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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 January 21, 2020

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnancy in life, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help.

Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

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1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths.

Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation.

What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem.

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If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave.

Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future.

These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

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4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’re 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward.

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Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years.

On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

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Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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