"Everyone can appreciate a loser, especially when he's on the other team!"
This quotation could apply to combat sports: although boxing or mixed martial arts are not team sports where one team faces the other, but melee sports, so we especially like when the loser is the other fighter!
It is a universal part of individual and collective sports. In order to win - and this is true of boxing - to maintain your physical condition, to prepare a fight, you must arm yourself with quality equipment.
From head to toe, a boxer must guard against the opponent's punches and kicks, maintain his guard, slip and counter, advance with good and stealthy footwork, and then arm his attack with his fist or foot.
This is common to all contact sports: French boxing, Savate boxing, Thai boxing, kickboxing, full contact boxing (American boxing), kung fu (Chinese boxing), taekwondo, aikido, jujitsu, krav maga, viet vo dao, karate, boxing MMA.
Generally, these boxing disciplines do not cross each other. Yet on August 26, 2017, something happened and the media has since coined it the greatest fight (or payday) of all time!
What fight? F. Mayweather Jr. vs. C. McGregor. One of the greatest boxers in history - crowned twelve-time world boxing champion in five different weight classes against the five-time MMA boxing champion - Money Mayweather walked away with a TKO and retired his incredible 50-0 Career. The 0 stands for losses.
Needless to say both had professional boxing equipment: mouth guards, pro boxing gloves, and a veteran referee.
What about the rest of the equipment for amateur boxing practitioners and other competitors who enter the boxing ring?
Here is a discussion on the essential equipment to have in a boxing club or as a boxing pro.
Do I Really Need a Boxing Helmet?
Even if you do not box with your bare hands, practitioners and amateur boxing competitors must wear a boxing head guard for training (sparring).
Why? To avoid injuries, prevent fractures, brain injuries and concussions.
Reasons for the Boxing Headgear
A well-tuned helmet that is well adapted to the volume of the boxer's head limits all possible brain damage because it will not slip and will dampen the blows received. To have optimal protection, it is therefore necessary to put more emphasis on what guards the head and not only on the gloves and bandages.
Face protection protects the skull and jaw by a chin strap, but since it is an open helmet, the cheeks, cheekbones, eyes and nose are exposed in the areas of impact: this is where the fighting techniques come into play, they aim to dodge powerful and quick blows to the face.
Another advantage of a good boxing helmet is that it will protect you without limiting your field of vision! This way you can spar safely! Don't worry, it will soon become second nature!
How Much Should I Expect to Pay for a Protective Helmet?
Before we talk shop, let's look at the six fundamental things one should look for in a quality helmet:
- The durability of the helmet: we prefer a solid helmet rather than a cabbage leaf
- The size of the head: consult a size guide to adapt the format of the helmet to your head,
- The chin strap: neither too tight nor too loose for comfort,
- Visibility: the helmet must not prevent your anticipation of the opponent's shots and slips. See him maintain his guard, refine his footwork, hit and counterattack with punches - if not you'll be a well dressed punching bag!
- The foam padding: too thin, the helmet is useless. Choose a high density foam, more compact and more durable
- And of course, personal taste and style.
The most common sellers for boxing equipment - boxing gloves, a punching bag, bear paws, speed pear, pao, shields, drawbars or jumpropes, etc. - are often the same:
Here are the principal brands you will be dealing with: Metal Boxe, Everlast, Fairtex, Domyos, Venum, Lonsdale, Adidas, Elion, Montana, Twins.
You will be looking at around 30 to 90 Pounds for quality helmets!
Mouth guards: Where and Why You Should Buy One?
Zang! There goes a quick uppercut to the jaw. Let's think for a moment how it would feel with and without a mouth guard... Ok, before you run out and buy one let's take a look at what's out there!
The mouth guard is a protection in many sports and thus part of all basic sports equipment.
It helps to "prevent dento-maxillary trauma or prevent concussions and trauma to the cervical spine." (Source: Dontoprotec)
The law even requires boxers to wear a mouth guard. This prevents the laceration of the lips, absorbing blows and preventing the loosening of teeth, limiting the risk of fractures or concussions, and preventing shocks between the lower and upper jaw .
