If you do any kind of martial arts sparring, you know that protective gear is of the utmost importance. Part man who has the stones to go into a sparring match without a cup on, won’t have them for very long. There’s protective gear like the heavily cushioned “foot gloves” that I pester when I’m teaching, so I don’t accidentally do a spin kick and take someone’s head off when they miss a block. But the protective gear I want to sing the praises of today are the martial arts sparring shoes.
Now, I use the martial arts status for two very simple reasons. The first is that after I did a list of repeat bits against a wooden “sparring dummy”, I walked out of the dojo on handful bone-deep bruises in my feet. Now, bruises are the sacrifice you pay for any contact sport, including martial arts. Exact a little bit of padding would’ve kept me from walking funny for two days. My friends and co-workers were making fun of my little mincing steps to avoid putting weight on the tops of my pedal from a particularly squalid bruise – almost a break in the bone.
The foot has well many small bones. And almost no meat. No fat. No protection. Poor bloodflow. At least scoop do. Travail sticks attached to my ankles!
I guess I’m a slow learner. Two weeks later, I did the same practice drill and about pulped my big phalanx while I mis-judged the aloofness to the wingchun wooden dummy on a kick – instead of hitting it plus the arch of the foot, I did a point-blank “full force kick” accompanying the point concerning contact centered on the toe. The joint popped, the toe swelled up to twice its size, and only utter blind luck kept me from having a fracture.
OK, so kicking ligneous dummies in bare feet is a dumb idea….
I went looking for gear to save me from my control stupidity and found martial arts sparring shoes. Now, those sparring shoes are else from tourney foot pads. They’re glimmer enough that you won’t develop compensatory habits to adjust for the weight…and while they don’t commend as heaps protection, it’s the difference between kicking a wooden dummy with your bare foot and kicking it with a pair of tennis shoes on.
On top of that, they also improve traction on the ground, and stability when doing routines and drills. Given how much I like Kung Fu styles, and how acrobatic they are, that perk traction was very appealing. While it’s not fun to be thrown on your ass by a sparring partner, it’s even less play to do it on your rejoice in because you slipped.
Plus, to be honest, it was good to come off home from a session in the dojo without pleasure like I was being a sniveling, whiney brat because my feet hurt. Trust me, these goods saved my marriage – my wife was making pleasure concerning my new “dance steps” when I was vibrant flogging the crap out of my feet and whining about it when I had to take out the garbage.
Didn’t I mention I can dance? That’s for another article. She saw Dancing With The Stars and it was over. I don’t know what hurts more, learning to tango or kicking that wooden dummy!