One of the most frequent questions we get when people are looking to purchase sparring gear is “what does it matter, aren’t they all the same?”
Helping us to better answer this question, we should define what sparring gear is used in each Martial Art as there are many different Martial Arts. For this review we are going to focus on the most popular questions we receive as they relate to the following:
- Mixed MartialArts
The most popular and the only Olympic Taekwondo in the world is the World Taekwondo Federation therefore our testing will focus on this style of Martial Arts as many young athletes will choose this organization over others because there is the opportunity to go to the Olympics. With every Olympic level sport, there are strict regulations on what approved equipment may be used. Currently for WTF this vendor is Adidas.
What makes up a set of sparring gear for WTF Taekwondo?
- Mouth Guard
- Foot Pads
- Shin Guards
- Arm guards
- Chest Protectors
- Hand Protectors
- Groin Protectors
These are the most well known brands: Adidas & Daedo
So far we have seen the best results between the two main manufacturers to be Adidas. Throughout our testing the Adidas seems to hold up better under all conditions. Keep in mind that our testing was not exclusive to Adults, we also tested the sparring gear sets across children and teens alike focusing on protection over price. The reason we focused on protection is that headshots are now worth 4 points in competitions so there is much more focus on keeping your head safe!
2. Mixed Martial Arts:
When competing in tournaments or sanctioned matches, MMA athletes don’t us sparring gear, this is only used at training times. When training, specific gear is worn depending upon the striking and drills that they are focusing on. When they are grappling there is no gear worn, you can imagine trying to wrestle wearing a chest guard? Not!
What makes up a MMA sparring gear set for strike training?
- Hand Guards/Gloves
- Foot Pads
- Shin Pads
- Groin Protection
- Occasionally chest protection or chest armor
Century and ProForce are the most commonly recognized brands in MMA
During this testing period so far we see that ProForce and Century gear are both performing to top level conditions. There hasn’t been any noticeable difference therefore we will continue to follow our testing over the coming weeks and report back our findings when they become more conclusive.
Protecting yourself is very important, so much so that if you are considering a lower cost solution, think twice about this approach before you make your purchase. To save a little money when your health depends on protection during combat, ensure you put your protection first paying a little more now will help ensure that you are protecting yourself the best that you can!
Various forms of Karate require that in official competitions, competitors adhere to their sanctioned equipment list. Before you purchase your Karate sparring gear make sure that you know what pieces of equipment are required:
- Hand Protectors
- Foot Guards
- Head Guards
- Mouth Piece
Some of the most notable brands include: Macho, Century, NKF
Over the past 2 weeks we have seen some noticeable wear on one set of the Century gear so we are extending our testing across multiple Martial Artists to ensure that we have a broader test case to provide you with better results over the next few weeks.
Why wouldn’t you consider safety over price? If you were to get injured during training, this would knock you out of competition and all your hard work, training and dedication won’t matter now. Keeping this in mind, always decide on the best gear, not the best price!
Over the coming weeks we will be working towards providing you with the pro’s and con’s of each sparring gear set to better help you in your purchasing decisions. Keep on training!