It’s always hard to know what gear, snacks, and equipment you need to bring when you go to a karate tournament. Whether this is your first time or it’s just been awhile since you’ve done it, this blog post will give you the survival kit that every competitor needs!

  1. Karate uniform and belt: Of course your competition uniform and belt are essential. If you compete in multiple divisions that require different uniform styles, make sure all are washed and ready to go. Your belt is also important – there is nothing worse than having to borrow a belt from another competitor.
  2. Snacks: Another priority is making sure you have snacks with you for the day! Some tournaments can take hours and it’s important to be able to refuel along the way. Make sure your bag has food high in carbohydrates (like granola bars) and protein (like peanut butter crackers or trail mix).
  3. Equipment/Gear: You’ll also need gear to practice in the holding room too. Bring your hand wraps, foot gear, head gear and gloves for sparring. Most leagues now require elbow pads and some require face shields and chest guards for youth competitors. One frequently forgotten item is mouth guards and groin cups – make sure you have them in your bag before you leave the house.
  4. Water Bottle: If you get thirsty, some events will have water jugs but don’t count on it. Bring a water bottle so that you can stay hydrated throughout the event.
  5. Flip Flops/Sandals: Karate tournaments are fun but they are also full of people who are being, well, people. If you need to use the bathroom or walk around the arena, having flip flops or sandals is essential. Most people compete barefoot so it is important to wear something on your feet when off the mat. The helps keep the mats clean and sanitary for competitors.
  6. Towel: Tournaments are fun but they are also physical activity. Make sure to bring a small towel to wipe your brow.
  7. Emergency Kit: When you are at a martial arts tournament, it is a good idea to have some basics in hand just in case. A kit with band aids, small scissors, ibuprofen and saline solution and extra contacts are all good to pack.
  8. Phone, Head Phones, Charger: Many competitors like to listen to music while warming up. Not having head phones or a charger can ruin your zen time. Make sure you have the equipment in your bag.

A well-packed bag for a martial arts tournament can make all the difference. It’s important to be prepared and bring everything that could come in handy during your competition. We put together this list of what we consider to be must haves when packing for a martial arts tournament and hope it helps. What would you add?