In other words, you have to choose between three types of single and double mouth guards on the market:
- Standard: low protection, possible discomfort
- Semi-adaptable: to soak in hot water, bite in to fit your teeth
- Tailor-made: designed and moulded by a dentist, highest degree of personalisation (Pros do this)
- Wearing a mouth guard is necessary for obvious reasons: it protects mucous membranes, teeth, the tongue and mandibles.
A well-molded mouthguard must conform to the contours of your mouth, even the edentulous parts of the jaw. Otherwise, what's the point of spending all that money to protect yourself?
So how much should I spend on a mouth guard?
When buying one, avoid the supermarket and target specialized sports items selkers: Decathlon (entry level), Sports Equipment, Blue Dragon, The Corner of the Ring, Hadjime, or any other shop we listed above.
For a good mid-range guard - one for a recurring use - count between 10 and 30 quid depending on the brand (the most common being: Metal Box, Venum, Shock Doctor, Everlast, Adidas).
Boxing Shorts: You've Got to Look the Part to Play it!
We continue to go down the list of boxing accessories in an anatomical order. The penultimate piece of equipment to put in your gym bag are your boxing shorts (Thai boxing shorts, MMA shorts, Western Boxing shorts, etc)
Essential to all combat sports, one can usually buy shorts at his or her boxing club.
Otherwise, many sellers exist on the web and in bigger cities: boxing shops, martial arts shops, Decathlon, Blue Dragon, The Corner of the Ring, Metal Boxe, Hadjime, Fury Fight and so forth.
For intensive and recurring use, it is recommended to choose shorts with a wide elastic waistband and breathable fabric to limit the perspiration related to your efforts.
The twentieth century was that of sports development. This meant that it generalized the wearing of shorts.
Formerly devolved to the British and European aristocracy - while the popular classes wore trousers - the short breeches adorned young children, summer and winter alike.
150 years of evolution of manners, sport and fashion have reduced the length of the cut, from the underside of the knees to half of the thighs.
The desire for liberty and emancipation of the body brings the wearing of the short breeches among the bourgeois to a garment of popular comfort, worn in summer and at all ages.
Here are several phases of the evolution of sportswear. The length and style of the shorts as they evolved:
- Before the First World War: few rules, players wore their clothes baggy
- Until the years 1920-1930: the shorts reached the middle of the thighs
- During the years 1950-1960: the big brands took over sporting goods, jostled the fashion and shorts became tight and very short
- Until the 1980s: sports shorts were tight, went up to the above the thighs,
- Since 1990-2000: a return to long shorts (just above the knee) and ample, to facilitate footwork, without being bothered by the seams.
In Western Boxing and Thai boxing shorts are now very high, with an elastic band at the abdominals to avoid inciting blows to the abdomen and the genitals.
On the market, the prices of boxing shorts range from 20 to 70 pounds according to different parameters and brands:
Even jumproping and shadowboxing require appropriate boxing training shoes. Remember that you will be relying heavily on the power of your legs so make sure that the shoes you buy are comfortable and durable!
Here are some stores you can have a look at when buying Western Boxing shoes and/or shin guards for your training or professional and amateur bouts:
The price ratio of boxing shoes can vary from 1 to 4: starting at around 30 pounds for a pair of shoes and reaching 210 pounds depending on the material of the fabric, size, brand and seller.
First of all, here are the reasons for buying good and reliable shoes.
First, to avoid injury (strains, sprains): the "shoes" must allow good support of the foot and ankle during impulses.
Here are other important reasons that should convince you to make an investment on good footwear:
- Promote good footwork,
- Move with high intensity,
- Feel comfortable (I want to be in his shoes!)
- Have good mobility in the boxing ring
- Choose a good size of insoles and good padding to avoid damaging tissues and joints
- Let the air circulate to dissipate perspiration.
It can be hard to make a choice between a pair of Nikes or a pair of Adidas.
It is indeed easier - and supposedly cheaper - to buy a shell, elbow pads, kneepads or shorts + a tee-shirt.
Decide on the model of shoes according to your level and your style of boxing: is it weekly training, intensive training, sporadic?
One recommendation, however: we prefer leather to leatherette and synthetic leather to polyamide canvas.
Finally, to protect yourself from kicks in Savate boxing or Thai boxing you will need to invest in shin guards.
