Chest Protectors

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Chest Protectors

Postby Dana Sheets » Fri May 25, 2007 11:01 am

So last night we tied on the chest protectors. We have some pretty significant size and weight differences in the dojo and the chest protectors allow for some higher contact training. There are a couple folks in the dojo my size but most of the guys have 50 to 80 to 100 pounds on me.

So - I'll put on the nice, stiff Shureido chest protector so my training patner can do driving lunge punch training against a human target. On the way back down the floor if I working with one of the more conditioned guys they don't need to wear one and I can do my lunge punch training on their nicely conditioned Uechi belly. I'd love to be able to do the same - but the reality is that with that much power differential - I'd just get hurt.

Then we worked on folks not dropping their hands while throwing round-house kicks. So the one person kicks, the receiver simultaneously jabs at the kicker's head - and the kicker now has good motivation to keep their hands up.

A third drill was using front kicks for counterpunch training. We started with both people inside the mai. The kicker's goal was to snap it off quickly enough to make solid contact on the protector, the receiver was focused on taking the momentum of the kick as a load into the rear leg to setup the counterpunch via a sweeping front low block. The same can be done against a straight punch but doesnt' get the cardio going quite the same way.

Thoughout the night one of the goals of the person being hit is to take the force of the hit and use it as preparation for what is next. The person getting hit doesn't always actually release their counter in every drill - but their mind stays engaged as they prepare their body.

Release lots of power, receive lots of power, convert lots of power.
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Postby f.Channell » Fri May 25, 2007 11:28 am

You can probably find some molded chest protectors that will work better for you than those Shureido ones. I've seen a couple of those and I wouldn't use one. Not everything from Okinawa is the best. Century has some real nice ones.

I was using the shields quite a bit after seeing them used extensively on a wing chun training tape. Use them in Bunkai, prearranged Kumite, great stuff.

Also makes you look at the conditioning of your striking hand. Nothing a lot of makiwara or bag work can't fix. Here's where Shureido has them all beat, great makiwara and practice tools.
I've seen more than this, shin conditioning etc... maybe in their catalog.

http://www.shureidousa.com/training/makiwara.html
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Postby Dana Sheets » Fri May 25, 2007 4:29 pm

hmmm...I've tried some of those others a few years ago - but they tended to give too much in the higher parts for my comfort. Also - being small - I tend to get blasted back a couple of steps more often than not when doing the type of stuff above.

However - I also haven't tried any news ones in 5 or so years so maybe they've got something better.

Which ones do you like Fred?
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Postby f.Channell » Fri May 25, 2007 5:37 pm

I like cheap ones!

But I tried on a molded Century one 2-3 years ago and that one was good.

They also used shin guards in the video and did a lot of nasty shin strikes also.

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Postby Jim Robinson » Sun May 27, 2007 11:49 am

There are still a few of us around who fought with only a mouthpiece and a groin protector during the stone age of dojo and tournament fighting. The foam dipped equipment came into popularity in the early 70's and is far more improved now.
The equipment is very good for the safety factor but what I have observed over the years is that when one uses the equipment too often that they get cocky and believe they become invincible and no longer protect efficiently (especially the chest) and leave openings that are hard to resist for the opponent to rip into.
But we do have to have the equipment for insurance purposes.
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Postby wes tasker » Mon May 28, 2007 12:01 am

There are still a few of us around who fought with only a mouthpiece and a groin protector during the stone age of dojo and tournament fighting. The foam dipped equipment came into popularity in the early 70's and is far more improved now.
The equipment is very good for the safety factor but what I have observed over the years is that when one uses the equipment too often that they get cocky and believe they become invincible and no longer protect efficiently (especially the chest) and leave openings that are hard to resist for the opponent to rip into.
But we do have to have the equipment for insurance purposes.
Jim Robinson


Not to get too off topic - but you find the same thing in stickfighting...

-wes tasker
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Postby 2Green » Mon May 28, 2007 2:49 am

The drills sound excellent.
I'm unfamiliar with the equipment mentioned, so can't comment on that.

I would be much more comfortable doing drills with a female partner wearing a breast protector.
To me, a female's chest is more target-sensitive than a guy's, and I find I try to "aim for centre" when doing attacking-drills with a female.
This might be unrealistic, and perhaps even counter-productive for the female, however, I NEVER want to see a female student collapse in pain because I was an idiot and punched her in the "wrong" part of the chest.

I don't use much gear, I use a mouthguard (no one else does), a couple of the students use cups, and occasionally ( like, twice a year) we will use a pad for a brutal drill.
I like to train unprotected so that I will instinctively learn to cover my "bases" but I realize that not everyone's situation allows this.

We have a returning female Shodan in our class, and so far all has gone well. It's been a little hard for her in terms of getting back into the physical output, but that's only normal for anyone.

What's good is that we all practice respect and learning, and keep it as real as the "fake stuff" allows. I enjoy training with O/S partners.

PS:
The Ibuprofen and ice is helping my thumb nicely.
Got a little behind on my block, but a lesson learned.
Next hurdle will be to "un-flinch" that same hand... we have no "protectors" for hand or foot injuries, do we?

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Postby Dana Sheets » Tue May 29, 2007 12:46 am

hmm...no mouthguards = scary in my world. But I live in Washington, DC.

So what is it about protective gear and control that makes the addition of the former detrimental to the latter?
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Postby 2Green » Tue May 29, 2007 4:04 am

Dana:
I don't know if the addition of protective gear leads to lack of control.

That's a really good topic actually, because apparently in the big-money hockey and football worlds, this is a real issue.
They propose that the "armoured-up" players feel invincible, and hand out a lot more abuse as a result.
The counter-point is that if they were more lightly protected, they they would also be more judicious in their aggression. Same in boxing with glove-protected hands.

I would like to think that the addition of protective gear in MA leads to more realistic "attacks" and "defenses", but I'm not totally convinced that it does.

When we wear shin pads, groin cups and chest pads, maybe a foam helmet as well, are we really proxying the experience of a real fight?

Can a person who has trained for years with head protection, hand protection, chest protection, foot protection and groin protection really be confident in a real attack -- having never had to really worry about all these critical (protected) targets?

We can all lay in a mighty roundhouse with that half-inch of foam protecting our shin from reality.
Care to try it in jeans?


As for the mouthguards ... I totally understand. I don't know why my classmates don't use them. I went out and got one right away at the first mention of the word "sparring".
I was shocked that no one else had one.
I usually use only the upper-jaw type (brain-pad) but I always carry the upper/lower molded one as well.
I think I'd rather take a groin kick ( 20 -minute recovery, max), than a costly and extensive-recovery dental injury, in a class situation.
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BTW: I am NOT advocating training without protection, it's just the situation I personally train in.
There is an abundance of excellent protective equipment available, and I recommend that anyone who has access to it, use it, if it meets their training safety objectives.

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