No matter what the reason is for your child to begin karate, self-defense, confidence building, or to explore a new interest, picking the best equipment is crucial to make sure your child is safe in a contact sport where the risk of injury is high. Here is a complete parent’s guide to picking karate sparring equipment to lessen that risk.
It may be tempting to forego the headgear because sometimes it hinders movement ability and peripheral vision. Both you and your child will regret it if a hospital visit for a concussion is needed.
The most important feature of headgear is that it is not loose fitting. This will prevent it from being knocked off your child’s head during a match. Choose a helmet that is either adjustable or fits perfectly to your child’s head. Both options will not interfere with training, unlike bulky gear. For added protection, select a helmet that contains a face mask to prevent injuries to the face and eyes.
Protection and padding
Your child is still growing, so bodies are delicate and fragile. Guard whatever body part you can at this tender stage. Buy fitting chest guards, rib shirts, groin protectors, knee pads, shin guards, padded shorts, and a mouth guard. The outside of the ear is often taken for granted because the most common injuries to the ears happen internally. But ear guards are needed to protect the outside of the ear from a condition all too well known in the realm of martial arts, cauliflower ears. While your child may love martial arts now, an aesthetic difference caused by the sport may cause resentment and ultimately the desire to quit. Leave cauliflower ears to the professionals!
As your child improves with age and skill, it is possible that some extra padding will not be needed. The decision to decrease the amount of padding is a decision that must be agreed upon by the child, parent, and coach.
If the gloves are pretty or have a cool design, that’s a bonus. Truthfully, no one will care what the gloves they are being punched with of they are on the losing end of a fight, so you should not either.
The greater the shock absorbency, the better. The added foam will hurt less, so your child won’t be intimidated by the power behind the blows. Bruising and broken bones will be minimized as well. Have your child try the gloves on before buying to make sure that they provide enough wrist support while still being easy to quickly take off and put back on. Make sure your child can easily close the fist inside the glove. If it does not allow flexibility, it will raise the risk of injury to the fingers and wrist.
Choosing the correct gear for your child’s new karate adventure is a crucial step in development and health. Not only do you want your child not injured, but if your child has a bad experience that you could have prevented with proper gear, a new hobby could turn into a trauma that could spoil the interest altogether.