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Everything!! (well we are an internet store after all!) Seriously though what you need first and foremost is a good attitude to training. When I get beginners in my class I tend to see them jumping in with both feet and buying everything in the first couple of weeks and then not seeing them after week 4 or 5.
Once you've been down to your club and found your feet then is the time to have a look at buying your own kit. If you've ever borrowed someone else's gloves you'll know there is no feeling like putting your hands in to slightly (very!) moist warm gloves..! Owning your own gets rid of that and averts the chance of passing on any skin infection (very rare but it can happen).
It's always better to buy the best you can afford at the time and not to skimp when it comes to safety and we've never had more colour / design options than we have at the moment (although it does take some balearics to walk in to the gym completely kitted out in the latest Twins offerings!)
Anklets - will help protect the ankle joint
Handwraps - will protect the fist, wrist and forearm (see handwraps faq). Amongst the first piece of kit you should buy.
Shinpads - fairly obviously protects the shin when sparring. Not necessarily the first thing on the list of things you need to buy. If you use them when you kick the pads / bags you'll find their lifespan will be greatly dimninished (and your shins will never toughen up!). If you are going to enter the sparring arena you should buy the best you can afford (see shinpads faq)
Bag gloves - will protect your knuckles (and sometimes wrists) when hitting the pads / bags. Not for sparring. You should normally look at buying these before boxing gloves (see bag gloves vs. boxing gloves faq)
Boxing gloves - protects your hands, knuckles and wrists during sparring or heavy pad / bag work. Importantly will also protect your sparring partner too! Available in many different colours, designs and sizes allowing you to express yourself even whilst training quietly at the back of the class
Shorts - make you look the part (well lets face it they do)! When you think of Thai Boxing you can't help but to think of the wild garish shorts. Ultimately though they nearly always have a generous cut on the leg which will allow you to knee and kick without hinderance. When I get a beginner in a class wearing tracksuit, it normally only takes a couple of weeks before they come in wearing ordinary sports shorts that allows that extra movement.
Again they're available in many different colours, designs and sizes allowing you to express yourself even whilst training quietly at the back of the class. In most cases (note I say most!) the brighter the short, the better. Shorts are the hardest things to buy as most beginners feel that they haven't "earned the right" to wear them... but everyone has to start somewhere. If you're going to buy them, a right pair of bobby dazzlers is what you need!
Always a good idea to wear them even if you think you are not a "hard hitter". It is worth remembering that wraps are not for covering the knuckle in order to hit the pads / bags. That is what bag gloves or boxing gloves are for. The handwrap is to keep the wrist, fist and forearm in line - there is no wrist in a punch!
If nothing else they will absorb the sweat from your hands increasing the longevity of your gloves - remember it is easier to throw your wraps in the washing machine than it is to wash the inside of your gloves!
They generally come in two sizes, 2.5m and 5m and it is entirely down to personal preference which you wear. Fighters and "heavy hitters" tend to prefer the longer wraps as you can wrap each knuckle as well as the wrist. Wraps also come in two different types - elasticated and cotton. Again this is purely down to personal preference and I know of beginners and fighters who swear by both and maintain that they would never wear the other!
Below is a demonstration of how one could wrap a hand. Again it isimportant to note that this is only one way to wrap the hand / wrist. Over time you will develop your own way and style that suits you.
Again (as with most things!) this is down to personal preference. When you are hitting the bags it is important that the knuckles are covered and protected and this can be done with either bag gloves or boxing gloves. Bag gloves are clearly lighter and much easier to slip on and off when partnering up when on the bags / pads. They are (in most cases) much cheaper than boxing gloves and serve the purpose they were designed for. A few of them are of a more advanced design and offer a little more protection around the wrist too (something that is reflected in the price) such as the King or Fairtex glove.
Boxing gloves offer that bit (much!) more protection and give you the added advantage of being able to alternate between pad work and sparring as needs be during the session without changing gloves. They are much heavier and come in a variety of sizes from 8oz (very light fight gloves) through to 16oz or in some cases 18oz heavy sparring gloves. Your instructor will be able to advise you on what size is best for you (in many cases your club will have a specific glove you need to use dependant on weight) but in general sparring should only be carried out in 14oz gloves or above.
Check out our boxing gloves here.
Sadly, as with most things you do get what you pay for when it comes to shin pads. The budget shin pads are ok for starting out and will give you that added perception of safety, but when it comes down to it they do not offer anywhere near the protecion that the more expensive leather ones do.
As with choosing clothes on the high street you will always find a brand that suits your body better than others. Everyone has their own preference (as I do!) and most will defend their corner vehemently! Once again... personal preference rules (as you've probably realised by now!)
One tip is to try to avoid lending your shin pads out. When you "wear-in" your shin pads the heat and sweat of your legs help shape the pad to adapt and mold to your shin and calf shape. Once you lend them out you'll find that they feel ever so slightly different next time you put them on as the heat from your partners legs will have changed their shape.