A ruptured testicle is something I would love to NEVER experience.
I’m a second degree black belt at an excellent Tae Kwon Do school, Koryo Do.
We spar regularly, including some controlled weapons sparring.
A guy has to wear protection.
What I prefer is a good brief or compression short with a cup, rather than a jock strap. I want something that, uh… covers my hindquarters.
The briefs I used to wear were discontinued. The search began for something new.
I tried many. Shock Doctor, Mueller, McDavid’s…
But each cup and brief/short combo I tried just wasn’t right.
Some were too loose. Some didn’t have the cup placed right. Some were just uncomfortable.
So I contacted what is known in the industry as the company that makes the ultimate athletic supporters, jock straps, compression shorts and cups for MMA, Diamond MMA.
They were kind enough to send me a set of their Diamond MMA compression jock shorts and cup for a review.
The Diamond MMA compression jock shorts aren’t cheap.
The suggested retail value is $99.95 at publication time, though if you search on Amazon, you can usually find it for quite a bit less.
They do have other products, including compression shorts without a cup pocket ($34.95), quad jock straps ($69.95), and a compression short with a built in jock strap that’s designed to be worn as outerwear ($129.95).
More can be seen on their site.
Upon inspection, I found the compression shorts are well made. The material is light, smooth, stretchy. The sewn in straps well reinforced at the attachment points. The cup pocket is deep and has a flap to fold over to secure the cup.
The cup itself is a good size and shape. It has a solid body in the middle with flexible edges.
The only thing that surprised me was the Diamond emblem on the front of the cup. It wasn’t quite flush with the front of the cup, and has sharp points. I was concerned it would snag on the material when inserted and removed from the pocket.
That ended up being a non-issue – more on that later though…
Putting Them On
Inserting the cup into the compression shorts is straight forward.
Stepping into the shorts for the first time – that’s a little complicated.
There are straps that are sewn into the back on the outside of the compression shorts (due to this, you would not want to wear them as outerwear). Those straps go from the waistband, feed through vents in the shorts, and attach to the bottom of the cup pocket.
Then there are straps inside the shorts that go from the cup pocket to the waistband. Your legs go through as you put them on. So, in other words, you hold those straps in place toward the back of the shorts, and step into the shorts with those straps behind your legs.
You pull the shorts up, do some minor adjusting of the straps to get things settled just right, and you’re ready to go.
Once everything is in place, everything stays in place.
As you start warming up, you’ll forget it’s there (unless you are completely new to wearing a cup, then it still may take some time to get used to).
The combination of the straps and compression shorts prevents shifting. Through warm ups, kicks, sparring, grappling, throws, I experienced no crawling, bunching, displacement or discomfort.
I’ve been using these for three months now on a regular basis, throwing them in the washing machine between uses, and there’s no visible wear.
I take the cup out when I wash them, but according to Diamond MMA, that is not required.
I also throw them in the dryer (without the cup in them), but Diamond MMA recommends hanging them up to dry.
Do they work?
There are online videos of people having a bat swung at their groin as a demonstration of just how well Diamond MMA protection works.
Umm… no thank you. Sorry, I’m not going to do that for you.
I can tell you that I caught a low blow from one of our female students practicing with a bo staff. I was really glad I was wearing a cup when that happened.
It landed with a loud ‘whack’, but didn’t bother me at all. It did embarrass the heck out of her!
Would another company’s cup have worked as well in that instance?
Probably. There are a lot of good cups out there.
The cup is easy. The challenge is getting a great support system that keeps the cup in place.
The important factors for martial artists are:
- that the cup is in the right place when you need it;
- that it stays in the right place throughout a wide range of movements (I’ve seen guys doubled over when it doesn’t, and they weren’t even hit);
- and that it’s comfortable enough that you don’t even think about it.
Those factors are where Diamond MMA excels.
That Diamond On The Cup
I mentioned earlier that there is a Diamond emblem on the front of the cup. I was concerned that its sharp points would catch on the material as the cup was inserted and removed.
It did catch once or twice, without doing any damage.
But then I got whacked with that bo staff. When I got home and removed the cup, the Diamond emblem was knocked sideways.
I started messing with it and, come to find, it’s only attached to the cup with some double-sided tape.
With everything else about the shorts and cup being such high quality, why is this piece of plastic put on with double-sided tape?
Well, the good thing about that is that the emblem can simply be pulled off. It does not have any structural value. Is pulling it off what you are supposed to do?
There aren’t any instructions saying to do that.
That was just kind of an oddity in an otherwise great product. Next pair I get, I’ll just pull that off first thing.
Due to the price point, Diamond MMA products aren’t for everyone.
There’s no need for new students or those that have minimal contact/sparring in their dojos to go out and buy the top-of-the-line protection.
But if you are a serious practitioner, moving up the ranks, getting into sparring and grappling, the investment in comfortable and reliable protection is well worth the price.