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How To
How To

Century's goal is to provide our customers with the finest martial art equipment and the resources to help you get the most out of your martial art training.

This section provides resources to novice martial artists who desire more general information on the arts

 
Uniforms:
 
Weapons:
 
Train:
 
 » Choose a Traditional Uniform
» Choose a Tae Kwon Do Uniform
» Choose a Judo Uniform
» Choose a Kendo Uniform
» Choose a Kung Fu Uniform
» Choose a Tai Chi Uniform
» Choose a Team Uniform
 » Choose a Bo
» Choose a Sword
» Choose a Nunchuka
» Choose a Sai
» Choose a Kama
» Choose an Escrima
» Choose a Tonfa
 » Train with Herman
» Choose a Training Bag
» Choose a Training Mat
» How to Stretch
 
       

» Choose a Traditional Uniform

Lightweight – Ranging anywhere from 4 oz. to 7 oz., this uniform is an ideal weight for a beginning student. Lighter weight uniforms are more accommodating for learning techniques because they make it easy for younger and beginner students to move.

Middleweight – This weight of fabric can range from 7 oz. to 10 oz. This uniform is a little heavier than the lightweight to provide added durability as training becomes more intense.

Heavyweight – A heavyweight fabric is usually around a 12 oz. weight. Higher level students often prefer to wear heavier uniforms which are made of heavy drill cotton or canvas. These uniforms last longer and stand up to intense workouts. Students will get more of a “snap” sound when punching and kicking with this heavier weighted fabric.

 

» Choose a Taekwondo Uniform

These uniforms have a pullover V-neck top and the pants tend to be slightly baggier than Karate pants. This allows for greater flexibility and range of motion for the fast high kicks that are performed in this sport. The Taekwondo uniforms are also available with textured fabrics such as a “Dobby” or “Ribbed” cotton/polyester blend. The new “Poome” uniform is a Taekwondo student uniform, which is used as a ranking system instead of the traditional belt system until the age of fifteen.

 

» Choose a Judo Uniform

These uniforms have a pullover V-neck top and the pants tend to be slightly baggier than Karate pants. This allows for greater flexibility and range of motion for the fast high kicks that are performed in this sport. The Taekwondo uniforms are also available with textured fabrics such as a “Dobby” or “Ribbed” cotton/polyester blend. The new “Poome” uniform is a Taekwondo student uniform, which is used as a ranking system instead of the traditional belt system until the age of fifteen.

 

» Choose a Kendo Uniform

This uniform is made up of a traditional Kemijoki, which is 100% cotton with ¾ sleeves for easy movement to accommodate sword handling. The Yakama pants were historically worn by the Samurai to hide leg movement and give the illusion of floating.

Kendo Amour is made up of five pieces:

  • Men – Head guard
  • Tare – Heavy quilted waistband with hip and groin protection
  • Do – Solid Chest protector
  • Kite – Padded fencing gloves

 

» Choose a Kung Fu Uniform

Kung Fu uniforms are made of a classic long sleeve, frog button traditional-style jacket paired with a ribbed or open ankle pant. These uniforms are lightweight and “airy” to allow for the many fluid movements that characterize this style of martial arts. A Kung Fu student would wear a thick sash instead of the traditional belt. This protects your abdomen and lower back.

 

» Choose a Tai Chi Uniform

The Tai Chi uniform is made to accommodate the moving form of yoga and meditation. Because the movements are performed slowly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them, the uniform is designed with lightweight material. It has a traditional Chinese art style with the frog button closures and 100% polyester material.

 

» Choose a Team/Demonstration Uniform

Team uniforms are typically designed for a consistent team look during performances and competitions. These uniforms often include easy-to-wear V-neck pullovers and styles that accommodate a variety of martial art techniques. They are also available in traditional styles. A variety of striping and “spliced” color accents are often chosen for a more appealing and unique look.

Demonstration uniform fabric is usually constructed from an exclusive stretch canvas with a subtle stretch. These uniforms are often the choice for martial artists specializing in tricks and intense performance moves. Some demonstration uniforms are available as a classic uniform and also in trick shorts.

