Krav Maga is very popular for its realistic training techniques, and wearing the right protective gear is essential to preventing injuries and training comfortably.
Here is a guide to help you choose the right basic equipment you will need for training Krav Maga, from head to toe.
What to use? Head guards. When you’re sparring, it’s important that you wear a headgear to protect your face from potential cuts and bruises, as well as limit impact from strikes. Here are some factors you should take into consideration when choosing a headgear: Outer Material – leather is a high quality outer material, it ensures that your head guards remains durable and doesn’t tear after constant use. Inner Material – This aspect is also very important because it is going to determine how comfortable your face feels inside the gear and also how it’s going to feel after you get hit. Padding – Head guards should have just enough padding to ensure that the impact of punches are reduced. We say just enough because more padding means your guard will weigh more and will also reduce visibility. If you are a beginner chose a more padded guard. Face Bar – Some head guards have a wide bar that runs across the nose area with the role of protecting your nose. We feel that a guard without this bar is more comfortable and you can also breath and see better. Protection – Chose a guard that has good cheek protection and not a chin bar as they are usually 'one size fits all', as they can't be adjusted. Adjustability – The more adjustable the better, so chose a guard that can be adjusted especially at the back of the head and chin.
What to use? Mouthguard.
A mouthguard is essential when sparring especially, as jaw and teeth injuries can have lasting effects on your day-to-day life. A good mouth guard should be comfortable, easy to fit and remove. You have two main options you can chose from when looking for a mouth guard:
- Generic mouthguards – They are cheap and available in most places. The majority are made out of mouldable plastic than you heat to take the shape of your teeth.Even with the heating they are still “one size fits all” and the heating process does not mean they will fit you perfectly.
- Custom fit mouth guards – This type of mouthguard is molded to perfectly fit your teeth and give you the best protection. Some may require you to get a dental impression created but the advantage is that many can be purchased online and are moulded perfectly to your teeth.
What to use?
We are not going to lie, sometimes Krav Maga can be brutal. Forearm guards are going to be your best friend if you do not want your arms to get bruised and scraped. Look for forearms guards that have foam pads all around as they will ensure your entire arm is protected and not just the top.
Having to buy a groin guard for Krav Maga is no surprise because as the Simpsons taught us: “No groin, no Krav Maga!” There are 3 main types of groin guards: Slip on groin guards – They are easy to get on and off quickly and many consider them to be the most comfortable as they can be worn for extended periods of time. However, their main disadvantage is that they provide only minimum protection. Compression shorts and groin guard – Compression shorts are tight shorts and many of them contain a pocket for a traditional groin guard. Their main advantage is that they provide a higher level of protection and their main benefit is that you are able to remove the guard when not needed. Metal Muay Thai Style groin guard – Metal guards can provide the best groin protection because of their durability and material. Their main disadvantage are that they can be a bad fit and also become uncomfortable when worn for extended periods of time. Shin protection Many Krav Maga techniques use the shin to defend against attacks so adequate shin protection is a must. You have three main shin guard options to chose from:
- Foam padded – very comfortable but they work only for light impact hits.
- Dipped foam – they are more rigid than cheaper options but look for ones with a secure fit to prevent sliding.
- Leather/rigid plastic – they provide the best long term option but they are the most expensive.
Shoes are very important as they will help you train properly and also offer protection to your foot when needed. Normal training shoes will work for Krav Maga but if you are interested in aspects like support and protection here are 3 main things to look for in training shoes:
- Flat tread – running trainers have very tall tread so this can make twisting and turning difficult and also dangerous as you can get injured if you trip.
- Ankle support – ankle support is great to have in a shoe, that is why high trainers used in boxing or wrestling can be great.
- Toe protection – it is very important for the shoes to have good toe protection as they will help prevent sprains or injuries of the toes.