So you’ve decided to become a fighter. It won’t be easy, but you’re ready to put in the work. You know what your dreams are and you’ve set measurable goals to help you get there. You’ve researched gyms and trainers and selected the right fit for you. You’re almost ready to start your first lessons. But before that can happen, you’ll need your very first martial arts supplies to help you take that next and vital step.
To assist you with that process, we’ve compiled this list of the first five essential pieces of boxing equipment that you’ll need to start your fighting journey.
1. A Mouth Guard
Purchasing a mouth guard might not be the most exciting or glamorous way to start your fighting journey, but there is, arguably, no piece of boxing equipment that is more essential. A properly fitted mouth guard will protect your head — and everything inside it from your teeth to your brain — which will keep you safe, healthy, and strong enough to pursue all of your fighting dreams. If you try to train without one, you just might risk getting injured before you can even start to move toward learning more exciting training techniques and needing more thrilling boxing equipment like head gear and boxing gloves.
2. Hand Wraps
Hand wraps might not be a much more exciting piece of boxing equipment than mouth guards, but it’s amazing how important these seemingly small strips of cotton (or mixed fibres, depending on the type of hand wraps you prefer) are to keeping you healthy and powerful in your fighting journey.
While boxing gloves will absorb a lot of the impact of your punches, it’s hand wraps that will do the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting and protecting the delicate bones and tendons in your hand. Applied properly and with the right amount of tightness, hand wraps can prevent fractures and sprains and other injuries when you’re striking. In addition to keeping you safe, hand wraps can also make you a better fighter. By keeping your fists and wrists in properly alignment, hand wraps allow you to hit with more strength and more power.
Add a few pairs to your collection of boxing equipment for the best results and for convenience. Because they absorb so much of your sweat while you train, they can get soggy, smelly, and less supportive quickly and having a few pairs on rotation will allow you to get more training time in between laundry days.
3. Boxing Gloves
Once you’ve got two of your most precious assets as a fighter — your head and your hands — protected with the above boxing equipment, we can finally start getting to the fun essentials, like boxing gloves!
Many gyms will have a few pairs of loaner gloves on hand for new students who haven’t purchased their own pair(s) of boxing gloves yet, and you’re welcome to start that way if your chosen gym offers this option until you know exactly what you want out of gloves. But they probably won’t smell the best and you’ll probably feel a lot more comfortable with your own pair that is suited to your size and your needs as a fighter.
To begin with, get yourself a pair of boxing gloves that are the right size and weight for training with focus pads and in sparring. You can also use those gloves for heavy bag work, or you can invest in some bag gloves specifically designed to support your hands and wrists during this kind of high impact training.
Once you reach the stage of your journey where you’re ready to start taking exhibition or amateur bouts, you can also purchase a pair of competition gloves.
A real pair of boxing trunks might not protect you or strengthen you in the way that mouth guards, hand wraps, and boxing gloves can, but adding a real pair of boxing trunks to your beginner’s collection of boxing equipment is as much about the mental aspect of your journey as it is about having proper attire for your lessons. There are multiple studies that have shown that new workout gear can have a positive affect on any new training program, and having boxing shorts will definitely help you feel like you belong at your gym and in the ring and give you that extra mental boost to take the next steps in your evolution as a real fighter.
5. A Medicine Ball
In terms of boxing training, your gym will likely have all of the other boxing equipment that you will need to begin, from heavy bags and focus pads to head gear for your first steps into sparring. But if you want to go that extra mile and spend some time training outside of gym hours, then there is an honorary piece of boxing equipment that would be a great addition to your starter kit: the medicine ball.
With a medicine ball and a sound functional training program that address strengthening your core, chest, and back, and makes you work your body in all of the planes of movement — rotation is particularly important for boxers — you can start to shape yourself into a healthy and powerful fighter who is ready to take on all challenges in your new fighting goals.