Muay Thai Gloves Guide For Beginners

martial arts boxing gloves

Muay Thai is a type of fighting or combat based sport that originated in Thailand. In Muay Thai fighters utilize a variety of striking, kicking and clinching techniques that are often referred to as the ‘art of eight limbs,’ due to the way combatants use a combination of fists, elbows, knees and shins in a dizzying array of fighting techniques. Muay Thai is a grueling form of combat in which participants are required to be both physically strong and mentally disciplined. Obviously, such a diverse form of combat requires unique equipment to protect and support the fighters in their pursuit of excellence. For this reason, participants use a variety of Muay Thai gloves to ensure that they train properly for official amateur or professional competition.

If you are looking for Muay Thai gloves, the good news is that there are plenty of brands and styles available. Most people who are unfamiliar with Muay Thai gloves are likely to have trouble distinguishing them from regular boxing gloves. The truth is that there are distinct differences between Muay Thai gloves and boxing gloves that make shopping for the right type of Muay Thai gloves a very good idea. In this overview of Muay Thai gloves, we will take a closer look at several different types of Muay Thai gloves and explain the situations in which each type is ideal for you.

Top 10 Best Muay Thai Gloves for Youth (2016)

editor rating based on quality and value
***please note that some of these gloves are only available in sizes for older kids***
MODELOUR RATING
RDX Maya Hide Leather Kids Muay Thai Gloves
RDX Maya Hide Leather Kids Muay Thai Gloves
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
SUTEN Muay Thai Training Gloves
SUTEN Muay Thai Training Gloves
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Training Sparring Gloves
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Training Sparring Gloves
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Farabi Kids Training Sparring Gloves
Farabi Kids Training Sparring Gloves
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Fairtex Muay Thai Style Sparring Gloves
Fairtex Muay Thai Style Sparring Gloves
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
ILM Pro Training Sparring Leather Gloves
ILM Pro Training Sparring Leather Gloves
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves
4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves
Fairtex Muay Thai Boxing Gloves
4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)
BESSKY Muay Thai Training Gloves
BESSKY Muay Thai Training Gloves
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Farabi Kids Sparring Gloves
Farabi Kids Sparring Gloves
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Muay Thai Gloves vs Boxing Gloves

First and foremost, you are probably wondering what makes Muay Thai gloves different from ordinary boxing gloves? Usually, Muay Thai fighters start out using traditional boxing gloves, but as a fighter’s skills improve it is necessary to take the next step in terms of the equipment used. For this reason, many intermediate to advanced fighters move up to using official Muay Thai gloves.

The primary difference between ordinary boxing gloves and Muay Thai gloves is the fact that Muay Thai gloves are designed to allow you to open your hands when you wear them. This will allow you an advantage when you engage in the clinching techniques that are required in Muay Thai fighting. Unlike boxing, clinching techniques are an essential part of Muay Thai fighting.

There are other differences between Muay Thai and boxing gloves as well. For instance, Muay Thai gloves are made to provide more wrist support than ordinary boxing gloves of the same weight and size. The wrist section of a Muay Thai glove is actually a bit longer, providing sturdiness and additional protection, allowing you to put more force behind your punches. Muay Thai gloves are generally sold in a one-size-fits-all manner and are generally differentiated by the weight of the gloves rather than the size.

Types of Muay Thai Gloves

  • Training Gloves – In Muay Thai training, most gyms require that you wear gloves that are at least 16 oz. or more. For this reason, it is a good idea to purchase a pair of Muay Thai training gloves. Extremely light weight gloves have led to injuries during training. To fight the risk of injury, using Muay Thai gloves that were designed particularly for training is highly recommended.
  • Sparring Gloves – Sparring gloves are a bit larger than training gloves, designed to provide more protection to fighters during sparring sessions. Generally, sparring gloves are 14-18 oz. and are designed to protect each fighter during the sparring session. Sparring gloves will also have a lot of padding on the knuckles to help contestants avoid injury to their hands during sparring sessions.
  • Competition Gloves – Competitions gloves are usually much smaller and lighter than training gloves, generally in the neighborhood of 8-12oz. In amateur and professional competition, the safety of the fighters is not such a concern. The lighter weight competition gloves allow the fighters to put a great deal of power behind their punches. Another noteworthy characteristic of competition gloves is that they generally lace up, making them much tighter on the hand and wrist than training gloves. Competition gloves are also perfect for clinching as they are lighter weight and can open and close quite easily.
  • Bag Gloves – Bag gloves are light weight training gloves that are very much like competition gloves. Bag gloves are meant to be used for heavy training on the bags. However, bag gloves are very light weight and do not have much in the way of padding for your hands, so if you are planning to train on the heavy bag, using bag gloves may not be the best idea.

