This article was written in 2014 please review our latest Muay Thai Shin Guards here
Choosing the best Shin guards for Muay Thai Kickboxing and MMA. Anyone who trains kickboxing for even a short amount of time will very quickly appreciate the value of a decent set of shin guards as clashes between the shin and just about any other boney part of the body tends to be both painful during and after training sessions. For Kickboxing sparring protecting the shins is certainly wise but even when drilling kicks and combinations beginners will suffer more than experienced and mores to the point well balanced practitioners. In this article we look at what features and qualities make the best shin guards for Muay Thai style kickboxing and offer our opinion on what to look for when you are buying. Anatomy of the “Thai” Shin Guard In this article we concentrate on the Muay Thai style shin guard which consists of essentially two areas the main area over the shin and then a smaller area that covers the top of the foot AKA the “In Step”.
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The Shin is the primary weapon for kicking in Thai based kick boxing sports and whilst systems such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do do use other parts of the foot for connection to an opponent it is when two essentially hard areas connect that protection in sports is required. Sparring Styles I mentioned in the video above that sparring styles make a big difference to the shin guard you might need to pick and anyone who watched TUF22 with Conor McGreggors team might have seen a lot of training without any shin guards at all. This was a great example of an expert technical sparring style where shin guard protection was not required as the contact level was kept very light. This is a legitimate and progressive way of training however the issue in the main with it is that the many years most of these fighters have trained prior to this would have been done with protective equipment. Simply put the more contact you have in training and sparring the more protection you are going to require and without it you may well spend more time in recovery than you do in training.
Thai versus MMA For many years people in Mixed Martial Arts would talk about doing their “Thai” training. Quite often this was more of a hybrid style than actual Muay Thai but the principal of a contact based kickboxing system for MMA is fundamental and whether its Muay Thai or not doesn’t change the fact that you really need a good level of shin protection for this style of training so therefore a Muay Thai Shin Guard is absolutely key. The “Sock” Style shin guard mentioned in the video (the example being from Hayabusa) was a hybrid shin guard that tried to create something which could be used in the grappling phase of MMA. The idea was fairly sound but the main problem was the more padding you placed on the shin guard the harder it was to actually use in that phase whilst the lighter the protection the less use it is in kickboxing. Simply put its our opinion that this is neither one thing or another and is best avoided in favour of more solid protection.