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tom - 23rd February 2012 - 0 comments

Client: Livingston Martial Arts

What they do: One of the UK’s leading suppliers of martial arts equipment; specifically for Karate, Judo , Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts, Kung Fu, Kendo and Aikido.

Why they came to us: Livingston Martial Arts wanted superior-quality articles to complement their product range and explain authoritatively why martial arts equipment is so important for the serious enthusiast.

What we did for them: Each month, we concentrated on a different type of martial art and wrote articles and blog posts of varying length explaining the importance – from an expert’s point of view – of wearing the appropriate safety equipment.

What were the results? Our copy improved the readability of Livingston Martial Arts’ site, encouraging visitors to spend more time reading its content. Further, we boosted the client’s authority and credibility within its sector.

Sparring in the right gear

Sparring (or fighting) tests an individual’s ability to stay calm and maintain control while putting the skills they have learnt into action. Your master or instructor will only let you spar once you have mastered the basic techniques of Taekwondo.

Participants must have the right sparring gear in order to partake in competitions. Familiarise yourself with the essential sparring gear you need to wear for protection and to prevent injury.

Chest protection

The most expensive part of the sparring gear is the chest guard (or hogu) so take time to look for a decent one. Look for a hogu that is approved by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) or other recognised governing organisations to confirm it is safe to use.

A good chest guard should be lightweight and comfortable, have drawstrings to allow you to tie up and adjust accordingly, have shoulder pads for added protection and be reversible (usually blue and red) so you can wear either one of the colours during competitions or practice rounds.

Another top tip is to ensure you do not tie your chest guard up too tightly as this can restrict breathing and movement. A loosely-tied hogu can help to lessen the impact of incoming blows and dissipate energy so that you remain unharmed.

Head protection

Head kicks are not pleasant (ouch!) but are vital to scoring points during Taekwondo competitions. Invest in a high-quality padded head guard to protect yourself from your opponents’ kicks.

A decent head gear should be lightweight and sweat proof with fasteners to keep it secure during sparring. It is also advisable to go for a shock-absorbing design to ensure you get right back into the game even after receiving kicks to the head.

Shin and forearm guards

It is important to wear shin and forearm guards because Taekwondo consists of a series of kicking and blocking techniques. There are a huge variety of good-quality guards to choose from to prevent bruises and other more serious injuries.

Shin and forearm guards are padded with foam inserts to provide maximum protection and are often contoured for a perfect fitting. Ensure you buy the right size as guards that are too long or short will affect your overall performance.

Other sparring essentials

We agree that groin protectors (both for men and women) are not among the most flattering accessories but they are essential for obvious reasons. The good news is that these padded protectors are worn under your Taekwondo kit so it will not be visible during sparring.

Other popular essentials include: mouth guards to protect your pearly whites from likely damage, foam-padded hand protectors to prevent injury when throwing punches and foot protectors to protect when kicking opponents’ chest guards.

Organisations other than the WTF, such as the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF), may require participants to wear additional sparring gear such as foot pads and mittens. If you are unsure of the correct gear to wear, ask your instructors for further advice.

Please contact us if you would like a more detailed case study.

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