In the martial arts, skills such as kicking and punching are often essential. This is especially true for the disciplines that don’t involve a lot of grappling, such as boxing and muay Thai. It’s also important that the speed of the punch and kick should be maximized, and that the martial athlete should also master how to project force properly.
Often the best way to do this is to go and hit another person. This is of course not such a good idea if the one being hit isn’t properly protected, because a powerful punch or kick can be debilitating—or even lethal. To prevent such mishaps from happening, the trainer should use a body shield. The body shield can then be hit without injuring the athlete or the trainer.
There are basically two types of body shields. One type is used much like a traditional military shield. This shield is a curved piece of equipment because the curve helps diffuse the power of the kick. One advantage of this type of body shield is that it can be placed where a punch or kick is going. You can practice a high kick and then a low kick and the body shield can be quickly placed in the right location. This can’t be done with a stationary target. Usually, these body shields come with two straps located at the back, and that’s where the trainer holds the body shields. These straps need to be sturdy and durable in order to withstand the force of repeated blows.
The other type of body shield is meant to be worn on the body of the trainer. This helps the athlete to practice hitting the right spots which would be the likely targets in actual competition.
There are three factors which need to be considered carefully when buying a body shield of either type. One is the straps, whether they are held in the hands or by the arm, or strapped to the body. The straps must be durable enough to take many repeated hits. The second factor is the weight of the body shield. They should be heavy enough to take the hits, but not too heavy that the trainer cannot carry or wear them for long periods of time. Finally, the shield itself should be properly made with the right type of foam, which can protect the trainer but also prevent injury to the fists and feet of the athlete.