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As an avid practitioner of any sports, having all the right equipment is very important. Especially if you are into combat sports like Muay Thai, it’s even more important.
Muay Thai is a sport that requires a lot of gear and training equipment. Whether you have just started Muay Thai classes, or you have been going for a while, you need to make sure that you have all the right equipment for the sport.
From Muay Thai gloves to mouthpieces, and shin pads, there is a lot involved in the sports gear list.
1. Muay Thai History
Muay Thai is a cultural martial art sport of Thailand. The origin of the game dates back hundreds of years and was created as a form of close-combat that used the whole body as a weapon, including knees and elbows.
Muay Thai has become a global sport and is also known as “the art of eight limbs”. It is often included in the training practices of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters and kickboxers.
As Muay Thai is based around using bones and hard joints mainly to defeat opponents, it's very important to have the right protection to ensure your safety from any injury.
2. Must-Have Muay Thai Training Equipment
Although the level of training you take determines the equipment you need, most of the equipment is an absolute necessity. Here is a comprehensive guide on all the equipment you will need to begin your training.
2.1. Muay Thai Boxing Gloves
A pair of gloves is an utmost necessity for any combat sport like Muay Thai. The gloves are the foremost protection gear that not just protects your hands from getting hurt, but also your opponent or sparring partner from getting injured.
Though the boxing gloves for Muay Thai are slightly different from regular boxing gloves. However, both can do the work if you are a beginner. Whereas, for an advanced Muay Thai game, you need to invest in high-quality Muay Thai boxing gloves.
Remember not to settle on any low-quality boxing gloves, as they might cause more harm to your hands. Also, these low-quality gloves will tear early and you will have to buy more eventually.
So, it’s better to invest a bit extra for the first time on high-quality gloves and save yourself and your pocket from buying again and again.
2.2. Inner Gloves/Hand Wraps
Hand wraps or inner gloves are as important as having a boxing glove. Every punch you throw at your opponent creates sudden pressure on 27 small bones of your hand and it just takes one bad punch to easily damage something. Hence, there is a risk of getting hurt.
Hand wraps are the fabric rolls wrapped around the hand to create a shockproof protection layer. They protect your hand by lessening the impact of your punches in a way boxing gloves can’t. Therefore, to avoid this, fighters use hand wraps to make sure that there is no accidental movement in the hand or wrist.
Besides protecting your fingers and hand, these hand wraps also reduce the amount of moisture in your gloves that can cause unsavory odors. Moreover, they absorb most of the sweat from your hands while you train.
2.3. Muay Thai Shorts
Since knees and kicks are a large part of Muay Thai training, you would need something special to wear around your waist.Muay Thai shorts are designed especially for such sport giving you the flexibility to move in all directions.
Traditionally, Muay Thai shorts are mostly made of Satin, so they can be worn for longer durations. However, if you are looking for more modern options, you can wear MMA style or Valo Tudo style shorts as well.
2.4. Shin Guards
Shin guards work the same for kicks, as boxing gloves do for punches. They are a thick padded layer covering the shin and instep and are used for practicing kicks really hard. Most of the gyms don’t allow you to spar without a shin guard. This makes it even more essential equipment.
These guards are available in a couple of styles including ‘striking’ style shin guard and ‘grappling’ shin guards. However, trainers recommend striking style shin guards for training, as they are stronger than others and offer more protection.
2.5. Mouth Guard
The human body is good at healing itself when injured, but one thing that cannot be healed is teeth. This is why it’s even more important to protect your teeth than any other body part. Although mouthguards don't protect against concussions or knockouts, they are beneficial in absorbing the shock to your mouth caused by punches, protecting the teeth from impacts.
At the professional level, most fighters get their custom-fit mouthpieces which are quite expensive. However, for amateurs, fighters can go for boil-and-bite mouth guards. Many mouth guards come with different added features like a gum shield, breathable holes, and being double-shielded for both upper and lower jaw protection.
2.6. Head Gear
Headgear is not so commonly used in Muay Thai, as this game is lighter and playful as compared to boxing. The sparring in Muay Thai is more all-rounded and focuses more on techniques rather than hard strikes.
Although, if you are using sparring techniques that require hitting in the head, you should invest in high-quality headgear.
2.7. Groin Guard
Groin guards are mainly used by men athletes. Being the most sensitive part, the groin is at high risk of damage during the training. Therefore, it is very crucial to keep everything protected.
You cannot deny the fact that a stronger strike on the groin can render the toughest of men useless. There are a lot of styles available for the groin guard, but fighters mostly prefer a steel cup that is tied in place with laces or straps.
2.8. Elbow/Knee Pads
Elbow or knee pads are usually used at the beginner level of training. It is because using elbows and knees at the initial level is quite dangerous and can cause serious damage to these hard bones.
If you are more into using elbows and knees during sparring, it is better to use protection for your bones. The padded layer inside these pads reduces the impact of the hit on your knee or elbow.
2.9. Breathable Muay Thai Rash Guards:
Although you can wear any regular t-shirt for Thai boxing, knowing the fact that Muay Thai is an intense workout, and you will sweat a lot, it's better to go for a special breathableMuay Thai rash guard.
Breathable rash guards are designed to wick away all the sweat and allow you to move flexibly. Moreover, they are more popular among MMA fighters and are also a great choice for Muay Thai. They are skin-tight tees and are less likely to get in the way or get caught when an opponent kicks you.
By now, you might have got a complete picture of what Muay Thai training equipment you need to invest in. However, it is advised to never compromise on quality as they are meant to be used for your protection.