On a Question of the Day

Black Belt - - COMMUNITY -

BLACK BELT: What’s your ap­proach to pro­tect­ing your melon? No con­tact? Min­i­mal pad­ding to lessen the sever­ity of head shots? Max­i­mum pad­ding for max­i­mum pro­tec­tion? Face shield, too?

Ryan Head: If you’re go­ing to do full-con­tact spar­ring and you want to go all-out, get as much pad­ding as you can be­cause no mat­ter how tough you think you are or how re­al­is­tic you want your train­ing to be, con­cus­sions are a real thing. There’s no rea­son to put your­self at risk of se­ri­ous in­jury while try­ing to be bet­ter at de­fend­ing your­self, train­ing for a tour­na­ment, etc. That be­ing said, if you know what you’re do­ing and take a less com­pet­i­tive ap­proach to spar­ring, it can be done with con­tact and still not be as dan­ger­ous whether you have head pro­tec­tion or not. And of course the type of mar­tial art mat­ters, too. If you’re just grap­pling, you shouldn’t have to worry about be­ing hit in the head, for ex­am­ple. There are a lot of dif­fer­ent ways to spar.

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