How to Maintain Your Muay Thai Gloves

When you invest in several pairs of Muay Thai gloves you are going to want to ensure that they last as long as they can. Since most training environments are extremely humid, wet environments, especially if the training is taking place in Thailand, the main problem is actually keeping your Muay Thai gloves dry. Keeping your Muay Thai gloves dry will certainly prolong their life a great deal. This means that putting your gloves out in the sun to dry is very important, unless you are in a cool and dry environment, like the United States. Storing your Muay Thai gloves in a cool, dry place is also important. After drying out your Muay Thai gloves, you should treat them with a disinfectant that will keep bacteria and fungus from taking hold and growing on them. By keeping your Muay Thai gloves dry and treating them with a disinfectant product, like Dettol, you will be able to extend the life of your Muay Thai gloves a great deal.

Conclusion

In Muay Thai fighting, fighters generally have more than one pair of gloves. Each pair of gloves will be at a particular weight and style and will be designed to fulfill a specific function. No matter if you are training, sparring or competing in actual amateur or professional Muay Thai bouts, you can find Muay Thai gloves that will suit your purposes perfectly.

Kick Shield Buying Guide

kids karate sparring kick shield

Martial arts kick shields allow young students a safe way to develop their speed, power and techniques when kicking a real target. These shields come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they are all designed to withstand hard kicks.

We suggest that you start your shopping by checking out kick shields online, and you will see many different options available to you. However, you need to beware of the shields that are sold at ridiculously low prices. These were probably made in China and will not last long before you have to replace them. Others are overpriced for what they are. A good place to look for these shields is our recommendations in the chart below. Our editors have selected their top rated kick shields for the money and put them in the table below – each of these items can be bought online on Amazon. Read through the reviews and learn what people love and hate about the brand you are considering. Before shopping though, keep reading this article as we explain what to look for when selecting kick shields.

Top 10 Best Martial Arts Kick Shields for Kids in 2016

editor rating based on quality and value
MODELOUR RATING
Tiger Claw Foam Kicking Shield
Tiger Claw Foam Kicking Shield
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
MECO One Karate Taekwondo Boxing Kick Punch Pad Shield
MECO One Karate Taekwondo Boxing Kick Punch Pad Shield
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Combat Sports Curved Kick Shield
Combat Sports Curved Kick Shield
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Tiger Claw Super Kicking Shield
Tiger Claw Super Kicking Shield
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Kid Kick Shield
Century Kid Kick Shield
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Fairtex Curved Thai Kick Pads for Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA
Fairtex Curved Thai Kick Pads for Muay Thai, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Krav Maga Kick Shield
Revgear Krav Maga Kick Shield
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Goplus Sparring Kick Shield
Goplus Sparring Kick Shield
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
MACHO KID KICKING SHIELD
MACHO KID KICKING SHIELD
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
RDX MMA Kick Strike Shield Curved Training Pad
RDX MMA Kick Strike Shield Curved Training Pad
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Factors to Consider When Choosing Kick Shields

Thickness

The first thing you should determine is the size and thickness your child might need. While a smaller shield might be easier for your child to hold, it won’t provide the same level of protection that a thicker pad would. The shock of the kick will travel up his arm every time his opponent kicks. At the end of the session, his arms will end up bruised or possibly broken, if the kick is hard enough. A quality pair of shields will buffer the force of every kick. So, choose a pad that will provide adequate protection.

