T Nation

to Ko, Patricia and others with martial arts experience

Hey there!
I’ve started boxing on fitness level and I’m about to get me some gloves. Since I’m concidering getting into MMA I’m thinking I might aswell get MMA gloves. So I’m looking for a glove with “fingers” that can be used on heavy bag too. I’d like to hear from you what to look for and which models are good. I’ve checked out Harbinger’s bag glove, which seems to be pretty popular by MMA people, and it looks like it’s a good quality glove with a suitable amount of padding. I’ve been looking at the Ouano-gloves too (the ones used in UFC and King of the Cage), but they seem kinda thin without much padding, so I’m not sure they would be good for bag work. What are your experiences with different gloves?

While we’re at the MMA topic, I’d like some advice on which martial arts style to choose. Sorry, I know this has been discussed to death on other threads, but I’m in a situation, where I don’t have all styles to choose from. I’m looking for a ground fighting style and it seems my only choices are either Judo or traditional japanese Jiu-Jitsu. Judo seems the best choice at first sight, because it contains a lot of ground work and submissions too in the form of chokes and arm locks. The downside is that it appears to be totally lacking leg locks. JJ has those, but that comes at the cost of being forced to learn Shotokan Karate style inspired striking (I’ve checked and it seems the moves are taken directly from the Shotokan classes). I’m not really interested in that kind of striking, because it doesn’t really seem realistic. Another downside of Jiu-Jitsu is kata. The obvious choice would have been real MMA classes, but there’s only 3 of those schools in Denmark, and they all reside far from where I live. I’ve looked for wrestling too, but that sport isn’t popular in Denmark, so there’s very few places to practice that, and they are again far from where I live. Which of the alternatives seems most reasonable?

My striking will consist of the boxing I do now untill further. Later I’ll start either kickboxing or (preferably) Muay Thai instead. My goal with this is getting an introduction to a complete fighting style ala what you see in UFC and Pride. I’m not looking to start competing (well at least not in long time).

Although it may seem irrelevant, I’ll throw my stats and routine in this thread aswell. I’m 6’4 at 187 lbs (natural skinny bastard) and I guess my bodyfat to be around 8 % (I’ve got a defined sixpack). I lift heavy 3 times per week and box once per week right now.

Any advice or comments are highly appreciated.

- oblivion

I’d take the Judo, practice boxing with great fervor, and order some wrestling/BJJ instructional tapes and use a friend as a takedown submission dummy.

By far the best gloves you can get for what you are talking about is Century’s wristwrap gloves. They are made of leather, they have padding on the back of the hand and knuckles.

As far as which style to go with I can’t say that I know diddly about Judo or JJ, I can say that if reality based training is what your looking for (not UFC or Pride, there are rules that apply there) then definately get some striking into your arsenal. While the UFC and Pride are full of bad ass mothers it still isn’t what you’ll encounter in a real life confrontation.

You can go online to centuryfitness.com and find the gloves I told you about. I just retired a pair that I used daily M-F for 5 years. Awesome gloves!

Hey, oblivion - good morning (it’s morning, here)!

I have to say that isn't it wierd how some of us take the time to build our bodies, improve our health - and then decide on getting all bashed up in the ring? Well, not quite, but I think you get my drift.

Anyways, bag gloves are exactly that: bag gloves for bag training. That'swhat you need to get for heavy bag training. Everlast is always a good brand(we have a pair). I'm using a pair by Ringside (www.ringside.com). Do you have handwraps? If not, get them. I'm actually going to have two to three sets of handwraps since I use 'em so much. Ouano-gloves you mentioned would be for the matches - which is why they're thinner than bag gloves or training gloves. And you need to get a pair of training/sparring gloves. Since Ko is currently training in MMA, he'd be the one to give you more info on those training gloves for what you want.

What you're saying about Shotokan Karate is exactly why I no longer am training karate. My style was Ryobu-Kai - nevertheles that very strict style didn't seem that right way to go if you wanted to adopt better fighting skills as well as just wanted some "contact". Karate here does not allow for contact. Soooo, for UFC? I would pick Muay Thai over kickboxing. And if the judo schools provide you with the training you're looking for, then you may have to go that route. I take it you're in Denmark. There are no MMA schools there? Do you currently train in a boxing gym?

What Jason said. I would however get into the Muy Thai as soon as possible, as the striking game is much harder to master, especially when you throw in the kicking. As far as the gloves go, they are all fairly similiar. Harbinger is a good brand, but really it comes down to which one fits your hand the best. If you can, try on different types and see what works best for you.

