What Equipment Do You Need for MMA? – The Complete Guide

beginner MMA equipment

If you will start doing MMA training or want to know all MMA equipment which is used for MMA training, you are in the right place.

Below there are all MMA gears for you to start and do MMA training. With that, there is some optional equipment as well and you can also find them at the end of the writing.

what equipment do you need to start MMA

1. MMA Gloves

Obviously, firstly you need MMA gloves. There are many MMA training types including bag work, pads, and sparring training. You need a suitable and quality pair of MMA gloves for these, so you can have quality sessions.

Some pair types can be used for bag work and pads. These (quality ones) have very good wrist support and suitable qualities for these training types. If you are interested, you can have a look at the reviews of really quality MMA gloves.

With that, there are other requirements for grappling, ground work, and sparring. These gloves need to provide complete freedom for your fingers, so you can show good training performance and you can achieve it with these good quality MMA sparring gloves.


2. Bags (Heavy Bag, Double End Bag, Speed bag…)

Bag work has so many benefits and it is essential for people who do MMA training.

Some of these benefits are improving punching power, precision, endurance and obviously, you can implement punching techniques which is why we do double end bag training in the first place.

There are just some more suitable heavy bags for MMA and some of these bags even allow you to clinch and do ground work. These are just some of many things which you can do with bags and bag work is simply essential for MMA training.

Obviously, you don’t need to have your own bag, however, you should definitely train with bags.

3. MMA Shorts

Good MMA shorts should allow you to kick high and roll on the mats without any restriction of movement. These are also comfy and provide air in and out. So if you do any kind of MMA training, depending on your training frequency, you need to get one or two.

what Equipment do you need for MMA

Let’s Continue with Protective MMA Sparring Equipment

4. MMA Headgear

You will get lots of blows to your head and also roll on the ground during sparring. Also, you can hit your head to mats. So your MMA headgear should be ready for these.

With that, you should get MMA headgear and not a boxing headgear. Because even though boxing headgears and MMA headgears look similar, these are not same. Most of the boxing headgears change position while you do ground work and this can block your vision or it may not protect your head properly. After all, you are not supposed to roll on the mats in boxing. With that, quality MMA headgears stay still.


5. MMA Cup

Alright, low blows are illegal and your sparring partner should not do it. But these happen and as you may guess, the consequences can be really bad however if you wear protective MMA cup, you can avoid these consequences.


6. Mouth Guard

There are many reasons to wear a mouth guard during your mixed martial arts training. It can help you keep your healthy smile and even protect you from concussions.


7. MMA Shin Guards

We kick a lot during pad work and sparring. Of course, we are not made of steel and wearing MMA shin guards can save you from fractures and bone injuries.

With that, there are a couple of shin guard styles. Some of them are light and some of them are heavy etc. So you need to consider these and research well before you get any shin guard. Because this directly affects training quality and kicking technique.

Also definitely keep in mind that your shin guard needs to cover and protect the top of your foot. You will be surprised how many low-quality MMA shin guards are on the market and these are not capable of doing this.


8. Rash Guard

I did not put rash guards in the optional section since according to me everyone needs to wear one. You roll on the mats, contact your opponent skin… You can get infected and if you have a sensitive skin like I have, your MMA session can be a nightmare if you don’t wear one.

There are long sleeve and short sleeve types. However, the important thing is the material quality and considering my experiences, the material quality is directly related to the price.


9. Focus Mitts

One of the basics of MMA training is that you need to learn how to position yourself according to target and what can be a better and more fun way to learn it other than punch mitt training?

There are some styles however according to many authoritative figures, curved punch mitts give more control for trainers so you can have more quality striking session.

beginner MMA equipment


10. Body Protector

Quality body protector can save you from soreness and also provides better training quality. Since these stay in place and provide good striking experience.


11. MMA T-shirts

Many other t-shirt types can be baggy after some time and will be useless. With that, MMA T-shirts can take wear and tear. These don’t stretch a lot and maintain the same quality. So when you punch or grapple, these don’t restrict your movement.


Optional Equipment

Knee and Elbow Pads: Even though you don’t see a lot of people who wear knee and elbow pads in MMA gyms, if you do many drills, you will feel soreness in your knees and elbows. So even though these are optional and used mostly for wrestling, I would suggest you wear these and don’t feel any soreness or have matt burns.

Ankle Support: If you have weak ankles, you might want to consider this one as well.

Grappling Dummy: Grappling dummy helps you improve grappling skills without hurting your sparring partner.

MMA Gym Gag: Even though some regular gym bags can carry a lot of stuff, as you can see above you have many gears to put in a bag. You might want to put these in a suitable bag (preferably an MMA Bag) because these have a lot of space and provide good air regulation so bacteria don’t invade your equipment.

These are all equipment you need to start MMA training, of course, the optional list can be extended with battle ropes, plyo boxes, jump ropes, medicine balls… which improve explosive strength and necessary skills for MMA. However, if you do only MMA training (pad work, bag work, sparring etc.) then the equipment list above is what you are looking for.

I hope this list is helpful to you and if you have any further questions, just have a comment below.


Image Courtesy of  Marchall, BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE and pxhere  via Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved
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2 thoughts on “What Equipment Do You Need for MMA? – The Complete Guide”

  1. My 12-year-old son has been asking me to go to MMA training but all the gear added up looks really expensive, is everything here necessary for new starters or could I leave a few things off the list until I know he is serious about taking MMA up as his sport?

    1. Actually, you can ask the trainers that which training types are included and after that, you can visit this page and choose accordingly. In our MMA gym, kids do many MMA trabibf types but not all.

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