Sparring is an essential part of Muay Thai in any gym. It is an absolutely critical aspect that refines your techniques and skill in a controlled environment. However, in order to ensure the safety of the participants, the right gear and equipment are needed. Don’t know what you need? Listen up!
The first and most important piece of equipment you will need are boxing gloves. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Your best bet is to go with 16oz gloves as they offer the most protection for the wearer and also the partner. Leave the smaller sizes such as 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz, for bag work and pad work. Each brand will have slightly different cuts and styles.
Shin pads are another must-have since shin injuries are very common when sparring without pads. These can be any brand you like, as long as they are comfortable to wear, and are the right size so that they don’t restrict or impede your leg movements. As a general rule of thumb they shouldn’t cover the toes of go above the knees.
Mouth guard – having one is also essential when sparring and costs almost nothing but can save you a trip to the dentist. These can be self mouldable, or even custom-fitted, dentist-made guards. Have in mind that the mouthguard must feel comfortable in your mouth so that it doesn’t distract or restrict your breathing. A well fitted mouth guard should cover your top teeth firmly and not move around during training.
Groin guard – This is highly recommended! Even though your Muay Thai sparring should be technical and controlled, sometimes accident happen. They come in a variety of different styles from jock strap, so compression shorts. Find something that is comfortable for you.
A few other pieces of equipment include head gear, elbow pads, or even knee pads. Each gym is different and it’s important to ask your coach what you need before you start sparring. Sparring should always be technical and controlled. Safety equipment should always be used to look after your training partners and also yourself.