Size

The next decision is determining what size your child needs. Measure his height. Many brands offer between three to four sizes and adjustable straps. Check the dimensions of each size to see what will fit him the best.

Shape

You will see a slight variation of the shape of these shields, depending on the brand. Some are smaller in height, with the same thickness level. These shields are less forgiving if a fellow student kicks in the wrong spot.

Other shields are longer, which can make them unwieldy and bulky to hold for punches. Have your child hold a variety of shields to see which feels best for him. Larger shields provide more surface area, but are heavier to hold. Smaller shields are lighter, but they may offer less protection.

Straight vs Curved Shields

Another thing to consider is the curvature of the shield. Straight shields are typically more difficult to kick and take several months to break in. The process is similar to buying a new pair of shoes. They are uncomfortable for the first several months, but they eventually conform to your feet.

Curved shields provide comfortable kicks without the break-in factor. The curved design is preferable for many people because the shields offer comfort for both the holder and the kicker. The only downside is that the price is typically a bit more than the straight shields.

Cleaning and Maintenance

It is important that you dry your shields properly after each use. If the leather gets soaked and your child leaves it in his bag, it will stay moist. Over time, the leather will start to tear near the stitches.

Clean the shields by rubbing them with a natural cleaning product. This can be a sanitary spray that you may have on hand, or it can be a natural cleaning product. Give them a thorough wiping to remove any bacteria that may have been picked up at the gym. Always clean them after every session not only to prolong their use but to show respect for the kicker.

Final Thoughts

While a cheap pair of kicking shields might be tempting, it is better that you make your purchase based on quality. A quality pair of shields can last for years, with the proper care and maintenance. This allows you pass down the kicking shields to your child’s younger siblings, which saves money and prevents long-term damage to their arms.

Kids Muay Thai Gear Essentials

kid kicking muay thai bag

Muay Thai is an excellent martial art form because it works both the mind and the body in unique ways. If your child is interested in starting their first class, please read this list to help them prepare with the best equipment.

Clothing

Good Muay Thai clothing is designed to be comfortable to move in, yet snug to your body so that it doesn’t fall off. Typically, you should invest in at least three to five pairs of Muay Thai shorts, which can be purchased in martial arts and sporting equipment stores. Having this many makes it easier for your child to get ready for practice without waiting to clean a dirty pair.

These are pretty short, and they can wear either pulled up like fighters or at a more comfortable length, depending on your child. Athletic underwear and a cup is probably a good idea, too, to protect your child from injuries in the crotch. Hand wraps are also necessary, as this will make their hands more comfortable in their gloves.

Gloves are, then, the last piece of clothing you should invest in for your child. Typically, Muay Thai doesn’t use shirts because it gets in the way of movement and executing particular techniques. Some kids may perform well with a light shirt that protects them from blows, but it isn’t necessary.

Practice Bags

Muay Thai requires a lot of practice and technique repetition, which makes it necessary purchase some sparring and heavy bags. Sparring bags help increase your child’s punching speed and makes them more skilled. These range from 14-18 ounces, though it is possible to get lighter kids-based sparring bags. Weight for these bags is usually around 12 ounces.

Heavy bags are designed to give your child a full-sized partner which they can practice their moves on. You can use an adult-sized bag, but be ready to stand behind the bag to give it extra support. Without you there stabilizing it, the bag might swing back and hit your child.

Hang bags from chains attached to your ceiling. Locate hanging beams by using a stud detector. Screw the hook directly into the ceiling here and the board above will keep the bag from falling. Now your child can spar and practice their moves in comfort at home.

 

Other Essential Items

Beyond the above-mentioned items, you’re going to have to invest in a variety of other equipment that doesn’t fall under a specific heading. For example, your child will need mouthguards to protect their teeth during practices and bouts. Invest in a custom mouth guard, like these, will fit your child’s teeth better. They might cost a bit more, but they are worth it.

Shin guards are also necessary as they will help avoid injuries to the leg. They also help absorb blows during practice spars and make it more manageable: ankle guards are also a good choice to offer extra leg support. A jump rope is also nice as an extra exercise item because it will challenge your child’s stamina and coordination.

Other protective items include Muay Thai gloves, headgear, elbow pads, knee pads, thigh pads, and pad holders that keep the practice pads in better shape. This makes it easier for your children to slip in and out of their gear without trouble. Your kid will be more than ready to take off their practice pads once they get home from practice.

Now your child is ready to practice Muay Thai at home and during their classes. They’ll appreciate your investment and will be excited to get started as soon as possible.

Kids Karate Sparring Gear Essentials

kids karate sparring gear

No matter what the reason is for your child to begin karate, self-defense, confidence building, or to explore a new interest, picking the best equipment is crucial to make sure your child is safe in a contact sport where the risk of injury is high. Here is a complete parent’s guide to picking karate sparring equipment to lessen that risk.

Headgear

It may be tempting to forego the headgear because sometimes it hinders movement ability and peripheral vision. Both you and your child will regret it if a hospital visit for a concussion is needed.

The most important feature of headgear is that it is not loose fitting. This will prevent it from being knocked off your child’s head during a match. Choose a helmet that is either adjustable or fits perfectly to your child’s head. Both options will not interfere with training, unlike bulky gear. For added protection, select a helmet that contains a face mask to prevent injuries to the face and eyes.

Protection and padding

Your child is still growing, so bodies are delicate and fragile. Guard whatever body part you can at this tender stage. Buy fitting chest guards, rib shirts, groin protectors, knee pads, shin guards, padded shorts, and a mouth guard. The outside of the ear is often taken for granted because the most common injuries to the ears happen internally. But ear guards are needed to protect the outside of the ear from a condition all too well known in the realm of martial arts, cauliflower ears. While your child may love martial arts now, an aesthetic difference caused by the sport may cause resentment and ultimately the desire to quit. Leave cauliflower ears to the professionals!

As your child improves with age and skill, it is possible that some extra padding will not be needed. The decision to decrease the amount of padding is a decision that must be agreed upon by the child, parent, and coach.

Boxing gloves

If the gloves are pretty or have a cool design, that’s a bonus. Truthfully, no one will care what the gloves they are being punched with of they are on the losing end of a fight, so you should not either.

The greater the shock absorbency, the better. The added foam will hurt less, so your child won’t be intimidated by the power behind the blows. Bruising and broken bones will be minimized as well. Have your child try the gloves on before buying to make sure that they provide enough wrist support while still being easy to quickly take off and put back on. Make sure your child can easily close the fist inside the glove. If it does not allow flexibility, it will raise the risk of injury to the fingers and wrist.

Choosing the correct gear for your child’s new karate adventure is a crucial step in development and health. Not only do you want your child not injured, but if your child has a bad experience that you could have prevented with proper gear, a new hobby could turn into a trauma that could spoil the interest altogether.

 

Kids MMA Gear Essentials

youth mma grappling

You have signed the kids up for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and they are every bit excited to begin their first session. You are happy as well but are a little jumpy about the gear they need. What are the essentials for MMA and what type of quality should you search for? The answers to your questions are below.

Gloves Are Necessary

There are two types of gauntlets in MMA. Kids need a pair of practice gloves that they can wear while training. The mittens should be durable enough to withstand heavy usage, yet flexible enough to provide comfort. Children do not want to wear gloves that have a stiff appeal since hours upon hours of training could yield discomfort in such gear. At the same time, parents want material that will protect kids from injuries. Heavy duty faux leather is both durable and adaptable. In fact, some practice gloves made from faux leather can double as fight gauntlets.

Parents who do not buy gloves designed for practicing and competition can invest in mittens made of Rex leather that kids can use during meets. The material of Rex leather is meant to last for many years. You will not have to worry about buying gloves for a while if you invest in durable MMA mittens from the start.

The Right Apparel is Required

Mixed Martial Arts is an involved sport that requires a lot of movement. As such, it is important for your kids to have clothes that are lightweight and sturdy. Everyday wear will not withstand constant punches, so you need to purchase apparel that provides comfort and protection. Boys, in particular, need shorts with a built-in cup that protects the waist area.

