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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bare foot or shoes?

From: Examiner

Martial arts is generally thought of as a barefoot sport unless shoes are specifically required to the type of martial art, i.e., wrestling shoes for wrestling, savate shoes for savate. Generally practitioners of a mix of martial arts have their shoes pulling double duty to spare the extra expense. (Wearing savate shoes both for wrestling and savate, for example.)

In some blended systems, footwear is left up to the individual practitioner.

The case for shoes:

  • Shoes help avoid calluses from pivoting on bare feet.
  • Shoes help prevent frequent toe jams and mat burn.
  • Shoes will stay in place better than the strap on foot coverings.
  • Wrestling shoes provide better footing for explosive movements (shooting).
  • Your feet will remain cleaner and warmer. If you have a cut or open sore on your foot, shoes are a good idea to prevent infection.
  • If you've sustained any recent injury or have chronic problems with your feet or ankles, shoes may be a smart idea.

The case for bare feet:

  • If you lack control beware of injuring the person you're working with when wearing shoes. You may feel the impact of your kicks on your feet less and thus kick harder.
  • If you're not used to it, wearing shoes may take a while to get used to and your form could suffer until you acclimate.
  • Fitting shoes can be tricky. Like any other athletic shoe, there is more to it than just size.
  • If you become used to shoes and then are suddenly unable to wear them because of class requirements or other reasons, you may sustain some blisters while you get used to bare feet again.

There are a few things that should be taken into consideration if you decide to give up bare feet. Never wear old gym shoes that you use to walk to work or run outside. You'll carry all of the unwanted dirt and bacteria they've picked up onto the mats, this is inconsiderate to those who go barefoot or grapple on the same mats. Avoid wearing running shoes as they have too much traction to be used for martial arts. To avoid unnecessary discomfort, don’t wear a new pair of martial arts shoes during a competition or a lengthy seminar.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

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