This is a guest post from Michael

For those that are toying with the idea of getting involved in MMA, the sport can be somewhat intimidating. The thought of turning up at a gym for the first time to be confronted with a load of ripped blokes can be off-putting; especially for those with a more curvaceous physique. Then there is the worry of turning up in the wrong clothes and with the all the wrong kit. Here we look at the essential MMA gear that all beginners to the sport should look to get their hands on before their first class or training session.

Fight Shorts

The first bit of MMA gear that you should look to invest in are fight shorts. Many beginners will turn up in a pair of generic shorts that they have bought from the local sports store. Quite often they will find that the shorts only last as long as the first grappling and wrestling session; before they are torn to pieces.

Specialised MMA fight shorts are designed to withstand the pulling and scuffing that occurs during training and also provide better movement than generic alternatives do. Whilst it will cost you a bit more to purchase MMA shorts in comparison to other sports shorts, they will pay for themselves in the long run due to their durability.

Groin Guard

Under your fight shorts you should always wear a groin guard to protect your wedding tackle. There are three popular types of groin guards; jock straps with cups, Thai style metal cups or compression shorts with cups. Each option has its own pros and cons and which best suits you is down to personal preference. It is a good idea to spend a little time on MMA message board forums to get people’s views on this piece of MMA gear. Try and get advice from people with lots of experience and who have a similar build to yourself.

Rash Guard

Whilst competing in an organised MMA fight you are not allowed to wear anything on the upper half of your body. However, during training it is recommended that you wear a rash guard which will protect you from injuries caused by friction against the body of your opponent and also the floor mat.

Gum Shield

The nature of MMA means that you are likely to suffer some injuries when you train and spar. Most gyms will shy away from head and especially facial blows with newcomers; however accidental contact will happen at some point.

Therefore a gum shield is one of the most important bits of MMA gear for anyone partaking in the sport; whether they beginners or seasoned pros. A gum shield will only cost a few pounds and can save you a fortune in dental costs.

Sparring Gloves

The final bit of MMA that we recommend you purchase is a pair of sparring gloves. Most gyms will supply 16oz traditional boxing gloves with which to train and they offer plenty of protection. However, the gloves do tend to become quite smelly and there is also the risk of infection when sharing gloves. Whilst sparring gloves are a good idea; don’t worry about buying the proper MMA fight gloves to begin with. Fight gloves offer little in the way of protection and should never be used for sparring – especially when just starting out.