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Five Tips to Choosing the Right Gear

If you think that all martial arts gear is created equal, you may be surprised to find out that this is not the case. As a matter of fact, sparring gear has as many individual characteristics as a good pair of shoes, and while you most certainly purchase shoes off the rack at most reputable department stores, you do try on and put away those pieces which either do not fit size wise, are not comfortable, or simply do not mesh with your sense of style and fashion. The same may be said for martial arts gear, which are as individual as the person using them.

Choosing the right gear can be a difficult decision, especially for the inexperienced practitioner. That's why ProForceMA.com has put together a few helpful tips for choosing the martial arts gear that will best suit your needs.

Brand: As with many things, some brands of martial arts gear are simply better than others. If you're buying new martial arts gear do some research beforehand. Read customer reviews, talk with your friends, find out what experiences other people have had with the brands of martial arts gear you're looking at. Choose a trusted, well-known brand of martial arts gear that will give you the best quality and biggest bang for your buck.

Variety: Choosing martial arts gear can be a daunting task. Thankfully, today's manufacturer's offer gear in varying colors (pink sparring gear is now available), varying materials (have you ever heard of leatherette?) and varying styles (traditional vs. elastic waistband uniforms). So much has changed in the last 30 years that, simply stated, if you are a martial arts practitioner, the choices are almost endless. And that's a good thing! Take you time and you'll do fine when purchasing the martial arts gear that needs to cover all of your bases.

Material: The material your martial arts gear is made from should depend on taste and function. Common choices you'll need to make will be leather vs. vinyl, cotton vs. polyester (or a cotton/poly blend) and the varying thicknesses and coverages of vinyl cover foam sparring gear. They all have advantages and disadvantages. (Click here for more info.) Remember to buy what makes the most sense and what fits in your budget.

Size: Obviously, choosing the size of a piece of martial arts gear is important. Generally, uniforms and sparring gear should be snug - not too tight and not too loose. When looking at product sizing charts keep in mind that the manufacturer's size charts are designed for the average sized torso and there will be times where size charts will not be applicable to everyone.

Weight: Believe it or not weight plays an important factor when purchasing martial arts gear. Different styles of martial arts, such as Judo, are made from a heavier-weight cotton blend. On the other hand, some Karate uniforms are made of a 5 oz. fabric for ease of movement and breathability. Also, weight come into play when sparring. It's easier to hit a speed bag consistently with 10 oz. boxing gloves than with a heavier 16 oz. glove.

The most important martial arts gear tip is this: choose the martial arts gear that fits your personal training needs. If you're still unsure of what you're looking for, call AWMA.com toll-free at 1-800-345-2962. Our knowledgeable customer service representatives are happy to help you with any of your product questions.


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