Martial arts originated in East Asia more than 2,000 years ago and have since grown to about 200 individual types practiced by about 100 million people worldwide. The Web will help you learn about the different martial arts so you can choose which one suits you best; it will assist you in finding instruction in the martial art you choose; it will provide you with forums and community Web sites so you can share your zeal with others on martial arts techniques and movies; and it can be a place to buy the equipment and apparel you need.
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The fact that there are so many different martial arts from an array of countries and cultures means you need unique equipment and apparel. Judo asks for Judo Gis; Kendo necessitates a Bokken, and Jeet Kun Do might even require boxing gloves. Or perhaps you have always desired that sword from Lord of the Rings. Whether practical or collectible, the Internet can help you uncover the martial arts items of your choice.
- If you’re in a class, be sure to ask your instructor what you need before you buy any equipment or apparel online. The school or instructor may even supply the necessary uniforms and other products for you.
- Because there aren’t many sites that deal specifically with martial arts memorabilia, popular auction sites like eBay may be a good option to consider.
- The online versions of your favorite stores often stock a significantly larger selection of goods than their physical counterparts. Since many offer options for free shipping, shopping for sports equipment on the Web can be both time- and cost-efficient.
- For information on general sporting goods stores that sell equipment and apparel for multiple sports, and for guidelines on buying memorabilia online, look to our findingDulcinea Sports Web Guide.
For equipment and apparel …
was voted BizRate's top martial arts retailer. Find uniforms, sparring and training gear, weapons, and more for various types of martial arts. Visit the “Gift Ideas” section if you’re not quite sure what your martial arts–loving friend would want. Ground shipping costs $2.95 for all orders.
Century Martial Arts
offers a large supply of martial arts equipment and apparel. Its vast selection can be searched by product type, brand, style, or best sellers, and there is a good-sized clearance section. Visit Century Custom to customize uniforms, patches, and other equipment with your school’s name or logo.
is headquartered in California but ships throughout the world. The site is fairly easy to navigate with products arranged by type of martial art and more generally by activity (“Sparring,” for example). e-bogu.com sponsors a number of martial arts tournaments and features photos from recent tournaments on its “About Us” page.
Bu Jin Design
offers equipment and apparel for aikido, kendo, iaido, karate, and kung fu on this simple, easy-to-use Web site. Bu Jin is known for its high-quality hakama, which can be customized to suit your tastes and body type.
Asian World of Martial Arts, Inc.
(AWMA) offers a wide selection of equipment and apparel for many kinds of martial arts. Use the tabs at the top of the page to browse the selection, and the left-hand menu to learn more about martial arts and the Philadelphia-based company.
has a large supply of inexpensive martial arts gear. In addition to the standard products, there are some more unusual items to choose from on this site, such as a collection of Chinese-crafted lion and dragon heads.
For books and DVDs …
is a publishing company that sells countless martial arts–related books and DVDs. As an added bonus, the site offers a taste of their products: take a look at the “Training Tips” page for excerpts from their books and DVDs with links to purchase.
The Martial Arts Library
contains books, DVDs, and more about martial arts. Search by “DVDs,” “Martial Arts,” or “Martial Arts (kids)” using the left sidebar.
For memorabilia and collectibles …
PearTree Martial Arts Supply
provides martial arts memorabilia, such as replica movie knives and swords. Take a look at the currently “Most popular” section for pieces like the Serenity Operative Assassin Sword from the series “Firefly” and the film “Serenity.”
devotes a section of its hard-to-navigate site to martial arts collectibles. Look for general martial arts merchandise and equipment, samurai swords, novelties, and more.
The Martial Mall
is a specialized shopping portal that connects you to various sites that sell martial arts memorabilia and collectibles. Look for everything from ninja swords to martial arts greeting cards and calendars.
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