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Review of Sparring Equipment for Contact Karate P6 - Upper Body

Updated on December 5, 2012
This is a unisex version.
This is a unisex version. | Source

Chest/Rib/Kidney Protection

Chest/rib/kidney protection is an individual issue also, with no requirements by CMAF. There is a variety of gear available in this category including special "bust" protection for the ladies. Students are allowed to wear these protectors during class sparring.

When we get to the helmet use and value, we will discuss "value" to a greater extent. The amount of protection provided by these items are negligible at best. The techniques for which chest/rib/kidney pads are primarily designed to defend against, when properly applied will not be stopped by most pads. Though power is dissipated by defraying, certain effects will still take place. In order to get the anticipated protection, one must move to the more expensive items, but even these will not completely stop the force/reaction effect.

And then there are instances when the power of the technique is applied to one of several particular "soft" points of the abdomen or thorax under the pad that, even though power is absorbed by the pad, there is enough penetration to incapacitate the target person, solar plexus for instance.

Again, as with several of the above, the chest pads are not required by CMAF, but they are approved and recommended for sparring. At best we would agree that some protection may be better than none.



Throat Protection

Next is the throat guard such as one might see used in hockey these days. We mention hockey as none of our suppliers stock a throat guard independent of the helmet. But since it is incorporated in the helmet, there seems to be a group that finds them of value.

CMAF does not require throat protectors. Students should consider them where certain medical conditions exist. All students are allowed to wear this type of equipment at any time in class providing the helment and cage meet approval. We will look at this closer in the section on the "helmet" shortly.



Mouth Guard

The mouth guard should be more properly called the "teeth guard." Padded hands and feet striking the mouth will not normally result in "knocking out a tooth." However, the jarring effect of a technique to the head may cause shifting of the jaw. The mouth guard’s purpose is to eliminate any chipping of the teeth due to this strike.

CMAF requires a mouthguard for sparring. Our suppliers provide easy-to-follow instructions on the packaging. These direct both instructor and student on how to chose the right size as well as give instructions for molding the guard to the individuals tooth structure for proper fit.

We should add here that our suppliers all have "use instructions" on all the materials CMAF purchases from them. It is a positive mark of a reliable company.



Forearm Protection

CMAF does not require forearm pads though students are allowed to wear them.

Unlike many traditional martial arts systems, Cha Yun-do does not use the forearm as a "blocking tool."

Cha Yun-do teaches a circular action with linear trajectory in all movements.

When "blocking, the forearm moves in a circular manner and therefore could more properly be termed a "deflecting tool." As such there little direct contact, or stopping action, between the incoming technique and the forearm.

As to the pad, note the similarity of design between the forearm pad and the cloth shin pad. Students have used them interchangeably. The drawback is the calf muscle is usually bigger than the forearm muscle. Whereas one might wear the forearm pad on the shin though somewhat tight, the opposite may be less likely to fit properly, causing the pad to slide up and down. If students wish to wear these two pads, CMAF suggests a separate set for each purpose.


NOTE: All written training information presented by Dr. Randolph A. Young and the Christian Martial Arts Fellowship is for informational purposes and is not presented as a training program. All training and use of martial arts techniques should be learned and developed only under the direction and supervision of a qualified instructor.

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: Images, references and other related material used are mainly from personal files or It is not our intend to infringe on these rights in anyway. When timely proper notification is received regarding an issue, the item will be removed as soon as possible.


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