Shorts Buying Guide

While choosing martial arts shorts is, for the most part, a matter of personal comfort and style, there are a few things that you also need to take into consideration when choosing a pair of shorts. The type of martial art, whether you are training or competing and perhaps even what others at your training gym are wearing are things to keep in mind. Remember that different brands are often sized differently. Use the size chart to ensure the best fit for your AWMA ProForce® shorts. No matter what you choose, ProForce® offers a full line of shorts for all types of martial arts, so whether you're just starting out or gearing up for a big competition, you're sure to find what you're looking for.


Which Marital Art?


This may seem obvious at first, but it's worth pointing out that there is a distinct difference in the types of shorts depending on which martial art you are practicing. Let's look at the Muay Thai and mixed martial arts (MMA) disciplines to illustrate these differences. Muay Thai pants are the shortest of the martial arts shorts by far. This is directly related to its origin in the Thai culture. Thailand has an extremely warm climate, so part of the reason the shorts are so diminutive is to deal with this in a "less is more" type of way. Secondly, Thai fighters like to expose their leg muscles when throwing kicks as a demonstration of strength. Muay Thai shorts are normally made from a high-quality satiny material and tend to be made in Thailand.


Where Muay Thai shorts are designed specifically for stand-up striking, MMA products are designed completely differently as they have to be built for rolling around on the mat. While they may look at first glance like regular board shorts, a closer look reveals a huge difference. A typical pair of board shorts often has metal loops, pockets and zippers, which are all things that can be quite dangerous when you are rolling around on the ground with a sparring partner. These options are banned in most tournaments. MMA pants are also made to stay on you better while you are rolling around on the mat.


Comfort, Size and Style


Shorts are sometimes sized very differently so, before purchasing, be sure to look at the sizing guide for the particular brand you're buying. You may take a size large in one brand and find you need an XL in another. The ProForce® size chart will help you choose the correct size based on waist, inseam and length measurements. AWMA carries ProForce® shorts in up to nine different sizes, ensuring you find the perfect fit. Choosing shorts with either a drawstring or elastic waist also goes a long way in providing you with adjustable comfort. You also want a breathable fabric in which you can move around easily.


Take the material into account. This is mostly a matter of taste and function. Boxing trunks tend to be made from a satiny material while ProForce® karate shorts are often a cotton-polyester blend. In addition, take note of the weight. Like karate uniforms, shorts also come in lighter or heavier materials. What you choose will depend as much the season and climate in your area as personal and style preference.


Training or Competing


For some martial arts, there are two types of training wear: fight wear and training wear. This is the case for MMA, for example, where fight wear is very specifically designed for performance but where training wear has some more flexibility. When you're first starting out, you may be able to get away with almost any style of shorts. Once you begin sparring, however, you'll absolutely need a high-quality pair of shorts designed for whatever martial art you are practicing.


Your Training Gym Style


No matter which martial art you are practicing, look around the training gym where you practice to see what others are wearing. If you're new to martial arts or simply don't know where to start, your trainer or fellow martial artists can often be a terrific source of advice and recommendation in terms of what styles might be the most suitable for your needs. Talk to your friends about what kinds of experiences they've had with various styles and brands.


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