A while back, we reviewed the Tokushu Boxing and MMA Gloves. This time, let’s check out their grappling shin guards, an update to their older grappling shin guards design as well.
- Versatile design perfect for every training regimen
- Patented closure system, no exposed hook & loop or hardware
- Premium full-back breathable non-sleep sleeve
- Unique lining prevents perspiration from impeding foot traction
- Performance “X” cross design for the ultimate in fit and comfort
Like the rest of the Tokushu series, the shin guards feature a two-toned design, although there’s only two colour options this time – black/gray and white/gray. The front of the shin guards has the Hayabusa word logo running down and is printed on. There’s also a small Hayabusa Kanji embossed on the in-step.
The back of the shin guards has the neoprene sleeve in black, with a sort of gray ‘X’. Overall, a simple but striking design.
Form & Fit
Unlike their older shin guards that have been phased out, the new series comes in four sizes – S, M, L and XL. Like their gloves, this much more comprehensive offering of sizes provides a better fit. They’ve also provided a detailed size chart with instructions and measurements on how to size. I’ve attached it here for reference.
Here’s where things get a little tricky for me. Based on the size chart, my height of 169cm puts me towards the S, but I have fat calves and a circumference of 16″ puts me at L. Given my recent experience with how their MMA gloves fit well at M instead of S, I went with M for the shin guards too. Upon arrival, the shin guards fit superb on all aspects of height and sleeve tightness with a single exception – the strap. My calves were indeed on the fat side for M, and while I could strap close the strap if I really wanted to, it was too tight and uncomfortable. Instead, I just left it unstrapped and found that the shin guards worked equally well thanks to the neoprene sleeve.
One of the interesting features of this shin guard is the strap system. Most of the shin guards on the market look like the foam pad is attached onto the neoprene sleeve, such that the strap is an inch or two above where the foam pad ends. However, the Tokushu looks like the sleeve is attached to the foam pad instead, such that the strap system is behind the foam pad and is actually at a lower height than the top of the foam pad. This allows the end of the strap to be hidden between the sleeve and the pad with no exposed velcro. Ingenious. Words are hard to describe this, so just check the photos out instead.
In training, the shin guards do a great job absorbing the shock from kicks. The foam is thicker on the outer sides of the leg (ie. the black part) and thinner on the inside (grey part), if only slightly so. Nonetheless, it provides that extra bit of protection against the hard kicks. Unlike many shin guards that usually have the foam pad at the shin and instep as two distinct pieces resting on a neoprene sleeve with a gap in between, Hayabusa has taken a more ‘armoured’ approach by having segmented pieces that run from the bottom of the shin to the instep, providing an additional bit of protection at the ankle area.
The shin guards are great to move in as well, and I’m generally partial towards sleeve/sock type shin guards for that reason. They don’t slip or shift much, and despite the longer foam pad that goes above the knee, the strap system allows just as much movement as the regular sleeve type shin guards. I’ve not had the opportunity to use this in a grappling context though, so I can’t comment if the extra length will interfere during grappling movements.
The only downside to all this I’d say is that it can a little hard to put on and pull off in a hurry. The neoprene is sturdier, thicker and better stitched than the much older first gen version that Hayabusa has though, so there’s little worry about the sleeves tearing or coming apart at the seams.
Going at USD $119.99 (SGD $150) per pair, this shin guards clock in at the high end of the price spectrum. That said, it’s the only one I’m aware of that has this particular design where the foam pad is longer than the sleeve itself.
The Tokushu Grappling Shin Guards are another quality product by Hayabusa, albeit pricey, like most Hayabusa products are. You do get what you pay for though, so if you have the budget and prefer grappling style shin guards, this might be worth checking out.