Category Archives: Equipment

Facility and Safety

In my last post I talked about the importance of age appropriate classes in training.  How having a big age gap in the same class is never a good idea. Different age groups have different developmental needs and learning styles.  A good school should recognize this and structure their program to best suit the needs of the students by providing age appropriate classes and a curriculum designed for that age group.

Today I want to talk about another important piece of the puzzle in a martial arts school.

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Safety

Safety should be at the forefront of everything we do, and yes, no matter how safe we try to be occasionally someone gets hurt.  It sucks, but it happens.  People get hurt doing pretty much every activity imaginable and we are lucky to have a very high safety record compared to other sports.

But to the point, By far the most important piece of safety equipment in any martial arts school is the floor.  It doesn’t matter if you are doing throws, wrestling or punching and kicking, the floor is going to be one of the biggest risks in training.  Whether it’s from a takedown or someone just slipping while trying to throw a high kick, the floor is huge danger if ignored.

We went all in on mats.  Our mats are 2″ thick, cleaned daily and we have padding on the walls. We spent nearly $20,000 on mats alone when we opened this location.  Top of the line stuff, because safety is going to always be priority #1.

The fact that some places still train on cement floors concerns me.  I get it, mats are expensive.  But if you neglect vital safety equipment you are inviting injury in a way that it just doesn’t need to be invited. It’s like putting a 5 year old on a bike without a helmet… why take the risk when it is easily managed?

 

 

How to Wrap Your Hands

Heavy bag work makes for a great workout, it’s intense, fun, great stress relief and good excercise. However like all excercise routines if you don’t protect yourself, you could end up hurting yourself. In the same way you wouldn’t think about taking up track without shoes, for hitting the bag you need handwraps and gloves.

First you need to get some handwraps (this should be obvious)

If they are cheap ones you got at a local fitness store and are about 8 ft long, go back to step one and try again :)

Really there are 2 basic styles, both of which need to be pretty long. There is the standard cotton style, and the Mexican style which have a little elasticity in them. I prefer the Mexican style as I find them more comfortable, a more snug fit, and less likely to slide around.

As far as wrapping goes, there really is no one set way, everyone will show you a little different, but the basic idea is still the same. Since we all like the protection in different places, and have differently shaped hands you will probably end up finding a way that works for you. Until then, imitate what others do, but don’t think of it as “this is the PROPER way”, there are many. Basically you want to support the hand to protect it, whatever your hands need is the proper way.

First spread your fingers, this will help keep you from wrapping to tight and cutting off circulation to your hand. When you make a fist, it will be bigger then when your hand is open, so stretch it out. Wrap snug, but not tight, and if it feels like your hand is cut off from blood, unwrap and try again a little looser. Likewise, if it feels loose and like it is going to fall off, unwrap and do it again a little tighter.

First the loop goes over your thumb, and wrap it around your wrist.

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Wrap it around your wrist a few times, the exact number isn’t important, and is partially dependent on your hand size and the length of your wraps

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Now take it up and over the knuckles, then back down to the wrist

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And around the thumb. This can be done all the way around, half way, then around the hand and half way again, whatever you like. If you are using MMA gloves and have a tendency to catch your thumb, you might want to go a little heavier on the thumb, (or tuck your thumb in better)

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From there I go around the wrist again

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And then from the thumb through the fingers

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Then go around the knuckles once more, and use whatever is left to go around the wrist and close it off

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Hand wrapping is not hard, but it may take you a few times to get the hang of it. But do everyone a favour and spend some time getting it right. It protects your hands, and saves your partners some annoyance as you spend 10 mins trying to get your hands wrapped at the beginning of each session