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Essential Equipment for MMA

Essential Equipment for MMA MMA is a sport which on the face of it doesn’t require a great deal of equipment. Despite shorts and gloves being the only things seen on fighters competing in the cage, the amount of equipment they use in the gym more than makes up for it. There are several pieces of kit which would be considered essential and I tell my students they go in this order:
  1. Gum shield – preferably a decent quality one such as a shockdoctor or similar but anything is better than nothing. This is relatively inexpensive and can save a whole lot of hurt later on.
  2. Boxing sparring gloves – depending on whether you are striking or grappling orientated will underline the essential nature of a good quality pair of either 12,14 or 16oz gloves (depending on your own size and stature) note that boxing gloves are sized in weight not hand size and often should be bought with wraps too! Avoid using “MMA” branded boxing gloves and plump for brands with a pedigree in boxing or Muay Thai as usually the latter are far better quality.
  3. MMA gloves – personally I prefer competition gloves even for training. Lower the power down to touch contact for striking whilst wearing 4oz gloves (use boxing gloves for proper striking sparring) but they will save injury to hands and allow light striking whilst in the clinch and on the floor. The reverse of what I said regarding boxing gloves is true to MMA with boxing branded MMA gloves often being poor imitations of true MMA brands.
  4. Rashguard – Essential kit for the no gi grappler avoiding fingers and toes getting caught up in tee shirts which can often happen and also avoid constantly ripping cotton tees!
  5. Shinguards – again depending on how much striking you practice but for the kick boxer a set of Thai style shin guards will save much pain and missed training sessions due to misplaced kicks!
  6. Shorts – any old pair of boardies will do really but with the array of MMA fightshorts out there the fashion conscious MMA fighter will usually plump for one of the many famous fight brands now available.
  7. Pair of running shoes – the reason for this should be fairly self explanatory.
The Rest Obviously much of the above depends on exactly how you train and different coaches have different ideas but after the above much will depend on what is a priority. Always safety should be of paramount importance. Bad quality mma equipment can be harmful to both the user and those he trains with especially if they regularly make contact (eg. Gloves) Mats, Thai Pads, focus mitts, kick shields, heavy bags, kettle bells and many other items all certainly have their place but are usually available within the gym and whether individual practitioners chose to buy them will depend on their access to such items/facilities. For a full range of equipment visit

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