protective gear equipment

What to Watch Out For When Selecting Martial Arts Sparring Gear

When sparring with a teacher or peer, students often have the misconception that they don’t have to wear protective gear because actual contact will build strength, endurance, and resilience.

And while the logic behind that reasoning can be understood, it should also be emphasized that sparring gear is used for a very important reason: protection from incurring potential injuries. Because Martial Arts is a contact sport, we can definitely say that every practice or training will involve the risk of injury.

This is especially true for newer martial arts students who may have a difficult time curbing their passion and enthusiasm when releasing a punch or a kick.

Bear in mind that protective gear is important not just to provide you coverage for injuries when defending against an opponent. It also gives you ample protection when you’re on the offensive side. You can seriously hurt yourself if you land a kick to your opponent in the wrong way or crack a bone because of too much contact.

So if you are expecting high performance in your sparring sessions, or are gearing for high-velocity training with your peers or instructor, using martial arts sparring gear is not just highly recommended; it is a must.

Passion and Discipline are great, but not enough

In martial arts, there’s still a great deal of skill involved. You can’t live on passion, willingness, and commitment alone, though these are special qualities and can spell the difference between good and great martial artists.

But at the end of the day, you still need a lot of sharpening as a martial artist. And how can you do that if you aren’t able to expend yourself to the highest level? Push yourself to the limits, even just in practice. That way, you will know how much you can take. How strong of a punch can you absorb? How fast can you dodge a kick? How strong is the impact of your jab?

How can you sharpen yourself? Through sparring, of course, because this improves crucial skills in martial arts. You can improve your timing, both offensively and defensively. Sparring quickens and enhances your footwork, enabling you to maximize your attack and also protect yourself from your opponent’s offense.

Sparring is also great for increasing your confidence and self-worth. You don’t know how many martial artists out there found their love for the sport through their first sparring session. Investing in yourself and giving your very best to train against someone of equal or greater passion - now that’s special.

This is mainly why almost all martial arts schools value sparring as a crucial part of their training curriculum.

Next Level Martial Arts

It’s no secret that Martial Arts involves stages of improvement that is encapsulated by issuing the corresponding belts. If you are taking martial arts seriously, you want to always reach the next level. Otherwise, you can just go to the gym or run to get fit.

Like it or not, Martial Arts is a pathway to self-development. It’s a journey that leads you to become the best version of you while being part of a worldwide community of highly gifted and equally passionate individuals who love the arts.

And to take your martial arts skills to the next level, you really need to spar and train with the very best.

Earlier I mentioned that martial arts sparring gear is highly recommended for newbie martial arts students. But this doesn’t mean that only they use this gear. High-level martial artists also use sparring gear to let them handle the blows received during training.

Even if you are already a black belt, you need to manage the pain and hopefully avoid major, career-ending injuries. A helmet is especially important because any strong blow to the head could cause neurological damage that can cause severe and permanent damage.

Make sure to invest in high-quality martial arts sparring gear regardless of what level you are. This gear is meant to protect your body as you go on and execute those powerful moves you have learned from practice.

Be mindful of the quality of the sparring gear you will buy. You wouldn’t want it to have the opposite effect and hinder your sparring instead of enhancing the experience. Don’t be stingy and invest in the most cost-efficient, high value-for-money sparring gear that’s right for you.

Main Image Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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