Shin guards are a crucial piece of equipment in a lot of combat sports like Muay Thai. Such protection is especially necessary for beginners who don’t have the control of experts – otherwise it is ...
The way to pick the perfect pair of shin guards
Shin guards are a crucial piece of equipment in a lot of combat sports like Muay Thai. Such protection is especially necessary for beginners who don’t have the control of experts – otherwise it is only too easy to injure oneself or a partner.
Don’t take unnecessary damage to your shin
If you’re practicing a contact martial art that uses the shin as a striking area, then shin protection is absolutely necessary. The shin can easily be seriously damaged if you make contact with bone – either against the opponent’ forearm or against the opponent’s shin.
Shin on shin contact is especially dangerous, as you can imagine. Injury from full contact sparring or competition can range from swollen bones right up to having small chips of bone broken off your shin. But even worse, the shin is a dangerous offensive weapon, and even if you don’t hurt yourself, the chances are that you will hurt your partner seriously.
A good shin guard allows conditioning
Remember, injuries cause a break in training – which can be quite a serious problem, especially for beginners, though a break in training is never good news for any fighter. Shin guards allow you to do training drills safely, and even better, allows you to condition your shin against a heavy bag, which you would not be able to do reliably and safely without shin protection.
Now, here’s a rundown of the various shin protectors on the market…
Muay Thai shin protectors with straps.
This is just about the most traditional design for the Muay Thai fighter, shin protectors of heavy leather, with plenty of padding and protection for the shin and the foot. These guards are fastened with straps, and are highly recommended.
It’s especially good that these cover the foot, as people often don’t realize how easily the foot can take injury.
Sock-type shin protectors.
You slip these on the way you would a pair of socks. They fit very well, but hardly give the same level of protection as do Muay Thai shin protectors. However, these are very popular with MMA fighters, and obviously suffice for MMA bouts.
There are certain advantages to these protectors – they fit so well and shift so rarely in combat that a fighter doesn’t have to adjust them all the time. They are more often used in competition than in sparring and training, as many people prefer higher level of protection in training.
Size as opposed to protection
Do remember that a bulky or heavy shin protector will affect your ability to kick swiftly, so a shin protector becomes a matter of size and protection balanced by weight. You need to get yourself shin protection that will protect you reasonably adequately, while not interfering with your ability to go on a kicking offensive. There are other ways in which the manufacturers of shin protectors try to balance size and weight.
Increasingly, shin protectors are made for advanced fighters that are thick enough to protect the shin bone itself, but narrow, so that the shin bone is all they protect, as opposed to the way wider guards protect the entire leg.
Increased speed, but bruises on the area of the leg not covered by the guards during training and sparring. But many advanced fighters are willing to put up with this for the increased speed and ‘edge’ this gives them. Others consider these bruises valuable conditioning.
Whatever shin protectors you buy, you need to be sure that you maintain them properly. This means using a disinfectant on them after training (this can be put on using a cloth or via a spray), and then drying them off properly.
Shin protectors can absorb a lot of sweat during a training session – you need to put them somewhere where they can dry off thoroughly.
The best way to choose shin guards is to visit your local mma shop and check out your options. Then buy the shin guards of your choice online to save money.