 

» Choose a Bo

For Demonstration : The goal is for the bo to be as light as possible, allowing greater speed and control. Depending on the demonstration, eye-catching features such as color and chrome will help you dazzle your audience.

For Combat Training: Accidental combat during bo training and unintentional hard strikes can result in serious injuries. Softer woods such as white wax and rattan are preferred over the hardwoods for martial artists in training. For Strength and Speed Training: Training with a heavier bo helps increase your strength and stamina, giving you an edge during combat or competition. The hardwood bos and staffs are excellent choices for this type of training.

Bo - How to Size: Most bo practitioners choose a bo that is a few inches longer or shorter than their own height. A longer bo extends your reach, while a shorter bo is easier to manage. You should be able to make a solid fist while gripping the bo at its widest point. Pay particular attention to tapered versus straight bos and consider strength when choosing weight and size. Last, but not least, make sure to choose a bo that you can easily grip.

 

» Choose a Sword

Sword sizing varies depending on the type and usage of the sword.

The three major lengths for a Samurai Sword are as follows:

  • Tanto - Short sword or dagger, usually 16-20 inches
  • Wakizashi - Medium sword, usually two feet or more in length
  • Katana - Long sword, usually four to five feet in length

 

» Choose a Nunchuka

Nunchaku attached with cords will not rotate as fast as those attached with ball bearing chains. Corded chuks are also more prone to wear and tear, but weigh less. Most beginners choose the corded corded variety, then move to ball bearing when they become more acclimated to the weapon.

For Beginners: Padded styles are often preferred for the beginner. Padding reduces the force of many impacts and is also easier to grip. These chuks are also lighter weight.

For muscle conditioning and speed development: Increase speed and muscle development by using a heavier hardwood chuk. The extra weight builds muscles, and increases speed and ease of motion when moving to a lighter nunchaku for demonstrations.

For Demonstrations: For demonstrations, a lighter weight and faster ball bearing attachment nunchaku is preferred. Demonstration nunchaku are generally made with plastics, acrylic, or extremely lightweight wood such as rattan or white wax.

Nunchaku- How to Size: The most common lengths for adults are the 12” and 14” and the most common diameter is 1”. Younger practitioners usually prefer the 8” and 10”.

 

» Choose a Sai

For Demonstration: Lighter sais are preferred for demonstration. Some martial artists choose sais with reflective materials to add flash to their performance. The aluminum sai is lightweight and the preferred choice for demonstrations. The hexagonal shape reflects more light, making a sai demonstration more impressive.

For strength and speed development: To develop muscle strength and increase speed, use a sai made from a heavier material, such as chrome. This will increase strength in your arms and wrists. Then, when switching to a lighter sai for demonstrations or sparring, you will naturally move faster.

Sai-How to Size: Hold the handle in the hand with the blade extending backward along the forearm toward the elbow. The blade should extend one inch past your elbow so that the sai may fully protect the forearm.

 

» Choose a Kama

For Demonstration: Lightweight Kamas with shorter handles are preferred. Often, blades for competition are vented with large circular holes to further reduce weight and increase the speed of the Kama. Handles are also planed, or shaved down slightly in the direction of the blade and like tapering; increases the aerodynamic efficiency of the weapon, making it cut through the air more quickly.

For Training: Most students begin their training with non-metal bladed kamas for safety and to become familiar with the weapon. Wooden, plastic or padded blades are good choices for the beginner.

For Strength and speed development: Heavier, wooden kama with metal blades are used to develop strength. The heavier materials will work and develop the muscles, along with making the transition to lighter demonstration style Kamas easy and natural.

Kama -How to Size: The most common lengths for adult range from 14-18”. Younger practitioners usually prefer a length of 8-12”.

 

» Choose an Escrima

For Demonstration: Lighter weight sticks are preferred for demonstration. Some martial artists choose sticks with designs or reflective materials that add flash to their performance.

For Combat practice: Padded Escrima sticks are generally used for combat practice. The foam padding protects both the user and his/her sparring partner from harmful impacts during intensive training.

For strength and speed development: To develop muscle strength and increase speed, use an Escrima stick made from a heavier wood, such as hickory. This increases your strength and acclimates you to heavier sticks. Then you will be able to easily switch to a lighter stick for demonstrations or sparring and you will naturally move faster.

