The Ultimate Guide To MMA Gear - MMA Starter Kit

THIS IS A GUIDE TO HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT WEAPONS FOR YOUR JOURNEY AS AN MMA FIGHTER. PLUS WE'VE ADDED SOME EXTRAS FOR THOSE WARRIORS WHO HAVE BEEN IN TRAINING FOR A WHILE.

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 Most MMA gyms will have their own equipment that you can borrow and although that seems great for your first day as a warrior you will need your own weapons as soon as possible.

There is no telling how old, how clean, or how smelly their equipment is.. but you could ask?!


1. GLOVES

Never forget your fighting gloves.

You will need Boxing Gloves and MMA Gloves. Both are very different styles and it is best to have both since you will be training a variety of martial art techniques. 

  • Boxing gloves are like a big mitten for your hands. The extra padding absorbs shock when striking and is less likely to hurt your training partner.
  • Mixed Martial Art gloves separate your fingers and leave the tips of your fingers exposed. The reason is for better movement when grappling. Here is a picture for reference. I chose these two because they are my personal favorites but there are many brands to choose from. If you click on the picture it will take you to amazon for the best price or bigger selection.  

1.0 Hand Wraps

Why do boxers wear hand wraps? 

Hand wraps are just as important as your boxing gloves. Hand wraps are used to protect your wrist and hands when you punch by compressing the bones and tendons in your hands.

  1. The wraps provide wrist support and keep your knuckles from losing skin.
  2. Another purpose of the wraps is it absorbs the sweat and will help the longevity of your gloves. Wash them often and have a couple on hand.  

These are the same style hand wraps I use. 

Here is a video on:

 How to Wrap Your Hands for Boxing, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai

I do not own the video. One of my favorite youtube channels FightTIPS made this fantastic video on hand wrapping. This is a Thailand Muay Thai method. 


2. Shin Gaurds

Shin guards are an essential piece of equipment even if you are just starting out. Shin guards allow you to preform drills and spar safely. The purpose of shin guards is to GUARD YOUR SHINS.

  • Your shins are sensitive and therefore they need to be protected. Although it is important to condition your shins, choose something your comfortable sparring in. Your partner might also thank you for the extra protection. 
  • A solid kick to the body is like getting hit with a baseball bat. The padding protects your partner from receiving the full impact of the kick. 

My Reccommendations

            Click image to see on amazon

           Click image to see on amazon

Fairtex SP3 Pro Style Shin Guards - Black, Blue, Red

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Hayabusa Leather Kanpeki Elite 3 Striking Shin Guards

If you click on the picture they will take you to amazon for the best price. These two are my personal recommendations but there are different types and styles.

Things To Consider When Buying Shin GUARDS

Get the right size: A perfect fitting shin guard is small enough to stay in place yet big enough to provide full protection of your shins and in-step.

Consider Use: A grappling style shin guard provides slightly less protection but better movement on the ground. A Muay Thai style shin guard provides more protection but less mobility.  

Expert Tip: For intermediate level fighters consider moving towards a shin guard with less padding to condition your shins. 


3. Mouth Guards

Mouth guards provide protection from impacts to the mouth as well as keeping your teeth from grinding. 

There are 3 types of mouth guard.

  1. Stock Mouth Protectors are pre-formed and come ready to wear. Generally little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult. They provide little or no protection. Not recommended
  2. Boil and Bite Mouth Guards offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Typically made from thermoplastic material. How to use: Place mouth guard into boiling water to soften then place into mouth and use tongue or finger pressure to mold. 
  3. Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made by your dentist either in a dental office or in a professional laboratory. Due to the use of the special material, the extra time and the work involved making this custom-made mouth guard it is generally more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection(recommended for professional fighters who compete).
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If your wear braces you may want to consider a mouth guard for your bottom teeth as well to prevent your lip and gums from getting caught in the brackets. You don't want to be like me and learn this lesson the hard way.

 

 

 

Check out my Pro Review on: SISU Mouth Guard (My Review)

4. MMA HeadGear

A great made and properly worn head guard protects your face during sparring sessions by reducing your chances of being cut and bruised, and over time can reduce the cumulative force delivered to your brain.

The Headgear Controversy 

To be perfectly honest I only wear my headgear during sparring sessions right before a fight to prevent my face from being cut. YOU DO NOT WANT A CALLED FIGHT OVER A REOPENED CUT!

Olympic Fighting has terminated the use of headgear because the AIBA (Amateur Boxing Association) has determined that fighters were safer without them. Headgear can do little to prevent a knockout and concussions. A good solid punch can be too much for the foam to absorb and end up doing the opposite of it's purpose. 

BUT..

"The data support the opinion that current AIBA headguards can play an important role in reducing the risk of concussion and superficial injury in boxing competition and training."- British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded. 

Conclusion: A lot of research still needs to go into the perfect headgear but it greatly reduces your chances of being cut so have one on hand for that reason. A good head piece with the best visibility on the market at the moment is Venum Elite Headgear.

  • The face was designed for a perfect protection and an open 180-degree vision.
  • It is 100% Skintex leather for great durability and high fighting performances
  • Also ultra lightweight so you don't lose your head movement mobility. 

5. Jock Strap and compression Cup (Ladies you may skip this section)

Don't be the victim of another kick in the balls.

  • It hurts.
  • It's not fun.
  • Can we compare one of those kicks to giving birth? I mean come on! 

It happens more often then I'd like to admit. Your opponents kick gauge is off or you move at just the "right" moment. Or you simply forget your anniversary. Either way you NEED a jock strap with a compression cup

A Jock Strap supports your "piece" and the Compression Cup protects your groin area in the case that you get kicked in the nuts. 

          Click image to see on Amazon

        Click image to see on Amazon

I have had many jock straps and cups during my 12 years of martial arts and no comparison the Diamond MMA Four Strap Jock Strap has saved my "piece" plenty of times. 

  • Built in cup with a custom fit
  • Military grade!
  •  A co-molded elastomer design coupled with a polycarbonate core provides uncompromising comfort and protection for any warrior in training.

Extra Essential MMA Gear

E.1 Athletic Tape

I recommend reading this epic article all about athletic tap on Bodybuilding.com. The importance of having athletic tape on hand is...

  1. Provides support and reinforces stability for joints or injured parts of the body. 
  2. Creates an artificial layer of skin to prevent your fingers from getting raw when grappling.

Pro Tip

save money by purchasing them in bulk at your nearest athletic store.


Mobility Band / Resistance Band

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They are small and easy to store. Mobility bands are used to provide an opposing force during static stretches.

  • You can also use them as a tool to improve strength by creating a resistances when kicking or punching.
  • Increase strength of stabilizing muscles through a wide range of movement. There will be moments where you need strength in weird positions when grappling and you'll be happy you've been doing your mobility band exercises.

Jump Rope

Some gyms do provide their own jump ropes but I wanted to add this section because this is essential for improving your athleticism and footwork if you want to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!

  • Jumping rope drills can improve agility. endurance, speed, and coordination.
  •  Jumping rope strengthens the muscles in the feet and ankles while also increasing your explosiveness.