Hey again…

Jason Braswell: I have a nice collection of instructional videos allready. Among my collection are the 4 Bas Rutten free fight tapes, a few Mark Kerr wrestling instructionals, some Mario Sperry (BJJ) tapes and Kasushi Sakuraba’s Gimmick. I’ve got a nice collection of Pride and UFC events too.
I’d say that I have learned a lot of theory allready, I just need a place to actually practice the stuff ;-].
But if you have some tapes you’d like to recommend, I’d certainly be interested.
Kohai: Cool, I’ll check those gloves out.
Patricia: No, I don’t have handwraps yet. I have found out pretty quickly, that I need something to support my wrists, since they are pretty busted up after training. I’ve noticed that the Harbinger’s have wristwraps on them. Right now, I’m using some gloves I’m borrowing at the gym, but they lack support on the wrists and they give me blisters on my fingers. That’s why I’m in a rush to get my own pair :).
Yes, I’m in Denmark and MMA hasn’t really become popular here yet. We have 3 shootfighting clubs, but they are all far from where I live. I’m afraid that’s the only MMA-type styles we have here.
No, I’m not training at a “real” boxing gym right now. It’s a class at my fitness center, that is tought by a former boxer. It includes heavy bag and focus pad work, rope skipping and various drills. There’s no sparring there. It’s great for conditioning and learning the punches and combinations though. When training, we’re allowed to practice kicking, elbows, knees etc on the bags, but we don’t get any instructions on it.
Ko: Okay, so I should start with striking first before worrying about ground skills. I may have to start with kickboxing first, since it’s closest to me and therefor would fit better into my schedule. I’ve found a gym nearby, that teaches both semi and full contact, but apparantly it doesn’t include leg-kicks. Will this be a problem? I can probably train these myself on bags, but I wont be practicing them in sparring.
Trying out the different kind of gloves will be a problem. Again, it’s not that popular here and I’ll prolly have to order them on the net from the US or UK. When talking strictly boxing gloves, we have nice range of gloves though, since boxing is pretty common here.
So, since the Harbinger’s are designed to be bag gloves, and they are used for MMA tournaments aswell, they’d be the best all purpose glove to get accustomed to, right?
Thanks for your answers so far.

  • oblivion, couch-warrior extraordinaire ;-]

Its really a tough call as to whether or not to go kickbox or groundfighting. It is best to do both. If you really want to compete in MMA, then you absolutely have to have groundskills. If competition is your goal, go for shootfighting first, and pick up the standup as you go. Leg kicks are a must in MMA, as they are about the only kick you are realistically going to use/land. And yes go with the Harbingers if that is what you can get.

Okay, thanks. I’ll reevaluate my options.

I’d get the all of Sperry’s tapes. (His Vale Tudo tapes, not his gi Jiu-Jitsu tapes.) He has three, six-video sets you can get from www.groundfighter.com.

Most stuff by Erik Paulson is good, especially the new five-DVD CSW set. See www.fightworld.com.

Jason: Cool I’ll take a look at those.

Concerning gloves. Search Bruce Lee’s web site. They have extra padding on the knuckles with wrist straps.

Ikmike: I’m not sure which of the many Bruce Lee sites you mean. Anyways, I’ve allready ordered the Harbinger’s now. I’ll prolly get the Ouano’s later, when I feel I can “afford” them too, just for fun.

I think i can help. I boxed from the time i was 12 till i was 18, (licensed am fighter 17-0-14) As for the bag gloves go with the thin ones!!! Just make sure to always use your hand wraps. You’ll feel like your just tappin the bag at first but after about 5 minutes you’ll be taggin it full force. Also for about the first 2 weeks it’ll knarl your knuckles up, but just soak em in a solution of hot saltwater and wash the blood out of your wraps and you’ll be fine. When using thin bag gloves use “mexican wraps” there wraps that are 12 feet long and basiclly you’ll start at about halfway down you forearm(from the thumbloop) and wrap as usual. It sounds nutty at first but your hands will be tough as nails after a few weeks. Alot of pros actually just use wraPS and tape, My bag gloves were just plain brown leather with NO padding. You’ll never regret it once you get used to it.trust me.

Baby Faced Assassin: Honestly I think that would only mess up my hands and wrists, but I could be wrong. Don’t you bust up your knuckles badly during training?

The first 2 weeks are pretty rough, but the hot saltwater baths help to toughen the skin up. Throughout my career, i never once had any wrist injuries. However i saw alot of guys that used those “pillow” type bag gloves turn there wrist over, have sprains,strains, you name it. I think this is because when you use thick padded bag gloves it absorbs a ton of the impact. When your actually fighting and you see a opening alot of funny things happen. One of which is you rip off punches with incredible force, alot more so than when your hittin the heavy bag. Because of all the weird angles on the human head, if your wrist supporting muscles are weak (from having big fluffy gloves absorbing the impact) you turn over your wrist and at best cause a sprain. Keep in mind, i was gonna get my pro license when i turned 18 (i completly burned out but thats another story) so i worked 7 days a week for at least 4 hours a day for years with no ill side effects. If your still concerned. Learning to effectively wrap and tape your wrist and hands will protect your skin better than any padding.I know im rambling but i’ve been awake for a long time. (makes unintelligible bird noises)

I know im gonna get flamed for this but here goes. If your trying to decide if you should box or take martial arts, BOX. I have no faith in martial arts as a self defense. Heres why. in my lifetime, i’ve probably been in (guesstimating) over 20 or so fistfights. