Best Karate Sparring Gear

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Karate sparring gear helps protect the body when lighting other opponents in combat or competition. Learn what gear is required to be safe from a professional martial arts instructor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Karate Uniforms and Equipment
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Fred Mergan. I'm a 4th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate, and I'm here today to show you the different types of sparring equipment. Here are the different types of sparring equipment. You have your traditional sparring equipment and your mixed martial arts equipment. Starting here, you have your helmet. Your helmet is made of foam, strap it on. It's for the Kumite sparring of point fighting and it protects your face. It's got this face shield on it, so you won't get hit in the face. You have your foot gear, which goes over your foot, so when you are kicking your partner or checking your partner, you don't hurt your foot or hurt your partner. You have your gloves. These gloves are a little bit different than the mixed martial arts gloves. You can't grab as well. You can still punch, hammer fist, ridge hand, back knuckle but the grabbing is limited. The final piece for your traditional gear is your shin guard. Shin guards protect the shins so if you make shin contact it doesn't hurt as much, straps on the top, straps on the bottom. Two things I recommend you should always wear is your groin cup or your mouthpiece. They have a male groin cup and a female groin cup. Male or female I always recommend wearing your groin cup. That's the most important thing, safety. Your mouthpiece you can get at any sporting goods store. It just slips into your mouth and back out after you're done. You have your MMA gloves, Mixed Martial Arts sparring gloves. These are a little bit different than your traditional sparring gloves. They're a little bit more versatile. As I am sparring, I am still getting the protection as the sparring glove, but I'm getting the mobility with my hands where i can grab and do the locks I need to for submissions. You have your Mixed Martial Arts helmet which is a lot thinner than your traditional karate helmet and there is no face shield. The back strap is a little bit different, still protects your face. And finally, we don't wear foot gear. Our foot gear and our shin guard is kind of the same thing, slid your foot in, protects your instep and your shin. In Mixed Martial Arts, you make a lot more contact with your shins than your foot, so we protect our shin a lot more than our foot. And that was the different types of sparring equipment that I would recommend.


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