Every year, someone asks me: "Sensei, how much is *insert product here* for my kid for Christmas?" or sometimes, "Can you order me *thing* for a Christmas gift for my kid?"
So this year, I'm ahead of the game: here's a list of the best Karate-themed Christmas gift ideas. You can order them through the dojo, or find them online yourself.
1: A Punching Bag for Home
I have tried multiple kinds of punching bags over the years, from the classic Century Wavemaster to the newest Versys Spar. Here's my recommendation for a small, space-conscious punching bag with just a 16 inch diameter:
Training or practicing at home will always be better with a punching-bag partner. I have one of these bags myself and I just love it. 100% worth the price-tag for those serious about upping their home-dojo game.
The $180 Versys Youth Spar for kids is the best price by far, but it looks like it's only available in the USA right now so if you can pick one up there, go for it.
The Adult-Sized Versys 1 is $424 from Century online and only has a 16 inch diameter, making it very home-friendly.
If you have the space, the classic Wavemaster (which we have in the dojo) is only $282 now
The $199 Century Airstrike from Sportcheck is a bit more price-conscious, but I've never actually tried one myself (but I'd love to, they look very cool)
2: a Gi Worthy of a (future) Black Belt
Did you know there are different weights of Gi? A "Student Weight" gi is the lightweight or middleweight you get when you start karate. It's light but wrinkles easily, and often discolours in the wash to a grey or yellow shade.
Now, a heavyweight...
Everything changes when you discover heavyweight gis. The material snaps when you punch (which makes every technique sound better), it handles sweat better, and makes every student wearing one look more professional and confident. 10/10 recommend. The price is higher, but every serious Karateka needs a heavyweight gi, hands down.
And surprisingly, I also recommend this gi for kids. Now yes, kids do grow, so maybe this is better for older kids, but children look sharper, more serious, and train harder when they're in a good uniform. A heavyweight gi is like rolling up to school in pressed pants and a blazer instead of a rumpled T-shirt and jeans that don't fit.
Recommendations by Price:
For something more cost effective, go with an embroidered middleweight gi:
$65-110 depending on size, with an added $20 for embroidery of the Mon, the Arawaza Middleweight
$100: Arawaza Kata Deluxe which has a long top, and is better for tall people.
$160: Century Brushed Cotton Heavyweight which is shorter, and so better for short people
$200+ my personal favourite and the Gi I wear almost every day: the snappy, ultra-white, moisture-wicking, sharp-looking Arawaza Amber Evoloution,
3. A Belt Display
This one is always popular at Christmastime. Hang up those belts for display on your walls! Here are a few choices:
4. A Dojo T Shirt or Hoodie
We've got endless T-Shirt designs and hoodie designs, by class type (Dragons, Ninjas, Kickboxing, Karate). Show your dojo pride and order an Ogawa Karate T-Shirt or hoodie: Search through Designs Here
5. Sparring Gear
If you don't have gear yet, use this chance to get it now! A whole set (shinpads, headgear, hands and mouthguard) are going to finish between $160 and $180 depending on the pieces you decide on, but this is always a great option for those who love to spar, and this link has all the best options, so take a browse:
If ordering anything Arawaza or Century, contact Sensei for better prices and faster shipping. However, Amazon products can be bought on your own account for better prices! Please allow 3-4 weeks shipping, to be sure everything arrives on time.