Here’s a humorous guest post from the folks over at Blitz Sport in the UK. It includes some sound gear buying advice, and a few good zingers as well. Enjoy! – Bill
Choosing the right martial arts equipment when you begin training in any discipline can be tricky. Are you compelled to buy the most expensive, awe-inspiring and impressive martial arts equipment money can buy, because you feel that adorning the flashiest gear is the definitive way to earn a heavy slice of respect when entering a dojo or gym for the first time? What about safety precautions? Pfft! They’re for wimps, right? Time to think again!
If you’re just starting Karate, don’t dive straight into a 14 or 16oz instructor grade karate suit. Heavy suits will be too much for you, you need to earn them! Buy a Student Suit, save the pennies and buy a Gum-Shield and a Groin Guard . Trust me; you’ll need them! An Instructor grade suit won’t prevent a smack in the mouth or a kick in the busters. As a beginner, the weight of an instructor suit will labour your movement and slow your responses. Steer clear until your strength and technique improves.
Sparring gear is another classic over-compensation. Don’t go strolling in dressed like Robocop when all the class consists of is a little light sparring. “Who the hell is this guy” they’ll wonder as they kick your butt twice as hard.
Appreciate the distinction between semi contact and full contact sparring equipment. Be smart and find out whether your club has any special requirements before shelling out on expensive equipment and always remember; your instructor can give you the best advice.
The craziest mistakes are made with martial arts weapons; no one wants to endure the embarrassment of being the only one with the foam weapon. Granted, foam weaponry isn’t the real McCoy, but someone whacking themselves around the back of the head with a wooden pair of Nunchaku at full swing, can be potentially life threatening.
It’s about respect for your discipline, consideration for others and your own personal safety. It’s better to leave your ego at home. Classes are there for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learnt; having the right equipment at the right period in time will ensure you get the most out of your training and not break the bank, or yourself!
Good article, and funny as well! No mention of solo training equipment though. For anyone serious about training, a good heavy bag is essential for power generation practice. I’d also recommend an impact mannequin such as the Century Bob for technique and accuracy training.