Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) started out almost ninety years ago as a form of all-out, no-holds-barred brawling in which participants were frequently maimed and even killed. Since its introduction in the U.S. back in 1993, there have been numerous rules put in place in order to protect the participants from serious injuries. Some protective gear is mandatory; some of it is not, but is nonetheless strongly recommended for groin and core protection.
Protective Gear For Sensitive Areas
One piece of MMA gear and training equipment that few men will argue about wearing is what is euphemistically known as the "athletic cup." Ideally, this is a hard-shell item that is roughly dome-shaped, fits into a special pocket of the jock strap and covers the genitalia. As it specifically protects the middle area of the body, the athletic cup fits into the category of MMA core protection. This is an indispensable item for all forms of contact sports, but especially MMA, where kicks are allowed and all-too-likely to strike in this sensitive area. These are available at a range of prices, from around $7 for a basic cup to $80 or more for compression shorts with a built-in hard-shell groin protection, specially designed for MMA combat. While what you choose will be based largely on considerations of comfort and personal tastes, it is well worth it to buy the best protection you can afford.
Protection For Female Fighters
With regards to MMA shirts, fighters are not allowed to wear them during a bout. However, the one exception to the "no shirt" rule in MMA is the requirement that women wear some type of padded sports bra. At least one MMA gladiatrix was quoted by ESPN in 2009 as saying "I usually... wear three sports bras during a fight." She also pointed out that during MMA bouts, strikes to the breasts are allowed, and repeated hard blows to this area can have consequences that most women don't want to think about. Again, the lady fighter is well-advised to find something with a good amount of padding, not constricting but snug and made of smooth material so she can't be easily grabbed by her opponent.
Friction And Perspiration
One thing that goes for both sports bras and compression shorts is that you will need clothing items that have a lining able to absorb the considerable sweat you'll be working up during your training and your bouts. They should also be made of a material like spandex, so as to hold skin in place and prevent both strain and chafing (by minimizing friction). At the same time, you want to choose a material that "breathes" and helps to maintain an even body temperature during your workout.
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