In any martial arts discipline training should never be as intense as the actual combat. Training happens every day, is repetitive, and is designed to optimize the mind and body for the actual fights. As a result of this methods of training are developed that don’t simply revolve around fighting an opponent in the most aggressive manner possible.
The following is a recommended list of equipment each Muay Thai trainee should have. It is not representative of all training schools; however, information about all types of training equipment can be gleaned from such a list. The Tiger Muay Thai gym recommends these items to anyone wishing to learn the art and science of Muay Thai.
Hand wraps are always to be used in training and it is advisable to trainees that they use clean pairs each session. Fighters must have a pair of 16oz gloves, often such equipment can be rented but serious practitioners will own multiple pairs of their own gloves.
The Tiger Muay Thai school recommends two pairs of Muay Thai shorts or MMA shorts for training, but this is not a concrete number and practitioners can choose to bring however many pairs of shorts they desire. Several practical items like T-shirts and powdered guards against rashes are also recommended, especially because Thailand is a tropical environment and physical activity induces a lot of sweat. Shin guards, mouth-guards, groin guards, and head-guards are all recommended if the training involves sparring opponents. Some trainees, especially those new to the art form, use knee and elbow pads.
Modern gyms also provide nutritional supplements, allowing practitioners to optimize their mental and physical states for aggressive combat. Such items as multivitamins and protein powders are used and all sorts of supplemental health formulas are ingested daily. An item called Namaan Muay oil is also often used and is applied to the bruises and pains that inevitably develop when practitioners are engaged in such a physical discipline multiple times a week.
There are also several kinds of static equipment in Muay Thai gyms that trainees do not bring with them, these enable the enhancement of techniques that can then be used in actual fighting. Punching bags are used to perfect both punching and kicking techniques. There are many varieties of these bags, differing in size, weight, and shape. These are the most common items novice trainees develop their initial techniques on.
Once practitioners are used to basic items like punching bags, they move to Muay Thai pads, focus mitts, thigh pads, belly pads, and leg kick pads. These are items utilized by the trainer to better simulate actual combat environments. Skipping ropes are also used to help trainees develop their footwork and balance, while also giving them a strong cardiovascular workout.
It is especially important to emphasize that training equipment must always be kept disinfected and clean. The nature of Muay Thai leads to blood, bruises and over-worked immune systems, so it is imperative that the equipment used carries minimal infective bacteria or germs.
Equipped with all these elements and a strong mental discipline, the novice can eventually become the master.