16th April, 2022 updated 28th May, 2022

Gym bag checklist

Shisakuteki karate equipment

The following equipment is necessary to train Shisakuteki karate. Because Shisakuteki karate is a modern style, it does not require wearing any sort of uniform, though it is recommended to wear clothes that allow unrestricted movements.

Gloves for bags are necessary to prevent packing the gloves used to spar with other people, a packed glove is dangerous as it offers no protection to the sparring partner and little protection to the trainee's hands. If you are planning to compete, it is recommended train with a pair of gloves that is similar, if not identical, to the gloves that will be used in competition.

There is no official standard for the weight of the gloves, many "16 oz" gloves are padded less than "12 oz" gloves. Heavy gloves supposedly offer some extra protection to the sparring partner, though what offers the most protection is learning to pull the punches. Gloves are weapons just as much as they are protective equipment, the best way to protect a sparring partner is to not hit him with power. Pulling the punches is a skill that is even more important when sparring with MMA gloves.

Hook and loop closures on gloves are convenient but they can scratch you, the sparring partner and the coach. Scratches can cause infections and in Malaysia it is usually preferred to use lace-up gloves instead for this exact reason. Lace-up gloves also can cause injury if the laces aren't knotted safely and securely and care must be taken to prevent these preventable injuries.

Knee and elbow pads such as the ones used in volleyball are perfect.

If competing, or if your mouth or/and teeth have unusual shapes, it is highly recommended to get a custom moulded mouthguard. I personally have an unusual alignment of my front teeth and boil and bite mouthguards, which are those mouthguards you can mould at home with hot water, do not fit my mouth at all and can cause damage to my teeth. It is unfortunate but paying extra for protection is something I must do and is also something I recommend to everybody who can afford it.

A headguard does not protect your nose nor your brain, your nose can still break and strong hits can give you concussion. But the headguard does protect your ears and also your face from scratches. A wrestling headgear will protect your ears when grappling and prevent cauliflower ears, a permanent condition that can only rarely be fixed with corrective surgery. For this reason a wrestling headgear is highly recommended.

I highly recommend a steel groin protector for men, the more common plastic groin protectors can snap and cause terribly painful damage. Women’s groin protectors are often uncomfortable or not protective enough, I highly encourage asking more experienced female fighters for recommendations.

Strength and conditioning equipment

The following equipment is recommended for strength and conditioning

A powerlifting belt is very helpful to lift heavier weight safely. There is a widespread misunderstanding on what the powerlifting belt role is and its effect on abdominal muscle activation: some people may say that lifting weight with a belt is cheating and that wearing a belt hinders the development of abdominal muscles.

Wearing a powerlifting belt helps to engage the abdominal muscles and therefore helps to develop them, furthermore it helps lifting heavier weights which translates to higher muscle tension, which in turn can translate to better strength adaptations on the muscles trained.

If you grind or clench your teeth hard when you lift weights, it may be a good idea to wear a mouthguard.

Straps are necessary to preserve smaller accessory muscles when targetting larger muscles. Straps are another weirdly controversial tool, because some people believe that using straps is, once again, cheating. Logically, if the objective is to train the latissimus dorsi by rowing a barbell and the forearm muscles are reaching exhaustion far before the lats are getting tired, then utilizing straps is a simple solution to actually reach the objective of the exercise: train the lats, not the forearms.

Chalk helps prevent slipping when gripping a barbell, allowing for more force development and safety.

Weightlifting shoes are particularly helpful to reach higher range of motion during the squat, but also offer a higher degree of stability when lifting heavy weights in general as the midsole of these shoes does not compress at all, minimizing compensatory movements of the foot and ankle while also offering arch support. Stable shoes are a compromise between the plushy running shoes and the uncompressible weightlifting shoes, these can be used when lifting weights that aren’t as heavy as those lifted during the big 3 lifts.