Should I wear a cup for sparring? I've been getting interested in Karate sparring, but I'm still murky on some things.

  • 4
    Yes............ Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 19:38
  • 1
    But if you don't, and you get kicked in the noogies, a sovereign remedy from my Korean-born Grand Master is to jump up and land on your heels, not the balls of your feet. A few of these really alleviate the pain. This is one of the more helpful tips I've seen him give over the years; usually we honestly hide any dings from him since he usually tends to press hard on suspected fractures or feet swollen by impacts, and once on a facial hornet sting he thought was the result of being hit with a knuckle. (It's horrifying funny if it doesn't happen to you.) Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 22:14
  • You’re right I should jump up and down ?. .
    – Josepsh
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 14:37

6 Answers 6


Absolutely. There's no reason not to; I've never had it interfere with kicking. I suppose some brands could be disagreeable to your particular anatomy, e.g., I had one once which was too "shallow", so I suspect that if I got kicked there it would have given shock waves through the entire package. If you try one and it's uncomfortable, just buy a different brand.

  • 1
    At my school, you are required to wear a cup. Too many low blows to risk it. Always wear a cup. It's like a helmet, but for your privates.
    – Termato
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 21:11

Always wear a hard athletic cup before walking onto the mat. My system is boxer briefs with pouch as base layer, regular 3” waistband jockstrap as next layer. Then insert banana style hard cup between jock and base layer. Make sure the cup is in place with the jock pouch completely covering the cup. Press cup to your groin making sure scrotum is inside cup.

Stay away from flex cups, soft cups and old fashioned triangle flat cups, they are not designed for upward kicks to the groin.

Sparing at less than 30% strength, you will be well protected from most direct strikes.

No one should want to hurt training partner and a good training partner should protect themselves.


Yes! Absolutely, whole-heartedly, 100% yesyesyes! I am, however, speaking as a man who loves his bits and wants them to remain functional.

  • testicular hemorrhage is no joke. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 13:23

Not just for sparring, but for the entire train session, accidents do happen also when training. Even boxers put those on, all the more so you should.


Yes. Even if you get bumped lightly and unintentionally, it will take the wind out of you. Feints to the groin are superb distractions, and if you step into it ...


Today's groin protection is a far cry from yesteryear. They're smaller, more rigid and tougher and more comfortable.

  • 1
    This is not an answer Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 22:52
  • It is an indirect answer. Many folks don't like the cup because it chafes, or has a reputation of that. It is less bad at chafing, but much less painful to take a kick in the cup than a kick in the gonads. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 13:24
  • Im not wearing a cup :( i quit a long time ago and my dad moved too ft Myers ?. .
    – Josepsh
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 20:31

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