Muay Thai is a phenomenal combat sport, it would be the martial art that I would consider my main discipline of study. A sport that is so simple to learn and so infinitely complex to master, if you’re new and just starting your Muay Thai journey, than this list of equipment will help guide you towards what you need.
Gloves are going to protect your hands from breaking and your opponent from cuts, all gyms will require these for training, most will have loaner pairs that you can borrow, but your own gloves are more hygienic.
A good pair of gloves will set you back anywhere from £40 to £100, some of the bigger brands will price higher than that for special limited edition pairs, but ultimately you just want a good sturdy glove which lasts a long time.
Some solid gloves within this price range at the lower end would be the Venum Impact or the Venum Challenger 3.0 within the 40 to 50 pound range and a pair of Twins Specials or Fairtex gloves for the more expensive range.
The Hayabusa T3 LX series does hold a special place in my heart as I think they look great and are so comfy, they are VERY expensive though.
Shin pads are literally the same as gloves but for your legs, they’re gonna stop the breaks and bumps and protect your bony knobbly shins. Due to the techniques you’ll be doing with your legs, I wouldn’t skimp on these, spend a little bit more money and get a sexy double thicc pair.
Clashing shins HURTS, IT HURTS SO BAD, and while there is a time for shin conditioning, its not in the middle of running drills, get your shin conditioning in on the bag and pads, not when your light sparring and practicing drills.
Venum Challengers are a good pair of shin pads, although I do prefer the HAYABUSA T3 LX SHINGUARDS because they have phenomenal leg coverage, are thicc as hell and also comfortable and also look fucking RAD.
However they do cost 150 quid so maybe not. A pair that are almost as comfortable with almost as much coverage would be the Fairtex Sp5 Shin guards, these pads also come priced middle of the road, at around £70.
Hand wraps are vitally important to keep your hand healthy and unbroken, the wrap condenses the hand to the point that all the smaller bones compress together, meaning that no one part of the hand takes too much strain, because all the little bones have the strength of being secured by the wrap which also allows the hand to disperse the force placed on the hand more evenly.
That being said boxers fractures do still happen with wraps AND gloves, so make sure you also are following proper punching technique and form to mitigate this risk as much as possible.
I personally use Blitz hand wraps, but that’s only because they were the first ones to pop up with multiple colour choices. With wraps, be sure to buy the right length for your hands, as you can buy wraps that are too short, I would ere on the side of caution and buy a pair that are longer than you need.
A gum shield is another great piece of protective equipment, designed to keep all your teeth in your head and to lessen the likelihood of a concussion occurring.
my advice for purchasing a gum shield would be to not skimp on it, you can by a 5 pound piece of rubber that goes around your teeth, but you’ll regret it eventually. Shock Doctors do a good gumshield, my favourite though, is the Venum Challenger gumshield, its the one I still use now and I will continue to use it until it falls apart.
This is something that has recently come into controversy, head guards have been revealed to protect you from cuts, but are more likely to give you a concussion, due to the bigger target your head becomes when you wear one.
Most gyms will still insist on wearing one during sparring due to insurance reasons so you should still get one, just in case your gym does require one, you could always ask, but I imagine they’d tell you to wear one.
Personally I hate wearing one, but due to work its important I don’t get black eyes or cuts, so I have to wear one. The Venum Elite headguard is cool looking which if I’m honest, is all I go on when looking to get a head guard, if I do buy a new one it will probably be one of those, currently however I use a Ringhorns Nitro, but that’s just because it was the first one I could find with a cross bar, because I thought it would be more protective, but really it just looks goofy.
Ankle supports are similar to hand wraps, they keep everything tight and compressed and make injury less likely.
I do also tend to find that when I have ankle wraps on, I have a bit more spring in my step and that I feel lighter on my feet, I have no idea why though. I use AQF ones, they seem fine and get the job done, there not a lot style wise to any of the ankle supports though, as they’re like half a sock, they’re the vests of socks.
Shorts are kind of a necessity for Muay Thai and Kickboxing in general, a lot of the time your shin pads are not going to stretch enough over a pair of jogging bottoms, if they do, theyre going to slide around a lot as most shin guards require a bit of friction to stay snugly in place, which is less likely to happen on a pair of jogging bottoms unless your wearing like hairy wool joggers like some kind of mountain dwelling freak.
Luckily shorts are inexpensive, you can spend a bit more on the high waisted ‘official’ shorts, which are nice and normally come with some kind of scary looking animal on them, like a tiger or a dragon or something. Normal shorts will work as well though even if they aren’t as heart stoppingly cool.
A towel is pretty self explanatory, but for an martial art like Muay Thai you will sweat a lot and a towel stops your sweat from getting on you training partner, something that they will no doubt appreciate. As Douglas Adams once said ‘ A towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.’
A Gym bag
A gym bag is the perfect place for you to store all your equipment, as you can throw it all in the bag and then put it in the car or your bedroom and you wont be stuck running around trying to collect all your stuff, it will be right where you need it, in your handy dandy gym bag. Just make sure you get a big one.
Thus ends the list of what things you need to knee people in the stomach recreationally, hopefully you find the list useful and it helps you on your martial arts journey. Remember to stay civilized and I’ll see you again next time