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The Essential Karate Gear Guide - ActivStars Athletics

Whether you are considering enrolling your child in martial arts classes, gearing up for your first karate lesson, preparing for a karate tournament, or simply looking to upgrade supplies, this guide will cover everything you need to know. Preparing yourself or your child with the right martial arts gear is essential for an enjoyable and successful experience. From karate to taekwondo, each martial art has its unique equipment requirements. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about selecting the proper gear and its uses.

Basic Uniforms

The foundation of any karate practitioner's gear is the uniform, known as the gi. The gi consists of a jacket, pants, and a belt. It's typically made from durable cotton to withstand the rigors of training. The gi's simplicity and design allow for a full range of motion, making it ideal for executing precise techniques.

The karate belt order is significant in the world of karate. Starting with white for beginners, the belts progress through various colors, such as yellow, green, blue, purple, orange, red, brown, and finally black, which denotes a high level of proficiency. Each belt color represents the wearer's level of knowledge and expertise. Shop Our Beginner Start-Up Bundle Here.

Training Equipment

Basic training equipment provides the ability for practical application of techniques learned during lessons. We recommend you are prepared with this gear, especially for home training:

  • Large Body Shield: Perfect for strength training for both strikes and kicks.

  • Blocker: Great for developing blocking skills and timing while reducing impact energy.

  • Focus Pad: Used for accuracy training of strikes and kicks.

  • Clapper: The perfect tool for the versatile fighter. The angled, double-sided striking surface is ideal for quick changes in attacks, allowing for varied combinations with fluid movement. It is perfect for accuracy and flexibility training with kicks.

Having the right gear ensures that training is both safe and effective, allowing practitioners to focus on improving their skills without unnecessary risk of injury.

Safe Weapons

While traditional karate focuses primarily on unarmed combat, many practitioners also train with various weapons to enhance their skills and understanding of martial arts. At ActivStars Athletics, we utilize only safe weapons in preparation for and during tournaments. These safe weapons are made from wooden materials. Some weapons used in class and tournaments include:

  • Wooden Training Kama: Also known as a Japanese sickle. It is a traditional farming tool and weapon. It can be used for slashing, hooking, trapping, and blocking. Wooden-bladed kamas are great for training since they do not have the danger a metal blade can represent.

  • Wooden Staffs: Its use is similar to that of a spear. Our traditional straight bo staffs are made tough to endure repetitive practice sessions.

  • Wooden Nunchaku: A traditional chainstick weapon used in many martial arts styles. It can be wielded in one or both hands for training.


Karate headbands, or hachimaki, are not only a practical accessory to keep sweat out of the eyes but also serve a symbolic purpose. They often feature kanji characters representing various virtues such as courage, perseverance, and spirit. Wearing a headband can be a way for karate practitioners to embody these principles during training and competition.


In addition to the basics, several accessories can enhance your karate experience:

  • Large Equipment Bags: Specialized bags help carry all your karate gear, keeping it organized and easily accessible.

  • Croc Charms: Style your crocs for a personalized look with our ActivStars Athletics Croc charms.

Preparing for Classes & Karate Tournaments

When preparing for a karate tournament, having the right gear is essential. Ensure your gi is in good condition and adheres to tournament requirements. It's also wise to have extra supplies on hand, such as a spare belt or headband, in case of unexpected needs.

Participating in tournaments is an excellent way to test your skills, gain experience, and grow as a martial artist. Proper preparation and the right gear can make all the difference in your performance and overall experience.

Visit our Store for a full list of equipment


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