Protective gear has certainly come a long since we humans first realized, "Huh, I'd better try to not break every bone in my body." Today, you can find gear of all kinds for all sports, but the best gear for martial arts comes from Century Martial Arts, the world's leading uniform and equipment manufacturer. Add 40+ years of experience, research, development and testing and you have an end product – actually, products – you can have confidence purchasing. The Student Sparring Headgear, Gloves and Boots are among them.

Let's take a look at each:

Student Sparring Headgear | Century Martial Arts

Student Sparring Headgear | Century Martial Arts

I like this headgear because of the way it form-fits. It's comfortable and secure without obstructing my view. Although most of the time we practice sparring at 30% speed and power during, especially when working with newer, enthusiastic students, some accidents are inevitable. Knowing the gear I use keeps me covered allows me to focus on my sparring strategy and giving pointers.


Student Sparring Gloves | Century Martial Arts

Student Sparring Gloves | Century Martial Arts

Having the right gloves is important to me. Like a baseball player's glove, fit and feel of sparring gloves needs to be just right. I like the open-finger feel of the Student Sparring Gloves – I find it provides a better level of grip control when guiding a punch or a kick away from you.

Being able to have the slight fingertip pressure that is afforded in this glove gives me a better feel for the direction and intention of my partner's strike. I also like the tight fist I can make when it is time to punch. It takes no time or pressure to go from an open hand parry on defense to a tight-fisted offensive punch.


Student Sparring Boots | Century Martial Arts

Student Sparring Boots | Century Martial Arts

If you're stand-up sparring, you need to be continually stepping, sliding, cutting angles and pivoting on your feet. For this, you need foot gear that doesn't compromise your movement in any way. In other words, you want to forget you have anything covering your feet – yet still actually have something there providing cushioning for you and your partner. I think Century's Student Sparring Boots accomplish this quite well. They wrap around and contour to your feet the way feet pads should, and are engineered to be light and have a thin feel while still providing the necessary padding.


Student Sparring Rib Guard | Century Martial Arts

Student Sparring Rib Guard | Century Martial ArtsTrain to your maximum potential and guard your chest and torso with the Century Student Sparring Rib Guard from Century Martial Arts. Shop here to get the best MMA training gear.

student sparring

Every piece of this gear line is lightweight, yet durable. They hold up to the demand that is placed on them in sparring classes.

As a person who has competed all over the world and as a member of Team Paul Mitchell Karate, I have seen and tried on many different types of gear. When I review a product, I take both my experience as a world champion in Sport Karate, the developer of the Retention Based Sparring Program and my experience as a martial arts school owner teaching all ages and experience levels into account. In my opinion, it would be hard to beat both the quality and value afforded in this Century line of products.

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In the martial arts, we voluntarily subject ourselves to conflict in a training environment so we can transcend conflict in the real world. After all, we wouldn't knowingly train in a style that makes us weaker or worsens our position. The irony of all this is that we don't want to fight our opponent. We prefer to work with what an opponent gives us to turn the tide in our favor, to resolve the situation effectively and efficiently.The Japanese have a word for this: sabaki. It means to work with energy efficiently. When we train with the sabaki mindset, we receive our opponent's attack, almost as a gift. Doing so requires less physical effort and frees up our mental operating system so it can determine the most efficient solution to the conflict.In this essay, I will present a brief history of sabaki, as well as break down the sabaki method using Miyamoto Musashi's five elements

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Coach Tony Blauer has been in the martial arts, self-defense, defensive tactics, and combatives industry for over four decades.

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  • His research on the neuroscience of fear and the startle-flinch lead to the development of the SPEAR System, a modern personal defense system based on physiology, physics, and psychology. It has been used by defensive tactics and combative trainers all over the world for over 30 years.
  • He developed the world's first impact-reduction scenario-based training equipment, called High Gear, which revolutionized force-on-force training for police, SWAT, and military organizations.
  • After decades of interviewing victims of violent encounters and studying violence, he created the KNOW FEAR program which focuses on managing fear through self-awareness, resiliency, and a 'movement' mindset. This program has also been integrated by psychologists helping veterans deal with PTSD.

Tony Blauer Self Defense

Blauer's programs have influenced over three decades of trainers and coaches as well as most contemporary reality-based martial artists. He resides in California with his wife, kids, and dogs, but still travels extensively working with individuals, corporations, and government organizations around the world providing solutions for training, performance assessment and credentialing. His company is dedicated to enhancing the mental and physical safety of everyone they help train.

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