In the world of martial arts, sparring practice brings athletes one step closer to perfection and sparring pads make it bearable when taking/blocking strikes. The use of martial arts sparring pads is the difference between ending up with only a few bruises or potentially finishing the day with serious injuries like a concussion.
There are several reputable brands, here is a comparison of the most popular:
If being in the business for a long time is proof enough to help determine quality, then Century is the brand you need to look for. They do produce every sparring gear imaginable and they have pads that specifically designed to fit right for all ages of kids and of course, a wide range of sizes for adults. Century also specialize in two kinds of headgear: Full Headgear for full faced protection & the traditional open-face model so that the wearer has unobstructed sight.
Surprisingly, for a popular brand in sports gear, Adidas makes pads that fetch some of the lowest price tags however their reputation in other sports has helped them earn a niche in the martial arts arena. Headgear is made from both foam and vinyl. We have had feedback from some users that the Arm protectors and shin protectors tend to be bulky compared to other brands. Adidas provides quality gear at really affordable prices which is a very happy medium. Of course, Adidas is an approved vendor for World Taekwondo Federation which means you can also use this gear at any WTF tournament and not only for practice!
Another respectable name in makers of sparring pads is Proforce. They make three different lines for different levels of expertise. These are the Lightning for beginners, Thunder for intermediate and Gladiator for the experts. The pads come in different predominant color schemes that are apt for the series name and function, such as gold, silver and teal. This brand comes with a relatively low price tag and are very lightweight compared to other brands.
Daedo has been selected by the World Taekwondo Federation as the official Electronic Scoring System for the 2012 Olympic Games. Previous to Daedo, the WTF had sanctioned Lajust however, there are current ongoing litigation battles over the status of Lajust with the WTF which to our knowledge has yet to be concluded. Daedo has head to toe protection and most recently has incorporated the Electronics into their Head Gear however this has yet to become a defacto standard for tournaments but we believe this will slowly make its way into more National and International events over the coming years.
The only complaint we have received feedback on about the equipment is that the wireless transceivers are not the highest quality with long replacement timelines… if Daedo can resolve this issue (if they haven’t already) we would strongly recommend that every WTF training center be outfitted with this equipment thereby providing their competitors with the best advantage possible when competing against other countries that are in fact, using this gear on a daily basis.
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