If you are considering taking up martial arts, then purchasing equipment is something you will have to think about depending on how serious your commitment will be. For many, attending a local program focused on martial arts, MMA, or boxing will have the equipment and supplies you need for the most part. However, much like every other sport, it is important that you have at least some equipment of your own to get the most out of the experience.
What follows is a breakdown of the equipment that you should consider purchasing for your home use and where are the best placed to obtain them. The more you know about martial arts equipment, the better-informed decision you can make about which brand to choose.
The first step is figuring out your budget. Most people will get the equipment slowly, saving up for the more expensive items while obtaining the more affordable gear to work out at their local gym or club. The best way for most people to start is by talking to your instructor to see what is the most necessary when in training and then expanding for home use.
What follows is a breakdown of the equipment that you may purchase in pursuit of your martial arts interest. The description followed by the importance of whether you should buy it early or put it off until later.Martial arts equipment
Boxing and MMA Gloves
There is a significant difference between boxing gloves and MMA gloves, so it is important to know which ones are right for your needs. Boxing gloves are thick, matted gloves that cover the entire hand and have padding inside. To use boxing gloves properly, your hands will need to be taped, so your knuckles are not damaged when punching.
MMA gloves appear to be tight, fingerless, and have raised padding along the knuckles. Because of the nature of the glove, they do provide protection without having to tape your knuckles. Unless you are going into boxing, MMA gloves should work for most situations.
You can expect to pay from $15 up to $75 or more for a good pair of MMA gloves. It is recommended that MMA gloves be one of your first purchases because of their precise fit, protection, and comfort they provide.
Protective Gear: Headgear, Body Pads, & Shin Guards
This is padding for your head, body, and shins which provides protection against bruising and breaking bones. Keep in mind that headgear does not prevent concussions, so you will need to be careful when fighting an opponent. Body pads are used for commonly hit areas and shin guards offer protection for this vulnerable area of the legs.
The good news is that the headgear, body pads, and shin guards are relatively inexpensive as they are adjustable and common. Depending on what your gym or training center provides, this is a purchase you can put off unless you are more serious about learning martial arts. The cost may range from $15 to $50 or more.
Grappling & Throwing Dummies
This type of dummy offers good practice without putting a fellow student in harms way. You’ll often see these dummies as part of a gym or training center. The dummies have the size and weight of a normal person, allowing for a more realistic feel when practicing your moves.
While you can find some cheap throwing or grappling dummies for $40, the good ones run from $150 up to $1000 for top-of-the-line models. While excellent for practicing at home, this is only a purchase if you are really serious about pursing martial arts.
Uniforms & Belts
Because they are form-fitting, this is arguably the most common purchase that is made by martial art students. While conforming to your body, most martial arts uniforms are loose, so you can move easily. Plus, the belt holds the top in place as there are no zippers or Velcro to do the job.
You can expect to pay from $15 to $75, but the lower-priced versions are often good for students who are just starting out. Belts come with the uniforms, so they are included in the price. Ideally, you should try them on before purchase, but ordering them online is less expensive and if you know your size, they should fit well.
Online or In-Person Instruction
There is no substitute for proper instruction that comes from a qualified teacher. Most martial arts classes use black belts as instructors, providing the best in instruction for the maneuvers that you will learn. Online instruction is often used for practicing basic techniques and provide motivation when you cannot be in the gym.
The price varies considerably for both online and in-person instruction. Often there is a flat-fee that you pay when attending your local martial arts school, but online instruction is often priced per lesson. You will need to do some research before making your decision.
Martial Arts Shoes
You may not need shoes depending on the martial arts classes you attend. But for those that do the shoes themselves can vary considerably depending on the needs. Ideally, you should try on the shoes before using them, but if you know your size, then you can order the shoes cheaper online. Most martial arts shoes resemble sneakers or tennis shoes because they are lightweight and quite flexible.
You can expect to pay from $50 to $200 or more depending on the quality of the martial arts shoes that you purchase. It is suggested that you pay for two pairs and alternate when using them, so you can make the shoes last longer.
Although more common in boxing, heavy bags are used for striking, providing a stationary target for you to practice different techniques. This type of bag can be made of canvas, leather, or composite materials. Although padded, it is recommended that you use gloves and shin guards when striking the bag due to its weight.
Despite their size, heavy bags are not that expensive. In fact, you can find a good one for less than $100 and hang it from a secure place on your ceiling. Or, you can purchase a device that holds the bag from the floor and may also hold a speed bag.
Mats & Flooring
Commonly used in most martial arts, especially judo and other techniques that require throwing, rolling, or wrestling with your opponent. Because they are quite common, you will see them at virtually every gym and workout center. So, purchasing them is only recommended if you practice with a friend or with a personal trainer at home.
You’ll need plenty of floor space for your gym mat, which runs from $100 up to $1000 dollars depending on the brand and design that you choose.
The use of training weapons is really for specialized versions of common martial arts programs. While sometime training weapons are used by instructors to help students learn how to defend themselves, they are most often used by students who are trying to learn specific techniques.
Here, the price of the training weapons will vary considerably depending on the skills that are being learned. From swords to staffs, batons, Kendo weapons, and more, you will need to speak to your instructor to the necessity of purchasing your own training weapons.
Where to Find the Right Equipment
Now that you know what you want, the next step is where to get it. While you can look at your local retail outlets, generally the best place to find most martial arts equipment is online. This means searching by product until you can find the best combination of quality, durability, and price. This may be a bit daunting at first as you sort out the prices compared to your budget, but quality should be foremost in your mind.
Brand: It’s always helpful to start out with a trusted brand name. Just remember while a brand may be good at one type of equipment, they may not be so great with other types.
Quality: You can seek out consumer reviews from independent sites and get an idea of how the equipment holds up over time. Remember that even the best equipment may have a few negative reviews, such as defects. What you are really looking for is a pattern that demonstrates its quality over time.
Customer Service: When you spot the equipment you want, check out the company that sells it. They should have good customer service, reasonable shipping costs, and a good track record when it comes to their reviews. Remember, no company is perfect, so look for the companies that are rated as the best.
Of the many places you can search to find the best in martial arts gear, there are two that really stand out.
The reasons why both of these online stores stand out is because of their wide selection, excellent quality, fast delivery, and low, affordable pricing. If you are going to purchase martial arts equipment, then starting with the MMA Overload and www.forzasports.com is a good way to go.