It’s that time of year again. The evenings are short, you’re running in the cold cold and dodgy Christmas jumpers have appeared around the office. If you’re not sure what gift to buy the martial artist in your life, or you’re not sure what to put on your Christmas list, then check this list out for the ten things the FQ team have put on their Christmas list this year.
A Reflex Bag
Training at home has become fairly normal in the last two years. With the potential of new lockdowns seeming ever-present, having a home set up feels like a solid insurance policy. Skipping and shadow boxing can do a lot for your skills and cardio, but having something to hit takes home training to another level. Reflex bags have seen a surge in popularity with the likes of Ryan Garcia showing off some serious skills on Instagram.
A freestanding reflex bag, like the Everlast Hyperflex Strike Bag, provides a versatile way to work on your boxing. Alongside technique you’ll work your timing, evasion and hand-eye coordination all on a bag that doesn’t require a load of effort to attach to the ceiling or wall.
A New Gi
It’s always a struggle to get back to the gym after a week or more of overeating and drinking too much at Christmas. There’s also nothing that makes you want to hit the mats more than a fresh gi to roll in. We’d always advise going for quality with a gi (assuming you want it to last more than five minutes), and top of our Christmas list has to be the Hayabusa Goorudo 3 Gi. It’s a heavy duty gi that will stand up to some serious training without breaking the bank.
A Kit Bag
One of the most overlooked parts of your training kit; a decent gym bag makes all the difference. If you head to the gym after work, walk to the gym or do different martial arts a decent bag to transport all your stuff is a must. We haven’t tested it ourselves but the Yokkao Convertible Camo Bags look great. Easy to transport with the option of wearing it as a backpack, good sized and with plenty of storage options they seem like an ideal option for a training bag.
One to One Lessons
We all know that consistent training is the most important way to progress your skills. Turning up to class on the regular and putting in work is the best way to get better. But when you’re trying to get to that next level one to one sessions with a coach are a game changer. When your coach’s attention is split during a group class it’s easy to not have your technique corrected. One on one you’re going to get loads of feedback and corrections, and can use that to improve yourself going forwards. Most coaches offer one to one teaching, often giving discounts for booking multiple lessons, or you could really push the boat out and book sessions with a top fighter, though you’d normally have to travel to them for your lessons.
New Training Clothes
Similar to getting a new gi giving your motivation a boost a new set of training clothes will get you pumped for whatever training is on the cards; striking, running or strength and conditioning. We might be slightly biased but FQ Clothing is a great choice; slick designs combined with top quality clothing that’s trusted by some high level fighters. The range of breathable training tops are all brilliant, keeping you cool and dry while you get your rounds in.
As a fighter ensuring you’re getting the right nutrition is key – you need to make sure you’re well fed to recover from hard sessions. With protein being the building block for muscle and one of the most important things to consider when planning your diet a shaker can be an important weapon in your nutrition arsenal. We’d recommend a shaker like this; with compartments to store powder and supplements it’s an ideal shaker for the fighter on the go.
Shadow boxing is a really useful tool for a striker, important to factor into your training and often overlooked. If you’ve already made shadowboxing a habit it’s natural to look for ways to take it to the next level. Adding weights is an obvious step, building strength and stamina in your shoulders and potentially improving your speed as well. While a lot of fighters opt to hold a couple of dumbbells to shadow box, you can see better results with the specific tool for the job. Egg Weights is a company that specifically builds weights for shadow boxing, designed to fit neatly in your hand and trusted by fighters around the world. Check out their full range here.
Skipping is an excellent way to train your cardio with minimal equipment – an ideal option for training at home or on the go. There’s a few options for getting the most out of your skipping, but you can’t go wrong going old school. This Thai style rope from Fairtex is a punishing rope to skip with (especially if you hit your toes) but is a sure fire way to push your cardio up.
Only one thing feels better than hitting something in a new pair of gloves. Hitting something in a new pair of custom gloves. Getting a custom pair of boxing gloves has never been easier, with brands like Infinitude offering a full customisation service through their online shop, including having your own designs printed on the gloves. If you’re in the market for regular gloves you can check out the ones we’ve tested here.
As with gloves it’s easier than ever to get yourself a pair of custom Thai shorts. Thai brands such as TUFF have recently started offering a custom short service. You can check out our thoughts on their customisation here, or find out what we’ve thought of other shorts here.
Have we missed anything we should be asking for off our Christmas list? Are you hoping Santa is going to be bringing you anything we’ve included? Let us know in the comments!