Vinyl Sparring Gear

Vinyl sparring gear is probably the second most popular style of protection used. This gear is similar in protection quality as the foam dipped gear as it is normally made using 1″ thick foam padding. The main difference is that the vinyl fabric is sewn in place over the foam padding. Another big difference in this style from the foam dipped style is the head guard. Like the foam dipped head guard the vinyl head guard has protection for the back and top of the head but usually has a boxing design which gives added check and chin and is typically fastened in the rear using padded overlay panels that protect the back of the head. With vinyl sparring gear you will normally have two styles of gloves or punches to choose from, an open finger style popular with grappling or throwing arts and the closed finger style used more commonly for striking arts. The kick is very similar in design to the foam dipped and is worn like a shoe with protection for the toes, top and sides of foot as well as the heel. It is normally open on the bottom and only has a strap over the ball of foot to keep it in place. The main downside to vinyl sparring gear is that since it uses a fabric that is sewn in place it allows for seams that can rip and tear over time so keeping your gear in good condition is vital to long use. The vinyl gear is also easy to clean as you only need to wipe it down after use.

There are also multiple types of chest protection available for students of the martial arts including chest protectors made from the foam dipped process which will typically offer less padding but are great for a more non contact or very light contact style of martial arts. If you are going to be studying a harder or more contact style of martial arts I would normally recommend a reversible or competition style of chest guard. These offer a thick padding sewn into a vinyl fabric and offer more coverage of the upper body. Mouth guards and groin guards are also invaluable when training and I won’t let any of my students step into the sparring ring without them. Even girls and women should have some type of groin protection to avoid injury to delicate areas.

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