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Top 5 Essential MMA Equipment Every Newcomer Needs

MMA Equipment For beginners

Taylor Saipe |

Considering training in mixed martial arts? Starting your journey in MMA can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many gear choices available, it's good to know what's essential for safety, durability, and comfort during training.

A common question when starting is, "What type of MMA training gear do I need?" We've put together some helpful information to guide you.

Here are the top five must-have MMA items every newcomer should consider.

1. MMA Gloves

When it comes to MMA gloves, they're arguably the most essential piece of equipment you'll need. These gloves are crafted to protect your hands while allowing for the flexibility required in mixed martial arts. They come in various styles tailored to different training needs, ensuring you have the right pair whether you're hitting the pads, sparring, or competing.

Unlike boxing or point fighting gloves, MMA gloves are designed to provide hand freedom for grappling and grabbing. They are typically much lighter, ranging from 4oz to 8oz, with 6oz gloves being widely used in training.

Their open finger design enhances mobility, making it easier for fighters to grapple effectively.

There are numerous brands out there offering MMA gloves suitable for both beginners and professionals. Reputable names like Fumetsu, Venum, Leone 1947, Fairtex, Elion, Bytomic, and Ringhorns all provide high-quality options, ensuring you can find the perfect pair for your needs.

Note: Boxing gloves are also used in training sessions.

MMA Gloves: Key Features

Padding: Look for gloves with high-density foam padding for optimal protection.

Fit: A snug fit is essential to prevent the gloves from slipping during training. 

Material: High-quality leather or synthetic materials offer durability and longevity. Leather gloves tend to be more durable, while synthetic options can be lighter and more affordable.

Ventilation: Good ventilation helps keep your hands cool and dry, reducing the risk of bacteria buildup. Look for gloves with mesh panels or ventilation holes.

Venum MMA Gloves

2. MMA Shin Guards

Next on the list are MMA shin guards. These protect your shins and feet from the hard impacts common in MMA training. 

You'll notice that in MMA fights, such as those in the UFC, shin instep guards aren't worn; they are primarily for training or sparring to help prevent injuries.

Shin guards are highly recommended for beginners and are arguably a must-have, as untrained shins won’t be ready for the intense kicking that’s part of the training. Be smart and safeguard your shins!

MMA shin protectors come in sizes ranging from XS to XL, with options available for kids as well. In terms of colours, there are many choices, so if you’re joining a club, you can easily coordinate your gear to match.

MMA Shin Guards: Key Features

Padding: Thick, multi-layered padding provides excellent protection for your shins and feet. 

Fit: Shin guards should fit snugly without restricting movement.

Material: Durable materials such as synthetic leather or neoprene offer a good balance between protection and comfort.

Mobility: Shin guards should not hinder your movements. Choose guards that are lightweight and designed for flexibility.

3. Mouth Guard

If you're a beginner, there's a higher chance you'll take more blows to the head. This is where a mouth guard becomes essential, protecting your teeth and jaw during training and competition. No matter your level, a mouth guard is a vital piece of equipment worn constantly.

Investing in a high-quality mouth guard can prevent serious injuries and give you the confidence to train harder.

Mouth Guard: Key Features

Fit: Custom-fit mouth guards offer the best protection and comfort. They mould to the shape of your teeth and provide a secure fit.

Material: Look for mouth guards made from durable, impact-resistant materials. Dual-layer designs often provide enhanced protection and comfort.

Breathability: A good mouth guard should allow you to breathe and speak easily while wearing it. Some designs include breathing channels for added convenience.

Scramble Mouth Guard

4. MMA Shorts

MMA shorts, also known as fight shorts, offer a full range of motion and are designed to be durable, breathable, and comfortable for extended wear.

They often feature reinforced stitching and tear-resistant fabrics to withstand intense grappling and striking.

MMA shorts come in various styles, colours, and designs, all serving the same purpose: to help you perform at your best while expressing your personality or supporting your favourite brands.

There are all kinds of fight shorts out there, like the regular ones, the shorter ones, and the dual-layer ones with a compression layer underneath. Pick the style that fits you and your training best.

MMA Shorts: Key Features

Flexibility: Shorts should allow for a full range of motion, particularly in the hips and legs. Look for designs with stretch panels or side slits.

Durability: The material should withstand the rigors of training and competition. 

Comfort: A comfortable waistband and inner lining can prevent chafing and ensure a good fit. 

Design: Consider shorts with secure closures, such as drawstrings or Velcro, to keep them in place during intense activity.

5. Head Guard

Last but not least, a head guard is essential for newcomers to MMA. While it's not worn in pro fights like the UFC, it provides crucial protection for your head, reducing the risk of injury during sparring sessions. It shields you from punches, kicks, and other strikes.

When choosing a head guard, look for one that offers a snug fit and ample padding. These guards are usually available in sizes ranging from S to XL and come in a variety of colours. 

Head Guard: Key Features

Padding: Ample padding around the forehead, cheeks, and chin offers maximum protection. Multi-layered foam can absorb impacts effectively.

Fit: The head guard should fit securely without shifting during use. Adjustable straps or closures are important for achieving a snug fit.

Visibility: Ensure the design does not obstruct your vision. Open-face or wide-vision designs allow for better peripheral vision.

Comfort: The head guard should be comfortable to wear for extended periods. Look for breathable materials and moisture-wicking linings.

Storage for your MMA Gear

Proper storage can significantly extend the life of your martial arts gear. Here’s how to store each item:

MMA Gloves and Shin Guards: Store in a well-ventilated area. Consider using a gear rack or a breathable bag to keep them dry.

Mouth Guard: Always store in a case with ventilation holes and make sure you clean regularly.

MMA Shorts: Hang them up or fold neatly in a drawer. Avoid cramming them into a tight space.

Head Guard: Store in a cool, dry place. If possible, keep it in its original bag or a dedicated compartment.


Starting your MMA journey with the right MMA gear for beginners sets the foundation for a successful and safe training experience.

From MMA gloves to head guards, investing in quality gear ensures you’re well-protected and comfortable, allowing you to train with confidence. Don't forget about hand wraps – they're another crucial piece of protection for both training and competing.

Remember to maintain your equipment properly to extend its life and keep it performing at its best.