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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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