How to Wear Your Muay Thai Shorts with Style
One of the biggest things that separates Muay Thai fighters from other martial arts is their shorts. Outside of Vale Tudo shorts, Muay Thai shorts are by far the shortest fight shorts you will find. Muay Thai fighters are notoriously known for hiking up their shorts to the shortest possible length.
To the untrained eye, the constant rolling up of the shorts looks strange. You will notice that most people who are just starting out, keep their shorts long as possible. And, once that person starts improving their skill and technique, they will slowly start hiking up their shorts.
It took me a while to get used to the fact that I had to wear short shorts in Muay Thai. Before training Muay Thai, I came from an MMA background where I always wore MMA shorts which are much longer and look like regular board shorts. You can imagine the adjustments it took for me to realize how much more leg would be exposed when wearing the shorts.
Why Do Thai Fighters Hike Up Their Shorts?
One theory I came up with, was the fact that young Thai fighters often come from rural areas of Thailand with no money. Because they gyms are not well off, the Thai boys can’t afford brand new shorts that fit them. Most of them start off wearing hand-me-down shorts that are too big for them.
Sometimes these old shorts have elastic waistbands that are completely broken or they are simply too long for the Thai boys. Whatever the case, the early Thai boys would have developed a habit of rolling up their shorts the moment they start training. As the boys grew older and started to fill out and get new shorts, they continued the habit of rolling up their shorts in training. Eventually, this became the “Thai style” for fighters who compete.
Another reason why Thai fighters roll up their shorts is because it exposes the muscles in their leg. When you see a leg smashing into an opponent, it has a bigger effect on the judges than seeing someone wearing Kickboxing shorts kicking. With rolled up shorts you can see all the muscles being tensed when a fighter is kicking, which is impressive.
Additionally, most Thai fighters will roll up one leg a little bit higher than the other leg. This is usually to indicate which kicking leg that fighter prefers. Even though they can land both sides, there will be one side that they often use more often.
If you go around and ask a Thai fighter why they roll their shorts up, they will probably answer, “Muay Thai style.” They don’t know why they roll the shorts up, it is simply something they started doing when they were small Thai boys. Their trainers probably did the same thing, and those trainer’s trainers did it as well.
Once a habit becomes ingrained into a group, it becomes a tradition that is passed on through the generations. Regardless of how it started, rolling up the shirts is something that all Thai fighters do.
How to Style Your Muay Thai Shorts
Now that we understand why Muay Thai fighters wear their shorts at a short length, it would make sense that foreigners who want to adapt the Thai style of fighting would also emulate their fashion style. If you see a foreigner wearing his shorts without rolling them up, you can immediately assume two things: he just arrived in Thailand or he is new to the sport.
To prevent yourself from being associated with a beginner (maybe you want to be), the key is to develop the right Muay Thai style. If you walk around with the right style, people will assume you are good before they see you hit pads or shadow box.
Some foreigners have no idea how to style their Muay Thai shorts. I’ve seen some European guys roll their shorts like a baby diaper, which looks extremely weird and gives off the impression that they are trying way to hard.
Obviously, you may not want to try and give the wrong impression, but it is still good to understand how to style your shorts properly for Muay Thai. The following are some tips for styling your regular cut Muay Thai shorts. If you buy retro style shorts you won’t need to style them much because they are already short.
The following style tips are for guys. Most women do not hike their shorts up extremely short, otherwise they will have a hoard of men starring at them. Muay Thai is a very male dominated sport, so if you are a female in a traditional gym, I would keep the short length reasonable.
Step 1: Roll Your Waist Band Up
As much as you might like showing off that Twins Patch on your waistband, the first thing most fighters do is roll up their waist band. You don’t need to do this if you already have a short pair of shorts, but if you are starting off with a big size you need to shorten the overall length of the shorts.
By rolling up the waist band you will shorten the shorts by around 2 to 3 inches. This gives you the ability to make your shorts a size smaller without rolling up the individual legs of the shorts. Not everyone rolls up their waist band, but most people do at some point.
Step 2: Tuck Your Upper Thigh Leg into the Waistband
This is a little trick you can use to shorten the legs of your Muay Thai shorts. By tucking in the upper leg into your shorts, you will be able to control the length of each of your short legs. If you want to expose a lot of those strong thighs, then roll it up a lot more.
Most fighters will hook up one leg a little bit shorter than the other, but this is just a preference and not something you have to do.
Step 3: Make Sure your Underwear Isn’t Sticking Out
Most Thai fighters wear Briefs during training, so they don’t have to worry about their boxer legs being exposed. When you roll up your short leg too much your underwear can be exposed by the shorts. Ideally, you should wear short boxers or briefs or roll up your underwear legs.
Nothing is worse than seeing a fighter have his shorts rolled up and his long boxer underwear sticking out. What’s the point of rolling up your shorts if your boxers are still covering your leg? You might as well keep your shorts longer and cover up your Boxers.
Wear Something Under Your Shorts
I know this is obvious to most of you reading this, but every so often, I see a guy who doesn’t thing he needs to wear underwear underneath his shorts. Besides the obvious problems this presents, nothing is worse than seeing someone’s junk hanging out when they are training or stretching. It is disgusting to the people around you and not something that you should let loose in training. Nobody wants to see your ‘package’ so keep it covered up.
Choose Whatever Style Is Comfortable for You
Everyone has their own style. If you want your shorts rolled up, go for it. If you don’t feel comfortable rolling up your shorts, I suggest you buy a shorter pair of shorts and you solved the problem. Retro style shorts are short enough that you don’t need to roll them up.
There is nothing wrong with not touching your Muay Thai shorts. Even though it may not be in “fashion,” nobody cares. What matters is your skill in training, not how you like. I would rather people underestimate me, than think I was good when I was not.
I do suggest that you wear Muay Thai shorts when you train Muay Thai. Thai shorts are the unofficial uniform for Muay Thai fighters. If you train Muay Thai, you wear Muay Thai shorts. If you train another style like Kickboxing, wear Kickboxing shorts.
If you find something that fits you and your style, that is what matters. Don’t worry about what anybody thinks or says, do what you want to do.