In order to practice Muay Thai or Kickboxing safely, there are a number of bits of equipment you should carry in your kit bag. Here is a rundown of the essentials you should purchase in order to practice safely.
1. Boxing Gloves
Pretty obvious really but a fighter should have at least one quality pair of gloves in their gym bag. Ideally, you should have two! A heavy 16 oz pair for sparring, and a lighter 10,12 or 14 oz pair for bag/pad work. Some people also opt for a super-light pair of bag gloves to give them the option of something they can slip on without wrapping up their hands.
2. Shin Guards
When you start training in Muay Thai or Kickboxing it is important you buy shin guards. They will help you to practice without pain when clashing your shins with partners elbows. They also help to protect your training partners from injury too. I recommend researching the right size shin guard for you. There is a massive variety in their sizes and you want to ensure you get the correct fit.
3. Head Gear
These protect your head during training. A head guard should be considered essential equipment for all fighters. They help protect your head from concussions when training. Research the head guard you are looking at buying to make sure you get the correct size for you.
Another absolute essential if you are going to be doing any sparring (no matter how light). A good gum shield does more than just protect your teeth from a punch. When bitten down on they help to fix the jaw in place. This makes you more resistant to jaw injury or knockouts. Good mouth guards also act to cushion the shock to your brain helping to prevent knockouts and concussions. They also save you from incurring costly dentist bills when your teeth get knocked out.
5. Groin Protection
No one likes a shot in the biscuits. With all those low kicks flying around there is a high possibility of taking a shot in the nads or lady parts! I will guarantee you will only let this happen to you once! As soon as you have picked yourself up off the floor you will definitely be purchasing one of these.
6. Hand Wraps
A deceptively simple piece of equipment which is absolutely essential for training in Muay Thai or boxing. They are inexpensive but worth their weight in gold. They are essentially elasticated bandages which you wrap around your hands. One end has a loop to put your thumb through, you then bind your hands up with the bandage, before securing it with the Velcro strap.
Hand wraps protect the wrist and small hand bones from injury by locking them together. A bound fist is essentially locked together by the wraps into a solid single unit. It protects from injury and allows you to hit harder and more comfortably. In addition, boxing gloves are designed to be worn over wrapped hands so you need to be wearing them in order to fill out the glove.
Additional Extra Equipment to Consider
An extremely versatile multi-purpose tool for fighters. You can use tape to keep your wraps tight, stop equipment from sliding around on you, keep equipment shut, and deal with injuries and sprains
8. Knee and Elbow Pads
Clashing knees or elbows when sparring can be extremely painful and seriously hurts. Knee pads can help to eliminate this pain when sparring. Elbow pads help to reduce the likelihood of an elbow strike cutting your opponent.
9. Tiger Balm or Liniment Oil
Very useful for soothing bruises, knocks and injuries. People will smell you coming a mile off but it helps to ease the pain of knocks.
10. Ankle Braces
Protects your feet when kicking. There is very little as painful as kicking an elbow with the top of your foot when training. These help to prevent you injuring yourself when kicking. Well worth investing in a pair.