A mouth guard is also necessary as accurate punches could render oral injuries. The best protection is a double guard that is lightweight and completely protective. There is also the option of a single mouth guard that provides some form of security, though not as comfortable as double shields.

Head Gear is Essential

Sending your child to his first day of practice without headgear is like sending him to get honey out of a beehive without protection. The best headwear is shock absorbent and laced with foam padding. Leather lining is also ideal as it provides a level of comfort that most kids desire. Make sure that your child’s helmet has a chin strap with Velcro closure and additional padding around the cheek area. You should always purchase headgear to fit. Helmets that are too large can easily be knocked off in the heat of a battle.

The Kids Need A Punching Bag

Unless you want them practicing on the walls and furniture, you need to buy the little MMA athletes a punching bag. The dummies do not need to be state of the art if your child is a beginner. In many instances, a bag that weighs forty pounds will be enough to suffice at-home training. Kids who are more advanced may need more to wrestle with, and you may need to invest in a bag that weighs seventy pounds or more. Good punching bags are weighted down with sand. Excellent dummies have additional water loads to ensure stability.

 

 

Kids Jiu Jitsu Gear Essentials

bjj kids

There are various gear essentials that a child requires to prosper in a Jiu Jitsu training or tournament if they have an interest in the sport. Your kid will need a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi, which is made of tougher material, designed for durability, plus makes it hard for the opponent to grab. A Jiu Jitsu Gi comprises of pants and a jacket. Other essentials include:

BJJ belt

This belt is tied around the Gi jacket to keep it in position. For a beginner kid, he or she will require a white belt, which later ascends in order of yellow, orange and green for kids. The size for the belt should accompany the size of his or her Gi.

Grappling shorts & rash guard

In the case of no Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gi, you can buy grappling shorts and a rash guard. At times your kid may also wear Gi pants in place of fight shorts or a t-shirt in place of a rash guard, although not much recommended.

 

Protective gear

Mouth guard

A mouthguard is an essential protective piece for your kid to wear. Your kid’s face may get banged up when practicing the martial arts. Moreover, when passing a guard, applying a submission, or escaping a bad position there is always the likelihood of being hit on the head by an errant arm, head or leg.

A mouthguard will protect your kid in several ways including:

  • Stopping the teeth from getting knocked out or chipping,
  • Reducing the possibility and danger of biting own tongue, plus assist prevent concussion,
  • It makes hard to dislocate or break the jaw in the case of a hard hit.

Tape (external ligaments)

Applying tape correctly enables two things: First, it limits the movement of a joint and offers stability, and second, it provides compression. This is an essential piece of the gear since a kid is weak and thus prevents injury.

Ear guards

Your kid will also require them because he/she is not immune to ear trauma. Ear guards prevent eyes from swelling and becoming tender. During training, the ears are exposed to crushing, grinding or impact from the mats. Kids’ ears are ultra-sensitive that thus require full protection.

Athletic cups

Although they may feel uncomfortable for the first time, your child may need athletic cups with flexible soft rubber sides. The soft rubber sides minimize the chafing to the ideal level of protection. Moreover, athletic cups offer a hard fulcrum when applying knee bars or arm bars.

Wrestling shoes

Shoes are useful for jiu-jitsu under certain circumstances. These shoes prevent injuries and increase traction. Your kid will be able to hold the ground much better when jockeying for a position on his/her feet of when having a takedown. Wrestling shoes will stop your kid’s foot or ankle from experiencing extreme extents of motion, therefore reducing or preventing the severity of twisted toes, strained ankles, or other foot injuries.

Kneepads or braces

When your kid is practicing, he/she may strain their knees. This is through twisting them, landing them or posturing them when rolling. Knee braces or pads will prevent bruised knees.

Ideally, your child is bound to have an easy time if you invest in these gears. They are specifically designed to ensure their safety and convenience when participating in the game. Therefore, it is the ideal gift that you can give to your kid since all parents want the best for their children.