Why You Should Wear Muay Thai Shorts at the Gym
In the world of fighting sports there is no such things as uniforms. If you ever show up at the Boxing gym, you won’t see any arbitrary ranking system that categories people based on how long they have been training. In combat sports, the only ranking system that you will encounter is when you spar and put your skills to the test.
You can be training Muay Thai for decades, but if you haven’t developed your skill and technique to a high level, you won’t be regarded as someone who has authority in the gym. In gyms like Boxing and Muay Thai, the older fighters become the assistant trainers/pad holders who can pass down their knowledge the students climbing the ranks.
While the odd Muay Thai gym might have a t-shirt system or a color belt system that they implement, they are an outlier. Muay Thai is a sport that didn’t evolve for personal fitness, it was a sport that evolved for competition. Because the stakes were high, fighters were trained to be effective, and the best fighters were the only ones that were able to climb the ranks.
Even though fighting sports like Boxing, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing don’t have ranking systems or uniforms, they do have one thing distinction between them all: their shorts.
The Unofficial Uniform of Muay Thai
Every sport has a unique style of shorts that sets it apart from other Martial arts. Boxing shorts are the longest because they don’t need to kick, the fabric can extend well past the knees. Kickboxing shorts are also long, but they have slits on the sides of the legs. You will also find that some Kickboxers now use shorter shorts that cut off before the knee. MMA fighters use spandex/tight shorts because they are grappling and don’t need any excess fabric that is moving around.
Muay Thai shorts are unique to the sport of Muay Thai. The shorts are typically made from Nylon/Satin material and they are designed to cut off half way up the leg. The shorts are designed to reduce the any friction they might feel from fabric when they are kicking.
When you wear Muay Thai shorts to train, you are signaling to the people around you that Muay Thai is your sport. Thai Boxing shorts are the unofficial uniform of Muay Thai, so wearing the shorts signals to people around you that you are a Nak Muay.
Now, if you train at an MMA gym and Muay Thai isn’t your favorite combat sport, feel free to wear any type of shorts you like to train in. However, if you truly do love Muay Thai, wearing Muay Thai shorts should become second nature to you.
Training Muay Thai in Thailand
I’ve been in Thailand since 2011 and I’ve seen people wear all types of shorts to the gym. And 90% of the time, I can tell someone’s fighting style based on the shorts they wear to the gym. This is valuable information to know when you are sparring someone new.
If I notice the guy standing in front of me is wearing Kickboxing shorts, I immediately expect them to move around like a Kickboxer would. This changes the way I approach that person in sparring and allows me to have a pre-sparring advantage because I already know how they are going to move.
Conversely, if I see someone who is wearing Muay Thai shorts with the sides rolled up, that signals they probably come from a traditional Muay Thai background. This also gives me advanced knowledge of what I can expect from that person, without ever seeing them spar.
The kind of shorts someone wears to training, tells you a lot about their motivations and passions for the sport. For example, I can typically spot a beginner in the sport because they are going to be wearing fitness shorts to train. These would be like Lululemon spandex pants or Under Armor shorts. Anyone wearing fitness shorts is usually at the gym to focus on losing weights, and less focused on improving their skill.
Keep in mind, that I’ve seen good fighters wear all types of shorts, so this is not a universal rule that can apply to anyone. The rules that I am outlining typically apply to training in Thailand, wear 90% of people at the gym are wearing proper Muay Thai shorts to training.
Every Muay Thai gym has a different culture at its core. Some gyms have a more traditional approach to Muay Thai, while others are more relaxed and don’t care what the students wear. Training in a more relaxed gym, usually means that you can wear whatever you want, and most people do. At these gyms, you can usually tell the people who are dedicated to Muay Thai, and the ones who aren’t.
If you are training at a gym that offers Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ, and MMA classes, you can expect to see students wearing a mix match of uniforms. Your choice of shorts will probably depend on what class you are taking. You would never wear Muay Thai short for grappling classes because they are not designed to be used while on the ground.
The gym culture will define a dress code. I always recommend that if you are training in Thailand, you should show up to the gym with Muay Thai shorts. That is not only a sign that you are into Muay Thai, it is also a show of respect to the history of Muay Thai and where it originated.
An Easy Choice
If you do a quick search online, you will notice that Muay Thai shorts have the widest selection of colorful and creative shorts you will find. In the past 5 years the amount of designs and styles of Muay Thai shorts has blown up drastically.
Shorts are no longer plan with a simple patch on them, they are full of unique colorways that stand out. Almost every Muay Thai brand has a unique selection of Thai boxing shorts that showcase how unique Thai boxing shorts really are.
When it comes to choosing your Muay Thai shorts, MTP Fight Gear offers a wide selection of shorts that focus on modern styles and cuts of shorts. We focus on colorways that look classic, yet modern at the same time. Whether you want a traditional looking pair of shorts or you are looking for something cooler, we offer that best designs in the industry.