A groin guard is an essential piece of kit for anyone learning self-defence. A guard meant for martial arts is typically bigger and stronger than one meant to be worn playing rugby etc. This means that they are also less comfortable; you won’t want to go for a long walk wearing one, however during class when you are in a fighting stance most of the time, you will quickly get used to it.
Female guards are simpler in design, however most serious female practitioners will also need to invest in a chest guard. You should expect to pay from €15 to €30 for a groin guard, and there are many brands to choose from such as: Rooma, Fight Rite, Top Pro, Blitz, Adidas, RDX, Bad Boy etc. In terms of design just be careful not to buy a guard meant for boxing, as they ride up very high and will impair your movement whilst kicking.
A gum shield, though not always necessary, will add to your safety and confidence whilst training. Typically they are not designed to protect you from actual strikes into the teeth; rather they prevent your teeth banging together from small knocks, that could cause chipping etc. If you desire greater protection then there are devices available, however you would need to talk to your dentist and be prepared to spend several hundred euro. For our purposes, you need not spend more than €10 – €20. You can often find mouth guards for sale in local pharmacies.