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Interested in Martial Arts? You’ll Need Gear

Interested in Martial Arts? You’ll Need Gear

Whether you are interested in martial arts as a form of fitness, a method of self defense, or a combat sport, the most popular styles require participants to invest in key pieces of gear. However, the equipment you purchase for one style might not meet the needs of the other, and some require a much higher financial investment when it comes to getting everything you need.

If cost is a factor in your decision regarding which martial art to choose, it is important to review the gear requirements before you commit to classes. To help you decide which option may be right for you, here is a basic overview of the commonly required equipment for some of the most popular forms of martial arts.

Karate and Taekwondo

Karate and Taekwondo rely heavily on traditional strikes, such as punches, kicks, elbows, and a range of open hand techniques. However, the exact techniques and motivations behind each art vary.

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While being separate martial arts, both Karate and Taekwondo have similar requirements when it comes to gear. Typically, each requires students to invest in uniforms, called gis. The gi is designed to allow the student to move freely, and are made of durable fabrics for longevity. They also help to increase discipline in classrooms as appearance standards for class participation are often fairly strict. Additionally, they keep participants on level ground as far as appearance.

Since practicing many of the skills require contact with punching bags, training dummies, and other class members, varying amounts of padding are also required. Traditionally, this includes protection for the hands, feet, chest, and head. However, the precise pieces needed may vary slightly by school.

Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo                             

Aikido, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Judo are focused more on grappling than strikes. Often, these martial arts feature a wide range of throws and submissions designed to prevent injury to yourself while allowing for control of the opponent.

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Just as Karate and Taekwondo are different, these three martial arts also have differing techniques and priorities. However, gear requirements are similar. Generally, students can participate in these martial arts as long as they have suitable gis.

Gis designed for these martial arts often have a different construction than those used by striking arts, as they need to hold up to being grabbed and pulled on a regular basis. So, a gi designed for Taekwondo may not last long in an Aikido class.

Wrestling

Wrestling is another martial art that requires limited gear. Instead of gis, wrestlers wear singlets, a variant of a unitard that helps prevent friction-related injuries due to skin to skin contact. Additionally, head gear is worn to protect the ears during matches and practices.

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Unlike many other martial arts, wrestling is commonly practiced in high schools as a competitive sport. When that is the case, the school may provide access to the needed equipment, eliminating the need to invest on your own.

Boxing and MMA

Boxing and MMA are striking arts, but the classes lack some of the formality of traditional martial arts. General attire for classes just needs to provide suitable movement. Often, just a suitable pair of shorts can meet the requirements, though participants may be able to wear other items during practice.

One of the biggest gear requirements for both boxing and MMA is the proper gloves. Boxing gloves are highly padded. This helps ensure participants can practice for suitable lengths of time with limited risk of injury, as the only attack in boxing are punches.

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MMA allows strikes and grappling, so the gloves designed for this sport are different than those in other martial arts. MMA Gloves allow the fingers to be exposed so that participants can successfully grapple. However, the knuckles are covered to help protect both the person doing to the striking and the person being hit.

Other padding may also be required, such as head protection, for the purposes of practicing against other students are instructors.

Contact Schools for More Information

Each school or gym may have slightly varied requirements. If the cost associated with gear is a concern, feel free to ask questions before signing up for any classes.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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