Like any sport, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) requires special equipment, largely to protect yourself during your training sessions. Important supplies and gear that you should gather before starting your MMA training include:
- Boxing gloves: Essential for working on strikes, such as jabs, hooks, and uppercuts.
- Handwraps: Good for protecting your hands when training or fighting competitively.
- Headgear: Used for sparring to protect the skull from harsh blows.
- Cup: Essential for male MMA fighters.
- Mouthpiece: Critical for protecting your teeth while competing and training. Try conditioning while wearing a mouthpiece to get used to wearing one.
- MMA gloves: Necessary for competitions. You should wear MMA gloves during sparring and grappling sessions as well so you can get accustomed to them.
- MMA shin guards: Helpful for protecting your shins when training or sparring.
- Stability ball: A great tool for working on your balance and control.
- Jump rope: Useful for warming up before training and a common tool for MMA practitioners.
- Thai pads and focus mitts: Good for using with a partner when you want to work on knees, kicks, and other strikes.
- Kettlebells: A cast iron weight with a handle; a favorite tool among MMA fighters for full-body conditioning.
- MMA attire: Can be worn inside and outside of the ring and includes T-shirts, hoodies, sweats, and shorts. MMA clothing tells people that you’re living the MMA lifestyle. It’s a conversation starter, and it may just stop someone from trying to push you around and steal your milk money.
Most gyms specializing in MMA will have a lot of this equipment. As for schools, they usually suggest that you buy your own handwraps, mouthpiece, cup, and gloves. Look to see whether a school you’re interested in has some of the listed equipment available. A good school or gym has plenty of MMA gear and safety equipment (think mats and first aid kits).