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In MMA and all contact sports, it is imperative to protect the family jewels! It goes without saying that a groin protector protects the groin, but did you know some protect the kidneys, liver, abdomen and hips as well?

When it comes to athletic cup protection for these vital areas, it is a good idea not to skimp. These are some pretty important organs that deserve the best, most effective protection.

You won't be able to do much in the ring (or anywhere else) if you damage your groin, a kidney, your liver or any other major organ.

The fit is of great importance too. You do not want to be restricted and neither do you want your protector (or anything else for that matter) falling out of your shorts. You will also want a groin protection product that is lightweight and comfortable.
MMA Apparel
Shock Doctor

Athletic Cup

Shock Doctor Women's Ultra Cross Training Shorts

Athletic Cup
Shock Doctor Velocity Motion 360 Short with Inner Brief

Athletic Cup

Revgear Steel Cup

Athletic Cup

adidas Female Groin Pad

Athletic Cup
Diamond MMA Compression Jock and Cup


A groin attack is by definition, an attempt to inflict pain to the groin area of one's opponent. The kick, squeeze, punch, knee or strike can involve the penis and/or testicles of a man which is highly sensitive and full of nerve endings. It is quite painful and can physically debilitate the victim. This technique is referred to as a "low blow" and literally, it is!

Females are certainly not exempt from groin attacks. Yes, women get racked too. While the anatomy is different, the fact it the same...it hurts!

Kicks, strikes, grabbing and squeezing can incapacitate females because of the high amount of nerve endings in these structures. Potential long-term health problems can include nerve damage to female private parts, hematoma and fracture of the pubic bone. The truth be known, contrary to popular belief, women are as vulnerable as men when it comes to getting racked.

Groin attacks have been around since the beginning of time and have been documented in historic manuscripts and books. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Deuteronomy 25:11-12 refers to an attack on the groin. "When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one approaches to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, you shall sever her hand; you shall have no compassion."

The punch below the belt, so to speak, has even earned its share of terms of endearments. In Wrestling a direct hit to the groin of an opponent is referred to in slang as an "Irish Curse". In Boxing, "body shot" sums up the blow. On the street you most likely will hear it called, "racking".


Groin attacks, or "low blows" are not uncommon in MMA. Although they are regarded as unfair and even cowardly acts and are generally forbidden in MMA, these blows still happen. In fact, up until the 1980's "racking" was permitted in the ring. Now, unless the fight setting is extremely relaxed or held in Thailand, it is not allowed but happens often enough either by accident or by way of an illegal move. Legal or not, accidental or not, the pain is still very real.

Not only is the groin area at risk with "low blows" but other vital internal organs as well. That is why any martial arts organizations require competitors to wear groin protection in the form of protective athletic cups against to guard against these blows, accidental or not.

Do not underestimate the seriousness of a groin injury. Take it from the great Georges St. Pierre who suffered such an injury at UFC 100. Although Georges managed to defend his title with a unanimous-decision victory over Thiago Alves, he came out with a groin problem that has all but plaqued his career.

The fight took place on July 11, 2009 and St. Pierre was at first suspended for medical reasons until January 8, 2010 but it was later overturned via a medical ruling to August 11 with no contact allowed until August 2. When you are a professional fighter, a one day suspension can pose a problem, let alone a whole month.

St. Pierre is back in action but his injury still gives him problems and some have even speculated any further insult to the injury could end his career. Click on the picture below to see the fight in action.

And what about Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic? In 2008, when facing off with Alistair Overeem at Dream 6, Overeem landing such wicked knees to Mirko's groin that the fight was stopped and declared a no contest. Reports stated that "Cro Cop's" testicle actually was pushed up inside of him. Need I say more?

Dr. Zeljko Kapulica announced, "Mirko's left testicle is still hurting and I have to examine it to determine whether it's stable in the scrotum; complications might occur if the testicle rotates and clogs the blood vessels. Also I need to check if the inguinal canal in which his tescticle was pushed in is open because it could lead to a hernia."


