With my love of all things martial arts, it wasn’t long before I was persuaded by a friend to come to a Krav Maga training session.
He had been training for a number of years and were always singing the virtues of this self defense system.
For those in a rush my choice was the Diamond MMA Groin Protector. You can see more reviews here.
The origins of Krav Maga
Krav Maga was developed by Imi Lichtenfeld in Czechoslovakia during the 1930’s to protect the Jews against antisemitic attacks that were prevalent during pre-World War II Europe.
Imi was an expert in both boxing and wrestling having been taught by his father who provided close quarter protection training for the local police.
Imi later migrated to Israel where he was commissioned by the military to further evolve his training so that it could be taught to the army.
Today, Krav Maga incorporates aspects of boxing, wrestling, knife fighting, stick fighting, and gun disarm methods.
In common with many martial arts, one of the main objectives is to attack your opponent’s weakest body part with the strongest attack.
Unsurprisingly, the groin area is a key target area in Krav Maga.
As a random thought, this classic clip from Master Ken sprang to mind……
I don’t need to say that being struck in the groin area is extremely painful, not only for men but also for women too.
A groin protector is therefore a key purchase for anyone wanting to practise Krav Maga.
Before I accompanied my friend to my first lesson, I ensured I took my gum shield and also took the time to research the various groin guards available.
Given what it’s designed to protect, I thought it was worthwhile taking the time to select the right one.
What is a groin guard?
Before I go on, it’s worth discussing exactly what a groin guard is.
It’s a palm sized, shield shaped cup that protects the soft tissue of the groin area. They are often made out of hardened plastic with a softer edge for comfort. They are held in position by fitting inside a pocketed area within a jockstrap or compression shorts.
What to look for when selecting the best groin guard for Krav Maga
One of the prime considerations I looked into was the matter of comfort.
During my training, I didn’t want to be distracted by any sensations of discomfort from an ill fitting groin guard.
Indeed, if the groin protector was digging into me at all before any light sparring, then I shuddered to think what might happen if it received a significant impact.
Of course, I wanted to ensure that the guard was fit for purpose and was able to protect what is was supposed to protect.
I looked carefully at the material from which the groin guard was made as well as seeing how the design was tested.
Linked to the two factors above, I wanted to make sure that I chose from an established manufacturer with many years of designing this type of equipment.
The longer a company has been around, the more likely it is that they have come up with a successful design.
Range of movement
I didn’t want the groin protector to impede my movement in any way.
It was no use being very well protected, but being unable to throw certain kicks and move with a degree of freedom.
It was therefore important that it was designed ergonomically.
Krav Maga training has to be as realistic as possible. Chances are I wouldn’t be wearing a groin protector if I was ever attacked on the street. I therefore needed to be able to move as though I wasn’t wearing one during my training.
I also factored in cost but given what it’s protecting, I consider it more of an essential investment.
Speaking to my friend who had purchased a cheap groin protector, he found that he spent time adjusting it during his sparring and couldn’t wait to take the think off at the end of the training session. I didn’t want to have that trouble.
The groin protector I chose
After a considerable amount of research, I chose the…
These are compression shorts which incorporate a 4-strap jock system which attach to tailored cup pocket.
This 4-strap set up, together with the surrounding high quality spandex, ensures that that cup stays in plays and that there is no movement either vertically or horizontally; it also holds the cup firmly against the body.
The compression shorts also feature a drawstring and are naturally stretchy providing a secure yet comfortable fit.
The cup itself features a soft soft elastomer edge meaning it doesn’t rub against surrounding muscles and nerve regions. Instead it almost moulds itself to the groin area.
Cheaper designs have a completely solid cup which can rub and chaff against the underlying skin.
It comes with an easy to use sizing guide:
Sizing Waist in Inches
Small 28″ – 32″ (71-81cm)
Medium 32″ – 34″ (71-86cm)
Large 34″ – 36″ (86-91cm)
X Large 36″ – 40″ (91-101cm)
XX Large 40″ – 44″ (101-112cm)
The advice is that if you’re thicker in the thighs and/or seat, you should go up a size.
There are also youth sizes available.
Within the elastomer edge, the cup is made from an extremely tough but slightly flexible polycarbonate. This is the same plastic material utilized in bulletproof glass!
According to the marketing material the design has been developed by Stanford University engineers.
If someone manages to break this I really do have something to worry about.
You can see it being tested in the video below:
Diamond MMA is an American company that was founded in 2008 by a group of athletes and designers to provide athletic cup protection to athletes who participate in high-impact sports.
With over a decade of experience, the entire company is focussed on making a superior groin protector.
Range of movement
The patented 4- strap technology keeps the athletic cup locked into place with zero shifting on impact or movement. At the same time the cup is designed to flex with movement.
It is more expensive that some of the other groin protectors on the market but, in my view, it’s a price worth paying to protect the family jewels.
I ended up paying just under $90 for mine but you can see the price here on Amazon.
I also liked that I could use it for other martial arts, baseball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, football, rugby, or any other high-impact sport.
The clincher for me was when the cup was recommended by Joe Rogan:
I wish you many years of pain free training!