Like other popular mind/body programs, martial arts provide an exciting, comprehensive method for improving physical and mental health. Plus, martial arts deliver the practical aspects of self-defense.
From judo to kung fu, kenpo to aikido, martial arts styles are as varied as they are popular, so finding the right match for your health club is not difficult. To determine the appropriate martial arts for your members, you'll need to do some research and hire a qualified instructor. You'll also need to invest in certain equipment to complement the classes.
The following companies can help outfit your martial arts program and practitioners, offering uniforms, weapons, mats, footwear, protective gear, punching/kicking bags, and more.
Century Inc.'s new graphite weapon line features an innovative and unique design for the competition bo (staff) and escrima (fighting sticks). Constructed of graphite, the weapons are designed for ultimate durability and more consistent results than traditional wooden products, states the company. The manufacturing process ensures every bo is straight, well balanced and virtually warp-free. Depending on length, each bo weighs 1 pound or less. Available in high gloss colors of blue, red or black, Century's graphite bo is offered in three lengths: 4 1/2 feet, 5 feet and 6 feet. The graphite escrima has the same lightweight, durable and well-balanced features as the bo.
Century Inc., 1705 National Blvd.,
Midwest City, OK 73110; (800) 626-2787;
fax: (800) 400-5485;
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The Power of Stretching system from the International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA) and Promise Enterprises is a multi-joint program designed to improve muscle function by increasing range of motion. Exercisers use the rope as a training partner for improving flexibility through the concept of active-assisted stretching. Simply stated, this type of stretching relies on a series of movements that use muscles to bring the body into a series of specific stretch positions. The rope then assists to further increase the range of motion.
ISCA and Promise Enterprises,
P.O. Box 7654, Jackson, MS 39284;
(601) 372-8313; fax: (601) 372-8606;
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Karate Depot is an online source for martial arts supplies. Popular items include student uniforms and name-brand protective gear. The company also offers belts, patches, instructor uniforms and all the training aids a martial arts program needs. Dojo and club owners can place orders over the Internet or on the phone with no minimums.
KarateDepot.com; (877) 216-2669
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Practical and permanent, Norbert's martial arts seamless floors consist of rolls of crosslinked polyethylene foam with a cover fabricated of extremely durable 18-ounce coated vinyl material (polyester scrim). Tough, but not abrasive, this material can be easily cleaned, does not stain or absorb moisture (unlike canvas), and will stand up to years of heavy use, states the company. Norbert's seamless floors are also reportedly easy to install.
Norbert's Athletic Products Inc., P.O. Box 543,
San Pedro, CA 90733-0543; (800) 779-1904;
(310) 830-6672; fax: (310) 830-6675;
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The Powerflex Trainer is Otomix's newest, lightweight martial arts shoe. The shoe features a slip-on velcro strap system for lateral support, which creates a low profile front ramp. The Powerflex Trainer is designed for cross-training and is ideal for all styles of martial arts, low-impact aerobics and street wear, states the company. The shoe is available in white, silver and black, and comes in male and female sizes.
Otomix, 3691 Lenawee Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90016; (800) 597-5425;
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Krav Maga self-defense focus mitts are designed specifically for this Israeli self-defense system. Constructed of the highest-quality leather and absorbent foam for extreme durability, the mitts encompass every aspect of training, states the company. Expanded hand cage design accomodates wrapped hands and facilitates easy switching between partners. The mitts, especially the oversized versions, can be used in not only Krav Maga, but also in boxing, kickboxing and other martial arts practice. The mitts are available in regular and extra-large sizes.
Revgear Sports Co., 11750 Roscoe Blvd.
#11, Sun Valley, CA 91352; (800) 767-8288;
(818) 768-5155; fax: (818) 768-5357
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TKO Sports Group's 501GMC cross-trainer glove/mitt combo can be utilized in martial arts, boxing and kickboxing programs. Students can kick, block and punch with a partner simultaneously, as well as develop sparring skills. The cross-trainer allows users to punch and kick safely with full power.
TKO Sports Group; (877) 856-4327;
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