Popular Martial Arts, Supplies and Equipment Terms
Various forms of martial arts have been around for thousands of years. The equipment and supplies these fighters use is as unique and diverse as the art of fighting itself. In order to have a better understanding of the world of martial arts, it is important to know the terminology associated with these fighting styles. Below are several terms to be familiar with if researching martial arts, supplies or equipment.
Kung Fu - Kung Fu is a Chinese fighting style classified according to common traits. Examples of these traits include physical exercises such as animal mimicry or other training methods inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends.
Taekwondo - Taekwondo is a Korean fighting style. Loosely translated, the word means, the way of the hand and the foot. The art utilizes the longer reach of the legs through various kicking techniques. In addition, blocks, kicks and open handed strikes are used in conjunction with sweeps, takedowns, and joint locks.
Karate - Karate is a martial art which focuses primarily on self-defense. It involves the uses of kicks, knee and elbow strikes, open-handed strikes and various grappling techniques.
Boxing - The act, technique, or profession of fighting with the fists, with or without boxing gloves.
Spar - In boxing and martial arts, sparring is making the motions of attack and defense with the arms, fists, and legs especially as a part of training. In most cases, protective gear such as headgear, gloves, padded feet protectors are worn to protect the combatants from serious injury.
Dogi - A dogi is a uniform used in martial arts training. Though there are variations of the word, the uniform is fairly consistent throughout the different practices. It consists of loose fitting pants, and a jacket which is held closed by a belt. The color of the belt often signifies rank.
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Purchase martial arts supplies and equipment from dealers or locations offering classes. Items you need include uniforms, gloves, and practice mats. The items you need depends on the form you're learning. Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo each have their own specific needs. Kendo and karate also has its own specific needs. Some forms use weapons, others simply use parts of the body. The forms need special training from a master. Each time you complete one level of training, you're awarded with a different colored belt.
The sport includes a series of kicks and punches. Hone punching skills by smashing wooden boards in karate. Heavy punching bags also help teach hand boxing techniques. Kicks and flips are practiced on padded floor mats for your safety. Sparring with swords requires special care to ensure everyone's safety.
Some of the earliest forms of this Asian sport date back to times B.C. The hand-to-hand combat forms were used for sport. Forms include two techniques referred to as “soft” or “hard.” Later forms added weapons and created intricate sports that resemble dances. In many forms, the system is only used in extreme cases of self-defense. These Asian forms are not used without careful thought and plenty of practice. Learn from a skilled master over a span of weeks, months, and years. The length it takes to learn depends on the level you wish to achieve.
Find martial arts supplies online or at local specialty stores. Wholesalers often have the best prices. Ask your master about the equipment you'll need and take the list of items with you.