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EN 13277 Parts 1–7
Protective Equipment for Martial Arts

Each part of the standard is specific to the type of protector that is being assessed:

In each case the product must fully comply with the requirements of EN 13277-1: 2000 (General requirements) and the individual part of the standard that is relevant to that particular type of protector.

All of these standards assess the protectors for a range of protective properties such as impact qualities as well as taking into consideration the comfort and fit elements of the products.

Impact Test

Assessment of the impact absorbing properties of the protectors. The magnitude of the force transmitted through the full thickness of the protector is recorded during a controlled impact. The lower the transmitted force, the greater the protection afforded. The transmitted force requirement varies between products and the impact energy applied during the test also varies between products.

Comfort & Fit

The standard also includes requirements to assess whether the protectors suit the size of wearer they are claimed to fit. The size of martial arts protectors is based on either the intended height range (in centimetres), the head circumference range (in centimetres), or intended chest girth range of the end user that the protectors are designed to be suitable for, depending on the type of product that is being assessed. All sizing and ergonomics templates and assessors are based on these measurements.

EN 13277 requires the amount of protective coverage offered by the protector to be assessed, an ergonomics assessment to ensure that there is no restriction of movement when worn by the end user, a restraint assessment to ensure that protectors remain in place during use, and an assessment which checks that the product does not contain any rough, hard or sharp edges that may cause discomfort or injury to the wearer or others during normal use. In addition to these assessments, head guards also require assessments of the field of vision and the mass of the finished product to be carried out.


The standard also includes requirements for the labelling or marking and the information which suppliers or manufacturers should provide to wearers of their products to ensure that products are correctly used and users are fully aware of the level of protection that is being offered.

CE Mark & Chemical Testing

In Europe, martial arts protectors need to be CE marked and as part of the EC type examination process, assessment of the chemical properties of the materials used in the end products is also required. These materials are tested in accordance with the additional innocuousness requirements specified in EN ISO 13688: 2013 and include pH value, colour fastness to perspiration, chromium VI, azo colorants, nickel content, and PCPs.