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?”
Understanding there are so many variations and completely different styles of Martial Arts, we have decided to review sparring gear for the most popular ones that we receive questions about a regular basis. The most questions we receive about Martial Arts gear is:
Taekwondo Mixed Martial Arts Karate
1. Taekwondo As there are various styles of Taekwondo, for this article we will focus on the most popular style – WTF which stand for World Taekwondo Federation. For sanctioned competitions there are only certain manufacturers that are approved for official use at these tournaments. Currently the main mfg is Adidas which has a great reputation in the industry for creating quality sparring gear.
What makes up a set of sparring gear for WTF Taekwondo?
Mouth Guard Foot Pads Shin Guards Helmet Arm guards Chest Protectors Hand Protectors Groin Protectors
These are the most well known brands: Adidas & Daedo
We have worked with all the above and find that overall Adidas has been the best sparring gear thus far however we will continue our testing across kids, teens and adults to ensure we have a broad range of test environments to provide you with more results over time. Its important to get the best protection you can, that will last. With a major focus now being on head shots, you will want to ensure that your protection comes first over price… a concussion can last a lifetime.
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!
A MMA sparring gear set is comprised of groin guard, hand protection, foot guards and on occasion, chest armor or chest protection is worn.
Century and ProForce are the most commonly recognized brands in MMA
From what we see, both Century and ProForce preform very well and are holding up under the daily training that our athletes are undergoing. We will provide a follow up as we are tracking many factors on how each of these gear sets will hold up against each other.
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!
3. Karate 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
Since we have noticed some noticeable wearing on our Century gear, we have decided to extent out our testing with a new set as we believe this to be a defective piece of equipment, it happens. Over the coming weeks we will continue our testing and provide back our results when we have more conclusive results to report.
If you are trying to buy on price, think again. Don’t jeopardize all your hard work and dedication just to save some money. Always put your health and safety first, don’t skimp on one of the most important purchasing decisions when selecting sparring gear. Safety first!
Expect to see another serious of articles on the pro’s and con’s of our testing for each of these sparring gear sets. Keep up the hard work and until we report again, play safe!