The way I have my thai-style cup's strings set up is bowlines on the top two strings attached with bowlines, and the middle string with a cow hitch. Currently, the way I tie it on is secure the top two strings with a square knot in front, slide the whole thing around and fumble behind my back to tie a bow with the two loose ends of the square knot for one line and the double string of the middle for another.

Most of the time this works fine for me, but occasionally I notice the groin guard manages to work loose during warm-ups. I haven't quite figured out what I do differently, but I suspect I get the bow handedness wrong and it capsizes.

So, does anyone here have a consistent method for tying a bow with my hands literally behind my back?

  • 1
    Honestly, just get a jock, or even better, compression shorts with a built in jock. Diamond MMA makes an excellent one. I've been kicked clean in the balls a few times and that thing didn't move an inch.
    – coinbird
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:38
  • Is it a requirement that you use the the string setup?
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 15:34
  • @JohnP it is. That's the only setup the strings are long enough for.
    – HAEM
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 16:39
  • @HeikkiMäenpää - No, what I mean is, is it a dojang/studio requirement that you use a groin guard with strings? Or is it allowed to use other versions of a groin guard?
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:15
  • @JohnP In that case, no. As a matter of fact I do BJJ so a groin guard isn't even required by the gym.
    – HAEM
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


If you are not required to use a particular kind of protector, there are several different commercial ones available.

I am partial to the Shock Doctor line, as they are both comfortable and effective. There are a couple different versions available. There is one that is basically just a minimalist waist strap and holder:

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The version that I prefer is a pair of compression shorts with the holder built in. I've used this exclusively for the past 6ish years with absolutely sterling results (Including some direct back kicks into the cup):

enter image description here

I think either of these versions would suit, but if you don't like them there are many variants available online.

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