If you’ve ever been to a muay Thai gym, you may have wondered why everyone has such huge gym bags with them. Unfortunately, it’s because you need a lot of gear to be able to safely practice muay Thai. So today, I will expose the long list of mysteries that lurk inside a fighter’s massive gear bag, starting with the six basics:
1. Boxing Gloves
Preferably two pairs of gloves, actually. Generally, you will have one ten-ounce pair for bag and pad work, while also having a sixteen-ounce pair for sparring and drilling purposes. Personally, I would stay away from gloves that are made by Everlast or have the letters “UFC” written on them. Just my two cents for any of you would-be buyers.
2. Shin Guards
If practicing muay Thai is important to you buy shin guards. Not only will they benefit your practice, but they protect your training partners as well. Shin guards come in many shapes and sizes, so I highly recommend you try them on before purchasing.
3. Head Gear
Protect your dome. Spending money is never fun, but concussions are much worse. Head gear is another vital piece of equipment for advanced and beginner students alike. Check out my article reviewing various models of head gear if you don’t know which one will suit you.
4. Groin Protection
I feel this needs no explanation as to why any man would want this.
5. Mouth Guard
Possibly the cheapest piece of equipment you can buy for combat sports. Dentist bills are quite atrocious for repairing broken teeth, so do yourself a huge favor and always have your mouth guard in your bag.
6. Hand Wraps
You can never own to many hand wraps. I personally own about fifty pair. Carry a couple in your bag at all times, you never know when you might need an extra pair.
So there you have the six basic, but essential items you need in your gear bag. The following items are additional gear generally carried by the seasoned veterans of the sport that can make a great difference for you when the need arises.
7. Knee and Elbow Pads
If you’ve ever clashed knees when sparring you will understand the importance of knee pads. If this hasn’t happened to you, then you only need to know that it hurts like hell. Elbow pads are also important for sparring as they (mostly) prevent your strikes from cutting your opponent.
8. Athletic Tape
Good tape is worth its weight in gold to fighters and coaches alike. Whether you need to wrap your fighter’s hands, prevent your shin guards from sliding, tape your gloves shut, or tape up a sprained digit, athletic tape is a must-have.
9. Ankle Braces
A fantastic addition to your bag for any student, ankle braces help protect the feet from the great amounts of force created by kicking. Trust me – when you kick an elbow with your instep, you’ll wish you were wearing one.
10. Namaan Muay
This is a muay Thai students secret weapon. This muscle liniment is fantastic for dealing with the aches and pains associated with contact sports. Apply some before training to wherever you’re sore and you’ll be right as rain in no time. Be careful though, the caps on these bottles are super sketchy and fall off for virtually no reason whatsoever. Make sure you keep you namman muay in a sturdy Ziploc bag.
Photos 1&2 courtesy of Shutterstock.