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No boxing or kickboxing gym or arsenal is complete without some form of body guard that you can use for training and sparring. While body protectors aren't required for training, they allow for harder body punches and kicks to be thrown, simulating the intensity of a real bout more closely. You can use a ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard from Asian World of Martial Arts (AWMA) to make light training and sparring safer.

Bulk

You want to select a body guard that ensures all your vital organs are protected without causing the gear to be too bulky. The ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard is made of vinyl-covered foam that offers protection over the entire chest and sternum as well as the top of the shoulders and kidney area in five different sizes to provide the right fit. Although this gear is inherently a bit bulky, overly large pads limit your movement, speed, and ability to punch. Bulky body protectors also lessen accuracy training benefits, so it's important to find the right size.

For boxing, body protectors that are 3 inches thick ensure that you are protected from body blows. If you need a body guard for Taekwondo or karate, you will want to purchase a thinner guard.

For taekwondo, a reversible hogu (chest protector) like the ProForce® II Reversible TKD Chest Guard would be an excellent choice.  

Designed for point-fighting sport karate, the ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard measures in at 3/4 inch thick, and is contoured for maximum protection and mobility. The Lightning Sports Body Guard is uniquely sectioned to allow for a snug fit while not costing you any freedom of movement.

Proper Fit

Adjustable body protectors allow you to achieve a proper fit that can change with your body. The ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard features adjustable straps that connect with one strap across the lower back and two smaller straps at the middle of your back. Just because a guard is adjustable doesn't mean you should ignore size. With five sizes ranging from X-Small to X-Large, you can fine-tune the fit of a protector in your selected size. To find the right size, measure from the middle of your collar to your hip bone, which is where the baseline of the vest ends. Take this number and select the size based on our product specific size charts. For the ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard, take your measurement and base your size choice on the information below:

  • X-Small: 15 inches
  • Small: 18 inches
  • Medium: 21 inches
  • Large: 23 inches
  • X-Large: 26 inches

If you find yourself in between sizes for adjustable bodyguards, opt for the larger size, and use the adjustable ties to ensure a snug fit that doesn't restrict your movement.

Easy Removal

For trainers and fighters who like to run through swift circuits when training, look for a body guard that can be put on and removed easily. Bulky body protectors that require assistance to put on and take off aren't suited for those uses. The ProForce® Lightning Sports Body Guard slips over your head easily, and the adjustable straps can be cinched down in seconds. This allows you to maintain speed and agility when moving between circuits. If you're using a chest guard for quick circuits, look for Velcro or buckles as lace-up designs take longer to put on and remove.

Padding

The amount and type of padding are equally important for the fighter and the instructor or sparring partner. Dense durable materials dissipate the force of punches to protect vital organs. These guards from AWMA feature a dense foam core that absorbs strikes to limit damage so the striker can focus on power. For hard-hitting training, look for body guards that feature hollow spots behind built-in target areas to lessen the impact of hard strikes and kicks.

Fight Intelligently

While body guards offer protection for vital organs and limit the force that strikes land with, always keep safety in mind and stay within your limits. Never strike an object without proper instruction or training and remember to wear a mouthguard when sparring or shadowboxing. Keeping yourself safe in combat sports means not only using the proper gear but also knowing your limits.

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