The Essential MMA Fighter Road Kit
The must-have fighting, training, and social tools for every touring fighter
When you think of the hours and skill it takes to become an athlete, it might not seem that difficult to qualify as say a pitcher in baseball or a striker in professional soccer. I could understand putting in ten thousand hours throwing a ball, or putting a ball past a goalie into a net. Becoming an MMA, however, takes more than just proficiency at one skill. MMA fighters need to fight in many styles—judo, taekwondo, boxing, Muay Thai, and wrestling are just the tip of the iceberg.
The multi-disciplinary skills demanded of an MMA fighter, plus the pure hours of learning techniques like submissions, takedowns, striking, and more just exhaust me writing about them. The MMA is always evolving and fighters are expected to be proficient in the newest grappling techniques and fighting styles as new ones are introduced to the sport regularly. Mix these dangerous moves with an opponent who is literally aiming to hurt you—and you can just imagine the essentials of an MMA fighter. Protective equipment is high on the list when you consider that the point of an MMA fight is to combat, maim, and knock out your competition, so if you get hurt, a team mate does not sub in.
Life on the road as an MMA fighter is not easy. You are away from your gym, your kitchen (to make adequate meals), and your family, which can be mentally stressful.
This is why I’ve created the essential MMA fighter road kit…every tool and piece of equipment an MMA fighter needs to function on the road…
1. Essential MMA fighter gear
- Wrestling ear guards – These work wonders in preventing the dreaded cauliflower ear from all of that grappling in the ring. Plus, once a fighter has cauliflower, it’s very sore and debilitating when training and fighting. Be proactive and always carry ear guards to train and fight with.
- Gum shields – Most pro MMA fighters use custom made gum shields that are molded to their teeth to protect their pearly whites from becoming fan paraphernalia.
- Rash guards – This artificial cloth wicks away sweat build up when training and provides a defensive barrier during a mat grapple. It also protects fighters against diseases such as ringworm or staph that can occur when bacteria stays on the skin.
- Sparring gloves – You’ll need these as you train on the road for techniques like sparring, grappling, standup fighting, cage pummeling.
- Groin guards – Protect the family jewels with a groin guard inserted in a pair of compression shorts with cup that holds the groin guard in place.
- Gear bag – And, of course, to keep everything in one place, a gear back is handy for touting all of your gear. Look for one with padded straps and zips to carry your gear comfortably.
2. Essential MMA training tools
For MMA fighters, life on the road takes you away from your training gym. You will likely hit gyms on the road with the essential training equipment needed for a full workout. However, when you’re far from a training facility, you can do CrossFit workouts with body weight exercises, plus the following portable tools:
- Fat Grips – Essential for forearm workouts to improve grip, and easily added to your normal lifting routine via any barbell or dumbbell.
- Resistance straps – Much lighter than dumbbells and easily tucked into a carry-on bag, resistance straps come in a range of pull and you can set them up and adjust using hotel furniture (i.e., the leg of a table) so that you can create basic workouts (to do resistance squats, rows, leg lifts, curls, etc.) and create advanced circuits in the small space of your hotel room.
3. Essential MMA social tools
Part of the mental stress placed on MMA fighters is being away from friends and family. Life on a tour can be isolating so social tools like Facebook, Skype, and Twitter can be a great way to stay in touch with what’s going on at home. All you need is a smart phone, tablet, or one of many laptops to launch the social platform of your choice and carry on a video call (with free Skype calls), a chat (with Facebook), or upload images and quick updates (via TwitPic and Twitter).
Melanie Gray is a writer for BBGeeks, a popular site that provides BlackBerry news, commentary, reviews and beginner cell phone tips for BB newbies.
The Essential MMA Fighter Road Kit,