Escrima-How to Size: The standard length size is 26” to 28.” There are so many different varieties of martial arts using Escrima sticks, it is wise to ask your instructor exactly what length he considers appropriate for his class.

 

» Choose a Tonfa

For Demonstration: A light, smooth and round Tonfa is most often preferred for demonstration. You may also want to consider a tapered end. All of these features will contribute to faster rotational velocities and smoother turns.

For combat practice: In combat practice situations, thicker squared off Tonfa with tapered ends are used. The square edges help in blocking and deflecting while the tapered edge will reduce the chance of hitting your wrists while spinning the Tonfa.

For strength and speed development: Heavier wood and bulkier square designs are preferred in training to increase strength, stamina and speed.

Tonfa-How to Size: In general, your tonfa should not extend more than one inch past your elbow when gripped. For correct sizing, measure from the tip of the extended index finger to the end of the bent elbow, then subtract ½ inch.

 

» Train with Herman

Herman is a Digital Interactive Training Partner. It is designed specifically for martial artists and provides objective measurements of power, speed, and technique through digital feedback. The Power Sensor can attach to almost any Century target, bag or shield to instantly create an interactive training partner. The HDT measures and records the impact of a pre-selected number of hits, or number of strikes over a specific time interval, and calculates the maximum power, the average power, and the total score for each technique. The user interface buttons and large LCD screen makes it easy to set up your workouts and view the results of your training. The digital feedback provides motivation for continual improvement and is beneficial to any level of martial artist. The system is ideal for monitoring progress in classroom settings, private lessons and in home training. Simple attach the sensor to your favorite target and you are ready for action.

 

» Choose a Training Bag

Heavy bags are an essential part of martial arts training used to develop strong striking and kicking skills. Continually practicing on bags will strengthen your abilities and refine your techniques.

Heavy Bags
There are several weights and types of training bags Heavy Bags These bags are usually constructed of vinyl, leather or canvas and filled with foam, water or sand. They can weigh anywhere from 50 to 150 lbs and measure 3 to 7 feet in length. Heavy bags are usually suspended from metal supports in the ceiling, but may be freestanding.

Light Bags
Light bags are usually constructed of the same material as the heavy bags but are lighter in weight. They weigh anywhere from 5 to 50 lbs and measure 18 to 36 inches in length and are usually positioned at head level. These bags are typically used for punches but can also be used for high stationary kicks and jump kicks.

Speed Bags
Constructed of leather or vinyl, these small pear-shaped bags contain an air-filled middle. They are suspended by a swivel mount with a base that attaches to the ceiling. Speed bags are used by martial artists to develop speed and timing, and improve their reflexes.

Wavemaster® - The Wavemaster® by Century revolutionized the training bag industry when it was introduced in 1995. Expanding to more than 15 companion products, the patented Wavemaster® training bags have become a staple in martial art schools around the world, and remain the bag of choice for fitness centers and home training.

 

» Choose a Training Mat

Puzzle mats can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your school or home. Made of vinyl acetate foam, the mats have interlocking sides for easy set up and take apart. Some styles are reversible for even more versatility and can flipped over a section once your floor has been covered without having to reverse your entire floor. Simply use the following formula to determine how many mats you need to order. Total Square Feet ÷ 11.09 = Number of squares needed.

 

» How to Stretch

Importance of stretching in Martial Arts

Regular stretching performed properly can minimize your risk of injury, reduce muschle soreness and improve your overall performance. Stretching is a great way to relieve a tired body, mind and spirit.

Ways to Increase Flexibility

• Stretch before and after a workout or class.
• To improve flexibility when stretching hold a stretch for a minimum of 60 seconds
• Avoid bouncing or forcing yourself into a stretch, this can lead to injury.
• Work slowly to achieve small, gradual improvements in your flexibility.
• Breathe naturally. Holding your breath as you stretch will tighten your muscles instead of relaxing them.
• Stretch all muscle groups equally
• Maintain proper form, learn how to perform each stretching movement correctly.
• Listen to your body, if you are overly fatigued you may want to limit your range of motion.
• Consistency is the key. Stretch regularly to maintain or increase your flexibility.
• Never force a stretch, work at your own pace.

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