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EQUIPMENT

Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon.Today its definitive origins are debated by modern scholars, as much of the muay thai history was lost when the Burmese ransacked Ayudhaya, Siam’s capital city in Thailand, during the 14th century.Most written muya thai history was lost when the Burmese looted the temples and depositories of knowledge held in Ayudhaya, and what volumes were saved are now national treasures that are preserved and protected as documentation for Thai culture and heritage.

Muay Thai is referred to as “The Art of Eight Limbs”; and using eight points of contact the body mimics weapons of war. The hands become the sword and dagger; the shins and forearms were hardened in training to act as armor against blows, and the elbow to fell opponents like a heavy mace or hammer; the legs and knees became the axe and staff. The body operated as one unit. The knees and elbows constantly searching and testing for an opening while grappling and trying to spin an enemy to the ground for the kill.

All newcomers are welcomed to Muay Thai, no matter the challenges, personal qualities and traditions the sport demands. Instruction often begins with basic techniques in addition to routine warm-up, weight training and strengthening exercises. Working on the bag and pads are also forthcoming. It won’t be easy. You will be challenged to the n’th degree. Sparring will also come, soon enough. All newcomers will also need a certain amount of equipment. In fact, a lot of equipment is toted by each individual who trains. Given the rough and brutal nature of the sport, much equipment is needed for your protection and your opponent’s. This is true for the newcomer and those experienced in Muay Thai.

The 16 ounce glove is excellent for the Muay Thai sport overall, and that includes sparring, pad work and drilling. The extra padding in this sized glove will meet the tough and aggressive sparring and physical demands required. The best way to choose a glove is to try it on and determine its fit and how it feels against the bag. The fingertips shouldn’t feel pressure. If there is, it is not a good fit. When clenching the fist, a good grip should be apparent without having to force or feel pressure. Both leather and synthetic gloves are good, though the synthetic materials may case more sweating. Fairtex makes a great, high quality 16 once boxing glove. This brand is incredibly durable and it looks good too. There are cheaper gloves out there but it is recommended that if you can, purchase quality gloves.

Protect yourself and that includes your head. Getting smacked down without the proper headgear can end your Muay Thai career earlier than necessary, and it is a short enough career as is. Over time, the head incursions build-up so your headgear is very important. Once again, when selecting headgear, decide what is comfortable and fits well for you. Padding and fit is what will save your head and your brain in the long run. The chin strap should not be loose. Likewise decide if a slipper lining is for you. If it slips around, it will distract you and be a problem. It can also obscure your vision if it slide into our face. Fairtex Super Sparring Headgear is highly rated, especially for Muay Thai. 

Shinguards should always be worn when sparring.Even the pros where them when they spar. There are primarily 2 types of shinguards: the traditional Muay Thai version are leather and contain significant padding on the foot and center of the shin. Protection is afforded with a kick, shin or elbow. Shinguards with straps are also recommended and most in Muay Thai training opt for this feature; The second type is more like a sock that you feed your foot into. There is less padding and they are made of cotton. These are not preferred for Muay Thai. Meister EDGE Leather Instep Shin Guards with Gel Padding is an affordable option that offers good protection for your shins.

Other equipment needs not fully covered here include focus mitts, the Thai kicking pad and the kicking shield. Muay Thai a is heavy-duty kicking sport, making the kicking pad vital for training with kicks, combinations, throwing knees and upper cuts. The best pads are those that absorb a lot of power. Proper care in holding the pad for others is of equal importance, and although trainees may not relish the activity, it is important to learn correctly. It is also respectful of others to do so. Fairtex makes great pads.