Muay Thai headgear: 5 tips on how to buy the best headguard
Why would you need a Muay Thai headgear? Let me explain this as clear as possible: there are two kinds of people in this world: those who enjoy the pain and those who don't like it so much and would like to avoid it if unnecessary. If you belong to the latter group you should probably buy a headgear. It will protect your face from all sorts of nasty elbow cuts and absorb the force of head kicks and punches. Muay Thai is not so damaging to your head as Boxing, however, if you spar at full power a lot or have some fresh cuts on your head you may need to wear it.
How to choose a proper Muay Thai headgear?
I would like to share my experience with you and help you to make an educated choice with your next purchase. I don't want to point you towards a specific brand at this point but rather explain what a proper Muay Thai head guard should be like and what to look for when buying one:
you should buy a headgear designed specifically for Muay Thai. Any other head guard like the one build for Boxing or will not provide the full protection against strikes typical for Thai Kickboxing like elbow strikes or head kicks deliver with a hard shin bone. Muay Thai head gear was designed specifically for that purpose and offers that extra protection.
It must be of a proper size and fit tight on your head. Under no circumstances, it should change a position during a fight and obscure your vision. It should have adjustable belts, so it won't fall down under an impact of kicks and punches.
Padding: it should be thick enough to absorb the impact of the punch but not too thick cause, again, it will obscure your vision. This is more of a personal preference - it really depends on what level of protection are you willing to accept at the expense of a field of vision. Obviously, when you spend more money you will get a more lightweight Muay Thai head guard build with quality materials and a multilayer padding that will offer a better level of protection as cheaper and bulkier head guard.
It should be as light as possible and still offer a good head protection. This is very important. The longer you spar the heavier it feels on your head. Every extra ounce feels like a pound after one hour of sparring. As I mentioned before - lighter weight doesn't have to come at the expense of a protection level it offers. Simply, you have to invest in a good quality leather Muay Thai head gear with a great padding to have both.
Just like with gloves and Thai pads you should pay attention to a durability and the quality of stitching. I highly advise you to go for a triple stitched leather Muay Thai head guard - it will serve you longer and in the long run, you will save money betting on a quality product.
Quality Muay Thai headgear will protect your head from a possible trauma caused by elbow strikes, punches and headkicks. That said, if you are planning to become a pro or semi pro fighter and to participate in Muay Thai competitions, you should do a full power sparring without a headgear on a regular basis. This will condition your body to get used to being punched and kicked - cause this will happen inevitably - and it will help you to adjust defensive skills to protect yourself effectively at all-time in a real fight.