Picture of red padded headgear and blue training gloves

Essential Martial Arts Equipment and Gear


Martial arts is a discipline that demands precision, dedication, and the right equipment. The proper martial arts equipment and gear enhance performance and ensure safety during training and competition. Here is our guide for appropriate equipment and gear needed across most martial arts disciplines.


Martial Arts Uniform and Accessories

The martial arts uniform, known as a "Gi" in Japanese martial arts, is the iconic attire practitioners wear. These uniforms come with three components: the Gi top, Gi pants, and the belt.  

The jacket and pants of the GI come in various styles and materials to suit different martial arts disciplines, such as Karate, Judo, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Many of these jackets have the traditional cross-over design and a sturdy collar. The pants should be lightweight, comfortable, and reinforced at the knees. Finally, the belt, or Obi, comes in many different color variations that signify the rank and experience of the wearer.

In addition to uniforms, many martial artists use different apparel and accessories. Comfortable training apparel includes rash guards, compression shorts, and spats, depending on which discipline you practice. Accessories like hand wraps, gear bags, and water bottles are also convenient for practitioners.


Protective Gear

Safety is paramount in martial arts, and the type of protective gear you need depends on your discipline. To protect your body, you should have headgear, which protects the head and face from strikes when sparring and in competitions. Along with the headgear, you will need a mouthguard. The mouthguard is essential for safeguarding teeth, reducing the risk of oral injuries, and also helps protect against concussion.

Gloves, wraps, arm guards, and shin pads are practical and help protect your entire body against strikes from sparring and heavy training. Wraps and gloves protect the hands and wrists, particularly in striking arts such as boxing or Muay Thai. Arm guards and shin pads reduce the risk of arm and leg injury. All of these items can be worn not just for sparring but will also protect you in activities such as active training and board breaking.

Both men and women have protective items that are either required or recommended. Chest protectors are required for women who practice Tae Kwon Do but are also an excellent addition for anyone into heavy sparring. Groin guards or cups protect male practitioners during intense training and sparring matches.


Sparring Gear

Sparring is an integral part of martial arts training. Depending on your discipline, you may need specific gear such as headgear with face guard, chest guard, and sparring gloves and boots. These items provide added padding and protection. Beyond sparring, these items can be used for partner drills, kicking drills, and full-contact sparring.

Training Mats

Once you have protection for your body, the following item to look at is high-quality training mats. Often overlooked, high-quality mats are durable and protect you and your floors. Training mats are also essential for safety, stability, and traction during throws, takedowns, and groundwork. They provide cushioning and reduce the risk of injuries in arts like Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Wrestling.


Some martial arts disciplines involve traditional weapons training. Many popular weapons, such as the Bo staff, Sai, and Tonfa, are made of wood. Nunchaku, a pair of connected sticks used in Okinawan martial arts, are made from many different materials, such as wood, foam, or rigid plastic.

Other favorites are wooden swords used for training in Japanese martial arts and Escrima sticks used in Filipino martial arts, such as Eskrima and Arnis martial arts.

AMAS has many martial arts gear and equipment styles designed for every practitioner's comfort and safety, no matter what discipline.

Investing in the correct martial arts equipment and gear is crucial for a safe and productive training experience. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned martial artist, understanding your discipline's specific requirements and investing in high-quality gear will improve your performance and ensure your safety and comfort during training and competition. So, gear up, stay safe, and thoroughly enjoy your martial arts journey!

If you have any questions, AMAS is here to help! Contact us today.