Martial Arts Gifts

If there's a martial artist in your life who's hard to shop for, look no further than this list of the best holiday gifts from the world's leading magazine of martial arts.

The holidays are right around the corner and there's no better time to shop for the ninjas in your family! Black Belt Magazine doesn't just provide the history and current events of the martial arts world, we can equip you with all the best products too. From beautiful belt displays, to stylish gloves, to collector's edition books, keep reading to check out this list of the top five gifts to kick under the tree this year.

5. Budo Wall Belt Display

Martial Arts Belt Display

Are you really a martial artist if you don't have a classic belt display like this? Every practitioner should be proud of their rank, and the best way to show it off is with this Budo Wall Belt Display. The number of spaces matches most belt systems, but additional ranks can be draped over the upper level if necessary. That arch on top is also great for hanging medals for Karate Kids that compete in tournaments and bring home a ton of hardware! This display holds more than awards and belts, it hangs on to memories that a martial artist can keep forever.


4. Black Belt Icon Tee

Black Belt Shirt

If you're looking for something a bit smaller than a belt display, you can't go wrong with a stylish t-shirt from Black Belt Magazine's new apparel line. This Icon Tee is 60% ring-spun cotton and 40% polyester for a soft feel that makes it perfect for training or just looking good. It's not everyday that you see a martial arts shirt that looks cool too, so you better scoop one of these up for the holidays before they're all gone!


3. Strive Washable Boxing Gloves

Washable Boxing Gloves

Any martial artist would be lucky to get these Strive Washable Boxing Gloves from our friends at Century Martial Arts for the holidays. They come in multiple styles that would give any martial artist the sweetest fists in the dojo. Most importantly, no one should EVER have to deal with stinky gloves again! You can pop these in the washing machine and they'll come out looking and smelling brand new every time. The 10 oz. padding is wrapped in a sublimation print design that will never crack or fade, making it the perfect gift for anyone that loves beating up BOBs and Wavemasters!


2. Black Belt: First 100 Issues

Black Belt Book

This gift is ideal for anyone who is a lifetime martial artist. The arts are rooted in a rich history that is respected across the globe, and much of that history is documented in the first 100 issues of Black Belt Magazine's legendary publication. This is a collector's item that documents over a decade of martial arts history with everything from the competitive achievements of Bill "Superfoot" Wallace to the iconic Hollywood performances of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. Regardless of which art they study, that special martial artist in your life will be honored to own this special edition book.


1. One-Year Black Belt Magazine Subscription

Black Belt Magazine

Coming in at number one on our countdown is the gift that keeps on giving, a ONE-YEAR subscription to Black Belt Magazine! This gift will keep your favorite martial artist up-to-date on all the important news in the community, as well as inspiring stories and historic accounts. The six bimonthly issues would normally cost nearly $50, but the subscription ON SALE NOW for just $34.99! The first issue will be delivered to your door in under two weeks and is a great stocking-stuffer to tell your martial artist that five more issues are on the way. 2021 is sure to be better if you have the best martial arts magazine in the world delivered to your door throughout the year!


We are pretty proud of this list because we know any of these items would make a martial artist light up on the holidays. However, we have so much more to offer on our website. CLICK HERE to check out our complete online store and find exactly what you need to kickstart your holiday shopping.

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Yahoo! Sports

Dustin Poirier has knocked out Conor McGregor in the second round at the UFC 257 Main Event. This spoils McGregor's long-awaited UFC return after his win over Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone last January. Poirier hinted after the match that he would be open to another bout against McGregor, as this fight brings their rivalry to a 1-1 record. The impressive wins of Poirier and Michael Chandler on Saturday night set the UFC's lightweight division up for a very exciting future.

The Legendary Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame has never before been documented in a single location. Now, you can learn about all the icons that have achieved one of the greatest honors in all of martial arts.

Black Belt Magazine is proud to announce the NEW Member Profiles feature for the Hall of Fame. At the time of this article, the online records account for every inductee from the inaugural year of 1968 all the way through 1990 (upwards of 200 martial artists). The page will be updated continuously and will include every inductee through 2020 in the near future. For now, you can enjoy images and facts about the legendary members for each induction they received before 1991. Take advantage of this never-before-seen opportunity to learn about many of the martial artists who contributed to the lifestyle, culture, and community that every martial artist experiences today.


Black Belt Magazine Subscriptions

A Closer Look at Mongolia's Naadam Festival

Mongolia's "three sports of men" — archery, horseracing and wrestling — were the featured attractions at the first Naadam festival convened by Genghis Kahn himself in 1206.

Fast-forward to the 21st century: The festivals, held nationwide in mid-July each year, still celebrate the formation of the Mongolian Empire and its achievement of independence from China's Qing Dynasty.

The highlight of modern incarnations of Naadam is the wrestling, and many boys who grow up on the steppes dream of one day being crowned a champion.

The wrestling competitions are single-elimination tournaments. Wrestlers wear trunks and an open-chest shirt with a rope tied around the abdomen, all of which opponents are allowed to grab. The most common colors seen are red, which symbolizes power, and blue, which represents the Mongolian sky.

The author (left) grapples with a Mongolian wrestler.

The grapplers also wear heavy traditional boots and a Mongolian hat. The four sides of the hat represent the four provinces of old Mongolia. The top knot is for the five regions of the Buddhist government. The silver badge attached to each hat bears the animal ranking of the wrestler.

In competition, the wrestlers have to win six matches to be crowned champion. There are no weight classes, which is perhaps why the top grapplers generally weigh 260 pounds or more. The goal is to make the opponent touch the ground with anything other than the soles of his feet.

Because of the coronavirus, the most recent Naadam competition in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar took place without an audience. Spectators had to watch on television or online.

At the competitions in the provinces, however, the action was live, and residents of nearby towns showed up to watch.

In a secondary subdivision called Temenzogt, located about seven hours' drive from Ulaanbaatar, I was fortunate to have a chance to wrestle in a Naadam event.

Author Antonio Graceffo (right) and his opponent.

After quickly sizing up my huge opponent, a former champion, I braced myself for a pushing and pulling battle of upper-body strength. I was surprised when he chose to use his heavy boots and massive thighs to kick my legs out from under me.

And with that, my Naadam experience came to an abrupt end. I was grateful, however, for the efforts of all my Mongolian friends who made it possible for me to fulfill my dream of wrestling in Naadam.

I learned a lot about Mongolia, the culture and the ground, so much so that I've decided to stay here another year and really dedicate myself to learning Mongolian wrestling.

Maybe at next year's Nadaam, I'll be able to last 20 seconds.

Antonio Graceffo writes Black Belt's Destinations column. Read more of his work here. His book Warrior Odyssey is available here.

Photos Courtesy of Antonio Graceffo

To read more about Mongolian wrestling, check out "Wrestling With the Descendants of Genghis Khan: Black Belt's Asia Correspondent Travels to Mongolia to Grapple!" in our February/March 2021 issue. Go here to order your copy from the Black Belt Store!

In a competition bereft of many of its top wrestlers, Daieisho was a surprise winner of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament Sunday in Tokyo. With the area under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic and a post-war record 19 wrestlers withdrawing from the event, Daieisho pulled off the upset victory coming from the maegashira level, the lowest of five ranks in sumo's top division, to win the title.

It was Daieisho's first championship as he finished the event with a 13-2 record. Displaying a powerful pushing and thrusting style, he also garnered the prize for outstanding performance during the tournament as well as the prize for best technique.

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