Mixed Martial Arts is continuously evolving and so its clothing, training gear, and equipment. The demands of the sports have influenced clothing designs, available brands, and quality of the materials used in their construction. MMA clothing has changed and adapted to improve the athlete’s training, competition, and even its marketing and exposure (more on this later on this article).
|Muay Thai Shorts|
Before we continue with this article, we would like to properly explain all of the items that have been considered as clothing:
From the above list, fight shorts has always been a piece of clothing that people have associated with MMA Gear instead of MMA clothing. We don’t have an issue placing fight shorts as part of the MMA gear category, but I think it is pretty obvious that it must also belong to clothing. This article does not include any description about protection gear, gloves, training equipment, etc. We will talk about these additional items in other future articles.
To understand a little better why MMA clothing has evolved, we need to understand how the sports is practiced. Current MMA fighters usually combine striking and ground techniques. For striking, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Taekowndo, Boxing, are regularly used. For ground techniques and close contact, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Greco Roman wrestling are probably the most prevalent techniques.
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Historically, each of these styles have used specialized clothing to suit the needs of the style. For example, the traditional Muay Thai shorts have a distinctive design, with short and wide legs, to accommodate its most commonly used striking techniques: kicks. And not just any kick. Muay Thai is a style that implement most of the possible kicking style a martial arts can have: Front Kicks, Round Kicks, Side Kick, Back Kick, Axe Kick, Reverse Round Heel Kick, and the list goes on and on.
I think most of us have watch a boxing match at one point of our lives. Even though is a commonly used striking technique, its focus is obviously focused on punching. I have seen people make comments about MMA Shorts, being similar to Boxing shorts – which I believe to be totally wrong. If you want to learn more about why MMA Shorts are not Boxing Shorts, you can read this article. In short however, Boxing shorts usually reach the athtle’s knee, have a large waist band, and usually are very baggy.
On the ground – wrestling and Jiu Jitsu are probably the dominating techniques. Their focus is to take their opponent to the ground. Jiu Jitsu historically has used a “gi” (from the Japanese word: uniform). MMA athletes, don’t use a “gi” while competing, but they might while training Jiu Jitsu. Wrestling commonly used a one piece suit. The main point here is the “the ground”. Those who train on the ground have a continuous risk of picking up bacteria, fungus, and other “bad stuff” from it.
|Metaru Rash Guard|
Mixed Martial Arts clothing has evolved to provide the athlete the most comfortable, efficient, and clean experience possible. Top quality brands ensure that clothing is resistant against bacteria and fungus but using building materials that prevent their growth (bamboo fibers and other materials). Flexibility and range of motion is extremely important. Due to this, MMA Clothing also uses several materials that stretch in multiple directions, to ensure un-restrictive striking and grappling techniques. Recent advances in clothing technology have also proven that the use of compression clothing provides an athlete to better muscle response, and cardiovascular/circulatory improvements allow an athlete to extend their workouts and keep them safe from injuries.
Mixed Martial Arts clothing have received the benefits from what has worked in traditional martial arts and also the more recent scientific discoveries used in sports apparel, making them distinctive from regular training clothing. At the end of this article you will find a table with a series of images that describe some of the most current mma shorts and rash guards. On these images you will find antimicrobial features, 4-way strech fabrics, mouth guard pockets, combat cuts, and other features that make these shorts unique from regular board shorts.
Fans have also had their share of special clothing when it comes to MMA apparel. Brands have created the custom of providing their sponsored fighters with specialized shirts, shorts, and even underwear. During weigh-in events some fighters may wear a special shirt, short, and, in some cases, special underwear to determine if they have made weight. In addition to this, at the night of the fight, fighters may wear special clothing to represent their brand and their personalities. It is common to find "walk-out shirts", "walk-out hats", or other pieces of clothing during their initial presentation during a fight.
If you like to learn more about Mixed Martial Arts clothing, including the specifics on MMA shorts, MMA shirts, and other training and competing apparel and equipment, don’t mist my next articles!
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