Martial Mats, Gloves, Training Aids


MMA isn't a sport for the faint-hearted. It's a sport that is dominated by tough guys. These fighters train hard, they put in hours at the gym and mixing it up in the ring. All of today's top UFC fighters started off somewhere; either on the wrestling mats as high school wrestlers, or in the dojo earning their Black Belts, or in the squared circle sparring and practicing their boxing skills. No matter the fighting discipline that MMA fighters start with, the right gear is a necessity for those who train to fight in MMA competitively.

While fighters might differ on their preferred brands of gear, there are some items that are indispensable to MMA fighters. So grab your gear bag (which is an essential item, you gotta have something to carry your stuff in) and let's take a look at the must-have gear for MMA fighters.

Injury Prevention a Priority

The first concern in stocking up on gear has to be injury prevention. Of course, you know that it is impossible to get involved with Mixed Martial Arts fighting and avoid injuries 100%. The fact is that if you are training for any sport injuries are going to happen. Our aim is to avoid as much injury as we can during our training. There is nothing worse than to have a scheduled fight get canceled due to an injury sustained during training.

With injury prevention in mind, the first item we are going to be concerned with are hand wraps. You have to tape up your hands tight if you are going to be sparring or doing bag work. One of the biggest injuries that can slow down a promising MMA career is an injury to the hands. You have to protect your hands. So stock up with a few pairs of decent hand wraps and a few rolls of tape. You're going to need it.

Gotta Have Gloves

Since we are on the subject of hand protection, we should mention everyone's favorite piece of fighting gear – MMA gloves. Assuming that you do not yet have any UFC fights scheduled, we are going to concentrate on Amateur Gloves. The typical amateur MMA glove weighs 7 ounces. Don't break the bank buying the most expensive gloves, but don't get a cheap pair of $10.00 gloves and think that they are going to give your the durability or protection that you will need. I have sold MMA supplies for years and have sold more pairs of gloves from Combat Sports than from any other company. They make a good MMA Glove for a reasonable price. All the fighters that I have talked to say that they are good gloves for practice, or for competition.

Since you are thinking about becoming an MMA fighter, you'll want to get a nice pair of fighter shorts to wear. If for no other reason than to look the part, a pair of MMA shorts will do the trick. Everyone that is familiar with the UFC, or MMA in general, knows that Tapout is the most popular brand of fighter clothing. They make cool shirts and their MMA fighter shorts are the best in the industry. They can get pricey, but they are worth it. Whatever style you choose, you can't go wrong with Tapout fighter shorts.

The Little Details Matter

You'll want to have all of the miscellaneous protective gear other than gloves and tape. Pick up a few mouth protectors, these are going to be necessary in your MMA training. It never hurts (or at least makes things hurt less) to also have a few Ace bandages and some cold/hot compress packs in your gear bag. You never know when you are going to need them to help with minor injuries.

Get the Right Gear – Then Get Yourself in Gear

A final consideration for MMA Gear is a good martial arts grappling mat. This can get very expensive, but it is a good investment. Not all budding MMA fighters have the luxury to top-notch training facilities compete with fighting cages, rings, or wrestling mats. One piece of advice in picking up training mats, on the cheap, is to check around with local high schools or colleges. Talk with the athletic directors or coaches. Some of these schools may have some old mats rolled up in a corner that they are looking to get rid of or give away. If you are going to work on developing a solid ground game, you are going to need mats of some sort. Whether you buy a brand new mat or pick up some used ones, they are a necessity. I have heard of many, now professional fighters, that started out sparring in a garage with no mats, or grappling in the backyard. If these are the only options you have, do what you have to do. But if you are going to get serious about grappling, you will have to get a mat or work out at a facility that has mats available.

In the early stages, you don't want to get overloaded with too much gear. Get the essentials to protect yourself and your sparring partner. Take your gear with you where ever you go. You never know when an opportunity to train might come up. Now that you know what you need to get started, as far as MMA gear goes, go out and get them. Then get to training. You have a lot of work to do if you are going to be an MMA fighter. Besides, once you've bought all that new gear, you've got to get it broken in. Good luck in your training!

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