Important Kickboxing Gear To Get You Started
To participate in sparring, wrestling or doing self-defence classes, you absolutely need to get a jaw protector. It is important to wear a jaw protector before a martial arts class begins, even if you are not going to be sparring. Try to get a jaw protector that will allow you to speak during class if you need to ask questions.
Sparring gloves have the most amount of cushioning and shock resistance to protect both you and your sparring partner from injury. You only need to wear your sparring gloves when you are learning punching techniques with a partner. If you do not have gloves designed for pad or bag punching, you can use your sparring gloves for pad and bag work. Your sparring gloves should be open at the palms and fingers, only covering your knuckles and back of your hand. Do not wear boxing gloves that cover the entire hand because they do not have much padding and get sweaty and stinky after a while.
BAG AND PAD PUNCHING GLOVES/STRAPS
I think it is best not to use sparring gloves for bag and pad work, especially if you want to train for power. Sparring gloves are designed not to have much impact. They tend to be very rounded at the point of impact, and as such they tend to move or wobbling as you hit the bag. You could injure your wrists if you punch too hard since wrist will move because of the rounded gloves.
For best results, when learning punching techniques and demonstrations on focus pads and punching bags, you should use gloves that have minimal padding and some shock absorption. Get the gloves that MMA fighters usually wear. These gloves should only cover your knuckles and maybe your palms. They should be easy to put on and take off between bag workouts.
TOURNAMENT OR COMPETITION GLOVES
You only need these gloves if you are going to do grading and actual fights. You could use gloves from your club, but I advise against it. These gloves cover your entire hand and get very sweaty, stinky, and nasty. I doubt there is a way to clean them. There is definitely no way to clean them if you have to use them right after someone else has used them. I know the feeling all too well. It is not fun putting your hands into damp soiled gloves right before your fight. I had to fight in gloves that didn’t fit like a glove and that felt so uncomfortable and prevented me from holding a proper fist, causing me to hurt my hand.
If you plan to participate in kickboxing, Muay Thai or boxing tournaments, come prepared with your own gloves. You will feel so much better knowing that you are wearing a clean pair of gloves that fit your hands.
Shin pads are not essential. However, they protect both you and your sparring partner or opponent from pain. I personally prefer not to wear shin pads for sparring to help condition my shins and get pain tolerance.
In a fight, no pain equals no gain. The whole point of fighting is to inflict as much pain onto your opponent as possible to weaken and tire them. So, do not wear shin pads during a full contact competition if the rules do not require it. By protecting your feet and legs, the shin pads also prevent you from inflicting enough pain on your opponent.
Pack a pair of shin pads in your gym bag, to give you the option to use them.
If you do not plan to wear shin pads, wear bands for your feet to absorb the sweat. Feet bands will keep your feet from getting sweaty and slippery.
Unless you are doing Kung Ku or boxing only, do not wear shoes, sneakers or socks to martial arts classes. Always be barefoot. I have tried kicking with training sneakers. It did not work. I was off balance and could not twist my ankles or arch my feet to do kicks correctly. Rather leave your sneakers at home and come to the dojo in flops.