Composed of EVA foam - or ethylene-vinyl acetate - polyester material, polyurethane (PU) or leather, they will guard you against fractures.
One should choose according to the size, the weight, and the finish of the product. It is important to compare prices - from 12 to 140 pounds! - before committing.
The Skipping Rope: What is All the Fuss About and Do I Really Need It?
A high-intensity training exercise for boxers wishing to learn self-defense, let off steam or learn fighting techniques, the benefits of skipping for boxing. I will even go a step further: it is the boxer's best friend!
Jumping rope is not a childish game: it's the cornerstone of a successful boxercise workout!
Here is a list of some of the benefits you can expect :
- Working on your core strength, especially the abs
- Toning your legs and inciting quick pulse reflexes (Muscles have memory too)
- A general increase in bloodflow and wellness
- An increase in muscular density
- An ability to increase hand-eye coordination!
- This is just the tip of the iceberg!
The jumprope has the advantage of not being too expensive. I bought myself an entry-level one for 10 pounds! And that was years ago!
To get a little warm up, start by jumping in the air and warming your wrists (turning them in the air), while maintaining a steady rhythm!
On the internet, the prices we compared range from 2.99 to 34.99 pounds depending on the material (plastic, cotton, vinyl, nylon, leather and imitation leather or steel), the brand, the seller and built-in gadget feature (ball bearings, weighted handles, rev counter or calorie counter). This should be your first investment!
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment and the most well known are the gloves. A symbol of the sport and mandatory since rules became codified.
The right type of boxing glove is as important as any of the items listed above. This choice must be at the forefront of considerations before starting boxing lessons.
Gloves themselves can be made of leather, synthetic leather, or imitation leather - and serve to dampen the impact of your punch.
The quality of the boxer's gloves will influence the quality, comfort and safety of the fight and fighters. It is, therefore, necessary to optimise the selection of boxing gloves.
Boxing Equipment: Let's Take a Quick Tour and Recap it All!
Here is a table that should be useful when comparing and looking for boxing equipment!
|Boxing helmet||Hadjime, Dragon Bleu, boxfituk.com, Athleteshop, Boxing-shop.com, Sportscombat.com,|
|Domyos, Lonsdale, Adidas, Venum, Everlast, Faitex, Twins||Polyurethane, polyester, EVA foam, synthetic, leather||20 - 120|
|mouth guard||Décathlon, Hadjime, Dragon Bleu, Le Coin du Ring, Athleteshop.com, Boxing-shop.com, Sportscombat.com, Matos2Boxe||Domyos, Metal Boxe, Shock Doctor, Adidas, Everlast, Lonsdale, Venum||Polyurethane, polyester,synthetic||1 - 70|
|Boxing shorts||Décathlon, Fury Fight,geezersboxing.co.uk, Dragon Bleu, Boutique des arts martiaux, Boxing Shop,Athleteshop.com||Adidas, Buddha Fightwear, Venum, Metal Boxe, Everlast, Nike||Outshock, Adidas, Buddha Fightwear, Venum, Metal Boxe, Everlast, Nike||12 - 75|
|Shin guards||Matos 2 Boxe, Dragon Bleu,Athleteshop.com, Metal Boxe, geezersboxing.co.uk||Rinkage, RD Boxing, Elion, Booster, Adidas, Metal Boxe, Venum, Kontact, Rockguards, Fairtex, Hayabusa, Montana||Polyurethane, polyester, EVA foam, synthetic, leather||7 - 130|
|Boxing shoes||Matos 2 Boxe, Sportscombat, Décathlon, Tudo, Boxing Shop, Athleteshop.com, Rivat||ISBA, Adidas, Lonsdale, Metal Boxe, Fuji Mae, Rivat, Nike, Speedex||Leather, Polyamide Canvas, Synthetic, Suede, Nylon, Leatherette, Rubber, Canvas, Microfiber||52 - 300|
|Skipping rope||Décathlon, Fury Fight, Athleteshop.com, Matos 2 Boxe, geezersboxing.co.uk||Domyos, Venum, Metal Boxe, Everlast, Buddha, RD Boxing, Professional Fighter, Fitness Mad, Excellerator, Adidas||Plastic, leather, vinyl, PVC, steel or wood handles||70 - 75|