To understand a groin injury, you must first know a little bit about the human male anatomy. The leg consists of a group of muscles called the adductor. In the adductor, three groups of muscles combine with three other groups of muscles in the inner thigh to make up the groin and medial area. These six muscles enable the leg to be brought up to the midline, or adduction.

When the leg is brought to the midline too forcefully such as by pushing off with one leg too hard or taking a direct blow to the inner thigh, a groin injury occurs causing pain to the body as well as the ego.

A groin injury can occur at three major places: tendon pulls away from the bone or even tears, leaving only a small remnant attached to the bone, tendon stays attached to the bone but comes apart at the where the tendon meets the muscle, or the fibers of the muscle fiber fail.

These sprains, strains and tears generally are from not being in good shape, not stretching properly, throwing too many kicks too quickly or improperly or recieving a direct blow.

"Give him a swift kick in the groin!" Because a groin injury is so painful, it is a very popular and highly effective tactic in self-defense. There is, in fact, an ongoing debate as to if women would win most fights againat a male opponent if groin attacks were allowed in the ring. That answer is still up in the air but one thing is not...being on the wrong end of a "low blow" can certainly put you out of action!

If you want to practice this great act of self-defense but are having finding a human volunteer, I recommend BOB XL. BOB XL is the deluxe version of the Body Opponent Bag which is a freestanding, lifelike human replica that includes a groin target area. We offer this and the full line of BOBs at the best prices you will find and have rock bottom shipping rates as well.

Check out an Aikido Self Defense lesson using the groin attack method.

Even though St. Pierre and Mirko were fortunate enough to overcome their groin injuries, the effects live on and have left their marks on the men.

While capping it off with a hat might work for protecting this man's groin, it's doubtful that is going to help much in the ring.

Much technology and research goes into the science of protecting the groin in sports these days and some of the products are state-of-the-art with unbelievable features that defend against even the most grueling of blows.

Groin protectors are not a guarantee to prevent all injuries but they can sure help. I would not be caught without one and neither would "Cro Cop" or St. Pierre, I bet.

I have scouted out some of the athletic cups I like and will outline the benefits of each so you can decide for yourself which one is for you. By all means, no matter which one you choose, do choose one.



Shock Doctor makes a great athletic cup that features an innovative design that is a perfect fit. It has multiple vents so you get great airflow and breathability. You sure don't want to get all stuffed up while sparring or especially during an event.

The Active Impact Compression Shield is one of the best made. It compresses and slides on shock bushings upon impact. There is a duel flex notch that allows movement, providing plenty of comfort while allowing you to perform at your max. Now how's that for innovative technology?


athletic cup

This athletic cup features a removable plastic molded cup that has two ventilation systems. It is held securely in a state-of-the-art fabric pocket with two press studs and is machine washable which is a huge plus. Available is sizes extra small, small, medium, and large.


athletic cup

If you want an athletic cup that will stay right where it is supposed to and not slip around, this one is for you. Kwon has put together an anatomically shaped plastic athletic cup that is hard yet comfortable. It is specially designed to prevent the dreaded lateral slips and is a durable vinyl cover. Not only that, it has extra lower body protection with shock-absorbing later strip which can prove to be priceless. You just cannot beat those great features.

The elastic waistband has a lace fastener for convenience and is wide. Best of all, it is replaceable so you can change it out to make sure you are getting the best protection with each use and it is more sanitary as well. This athletic cup is one of the best for competition and training and comes in sizess mall, medium and large.


athletic cup

This WKF approved athletic cup is great for training and competition and for a very good reason. It is very well made and has a hard plastic cup for maximum protection that is covered with a strong and durable vinyl. This awesome atheltic cup is supported by a 2 inch wide elastic waistband that is fastened with laces.

This athletic cup is an all around good choice if you are wanting a good, serviceable, old fashioned groin protector and the price is right as well.


athletic cup

Ladies need protection too. This athletic cup is especially for female fighters and features an anatomically correct design with a hard plastic guard that is covered with durable vinyl. It also has a wide elastic waistband so it fits secure. If you've ever had it happen to you, you know that there's nothing worse than having to "adjust" while sparring or fighting.

The cup is made of great quality and is available in small, medium and large.

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