Training in the summer heat can be a challenge for martial artists, but the right gear can make a significant difference in keeping you cool and comfortable. The choice of apparel and equipment is crucial in managing body temperature, preventing excessive sweating, and maintaining performance levels. Here’s a guide to the best gear for summer martial arts training, focusing on breathable fabrics, lightweight equipment, and essential accessories. 

Breathable Fabrics 

Choosing the right fabric for your training clothes is paramount in hot weather. Look for materials designed to wick sweat away from your body and allow maximum airflow. 

  1. Moisture-Wicking Fabrics: These fabrics, such as polyester blends or specialized athletic materials like Dri-FIT, are engineered to pull sweat away from your skin, promoting evaporation and keeping you dry. Brands like Under Armour and Nike offer a wide range of moisture-wicking martial arts gear. 
  1. Lightweight Cotton: While cotton isn’t as effective at wicking moisture, lightweight cotton can still be a comfortable option. It’s breathable and soft against the skin, making it a popular choice for many martial artists. Look for cotton blends that combine the best features of cotton and synthetic materials. 
  1. Mesh Inserts: Training clothes with mesh inserts provide additional ventilation, enhancing airflow to key areas like the back, sides, and underarms. This feature is particularly beneficial for high-intensity sessions where heat buildup is a concern. 

Lightweight Equipment 

Using lightweight equipment can help reduce fatigue and keep you agile during summer training. Here are some essential pieces of gear to consider: 

  1. Lightweight Gis: For those practicing disciplines like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Judo, investing in a lightweight gi is a smart choice. These gis are made from thinner, more breathable materials compared to traditional heavy cotton. Brands like Fuji and Venum offer high-quality lightweight gis that don’t compromise on durability. 
  1. Training Gloves: When selecting gloves for disciplines such as Muay Thai or boxing, opt for gloves with breathable mesh panels and moisture-wicking liners. These features help keep your hands cool and dry, preventing discomfort and slippage. Hayabusa and Fairtex are well-regarded brands that offer ventilated training gloves. 
  1. Shin Guards and Protective Gear: Choose protective gear made from lightweight materials with ventilation features. Shin guards, headgear, and other protective equipment should not only provide safety but also ensure comfort during extended training sessions. Top King and RDX are known for their high-quality, breathable protective gear. 

Essential Accessories 

In addition to apparel and equipment, there are several accessories that can enhance your comfort during summer martial arts training: 

  1. Cooling Towels: These towels are designed to stay cool for hours after being soaked in water and wrung out. Placing a cooling towel around your neck during breaks can help lower your body temperature significantly. Mission and Frogg Toggs offer effective cooling towels. 
  1. Water Bottles: Staying hydrated is critical in hot weather. Use an insulated water bottle to keep your drinks cold throughout your training session. Brands like Hydro Flask and Yeti are excellent choices for durable, high-performance water bottles. 
  1. Headbands and Wristbands: Sweat-wicking headbands and wristbands can help manage perspiration, keeping it out of your eyes and off your hands. Look for products made from moisture-wicking fabrics that dry quickly and maintain comfort. 
  1. Sun Protection: If you’re training outdoors, don’t forget sun protection. Wear a hat or visor to shield your face from direct sunlight, and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed skin to prevent sunburn.