pain and even medical risks. The risks are not worth the ignorance and protective caps are recommended for both male and female Martial Arts practitioners.
For male practitioners, only groin protective caps are necessary. Females, however, can wear both groin and special chest protective caps.
Remember, regardless of how good you may believe to be, accidents are inevitable and should be planned for by wearing Martial Arts protective gear. These are the basic protective gear. Although not all martial artists don the full armor, there are some gears that simply cannot be ignored: headgear, chest guard, mouth guard, and gloves. Wearing protective gear is an obligation to your safety as well as the safety of your opponent.