Kev Foster is a British Muay Thai fighter, training full time under Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand.
We spoke to Kev to find out a little bit about his favourite gear and training advice.
Hi Kev, is there anything you’d like to tell us about yourself?
I’ve only been training for 6 years, I started training quite late. I didn’t walk into a fighting gym till I was 24, with no martial arts experience. I trained at a couple of small gyms in Pattaya then moved down to Tiger Muaythai in Phuket in 2011 and have been fighting out of there since. I won one of the slots on the 2014 Tiger tryouts for full sponsorship. I fought a lot in the local stadiums to build experience. Then I started fighting on the WPMF king/queen birthday shows in Bangkok and Max in Pattaya. Ive fought a couple of times in China in which I broke my arm in 2014 from a kick and was out for a long time.
So to start off with, what are your favourite pieces of fight gear?
Twins gloves, I’ve got 10oz for hitting pads and 16’s for sparring. The old style Fairtex shinguards too, I’ve had them for years and they are still going strong. I bought a really good custom mouthguard from FightLab and that has been priceless. Kaewramrit pads are really good too.
What sort of training do you use them for most?
Normal muaythai sessions, 6 days a week. Sparring, hitting pads, bags, drilling etc.
How long have you been using them?
Fairtex shin guards for year, the old ones last for ages.
Twins gloves don’t last as long as some of the other brands if you use them everyday, but still my favourite.
Kaewsamrit pads last for years, walk into any gym in Thailand and you’re likely to find an old set of Kaewsamrit pads covered in tape with fluff hanging out still doing the job.
What was the reason behind you getting those particular ones in the first place?
I used to wear Fairtex gloves which have quite a lot of room inside for your hands to move, then come fight day the stadium gloves would usually be Twins and feel a lot tighter and unfamiliar. So I moved onto Twins to stop that weird feeling and have stayed with them.
The Kaewsamrit pads I got because a lot of the trainers use them and recommend them, same with the Fairtex shin guards.
What would you say are the stand-out features of them and what makes them better than other brands?
Fairtex shin guards have strong velcro and metal loops for tightening, I’ve had mine years and they show very little wear on them.
16oz Twins gloves are a lot bigger than other 16oz’s, these provide a lot of cushioning when sparring.
The mouthguard from FightLab is custom fit made from moulds of your teeth, its strong plastic and fits perfectly, it doesn’t come loose or fall out.
With your fight gear, do you tend to stick to a few select brands, or do you like to mix it up with a nice variety?
I tend to stick with Thai brands, I think they’re the best quality. It’s also cheaper to buy thai stuff here.
Is there any other gear you just love to use when training?
Not so much in training but the Thai style steel cups are good for fighting.
How much of your training is dedicated to martial arts/technique training and how much is dedicated to other aspects such as cardio, strength and conditioning?
At tiger they do the normal 6 days a week, twice a day. I mix it up with strength work and different types of cardio, then closer to the fight I do mostly muaythai training. I find 800m interval runs really good for boosting cardio, and obviously sprints. We’re really lucky to have Woody at Tiger, he’s a strength and conditioning genius, so he sorts out our conditioning programs.
What are your thoughts on sparring – Should you go in hard and heavy, or keep it light and technical?
Personally I like sparring light, we fight every month in Thailand so it’s easy to pick up knocks. You can also try new things and be more creative when you’re not too worried about being hurt. I only spar harder with people I trust and know it wont turn into a gym war.
However I think some hard sparring is good for people who haven’t fought before or had a break from fighting. It let’s people get a more realistic feeling of what the fight will be like.
What pushes you to do your best during training?
With starting muaythai so late on it doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not a technically gifted fighter so I’ve had to rely on my cardio and having tonnes of heart to get me through some fights, that’s what makes me push hard through sessions, I can handle losing to a better fighter but not losing because I didn’t put in the time.
And finally what’s your best training tip for aspiring fighters out there?
I would say really work on weaknesses, don’t just be content to keep doing what you know you already do well. If you can’t do something don’t worry about how bad you look in the gym just keep repeating it till you get it down, then you will grow as a fighter. Also listen to your body, rest is as important as training.
Thanks for your time, Kev!
If you liked this, you can find Kev on Instagram as @kevf0ster.