Martial arts is a great activity to get involved with for both children and adults. Whichever style you choose (there are many such as Karate, Judo, MMA, Taekwondo), you will learn how to defend yourself and develop self-confidence.
When you enroll in a class, then you will learn the basics and fundamentals of your chosen style whether it is traditional or competition focused for the Martial Art you have selected.
When starting out, it is all about getting the form down correctly prior to really focusing on speed and power. You will spend a lot of practice time on pad work where a partner will hold the pad while you work on your striking by hitting the pad. Having a target to hit will help you develop your range and coordination. All Martial arts involve some form of striking therefore you will learn the proper way to throw a punch & kick in a manner that delivers the most speed and power.
There are focus mitts that come with hand inserts. This enables one person to strap on the pads while another person works on his striking. The person wearing the mitts can hold the pads from different angles, so the striker can work on different forms of punches, such as the jab, straight, hook and uppercut. The pad holder can also throw strikes with the mitt, which forces the striker to block or evade and counter.
In addition to focus mitts, there are also larger pads used for kicking. The pad holder can hold it forward for front and sidekicks and turn it to the side for a roundhouse. It can also be held against the lower body, so the striker can work on leg kicks. If held against the torso at a tilted angle, the striker can clinch the pad holder and work on knee strikes.
Most pads are made from some sort of foam. This allows the striker to go full force without hurting the pad holder. Practitioners are also encouraged to wear sparring gloves and shin pads. This will prevent the skin on your knuckles and shin from peeling off.
Having the right martial arts sparring pads and protective gear will help you get the most out of every training session. This will lead to improvement as the striking combination begins to flow more naturally. This will also hone your skills when sparring with a fellow student or competing.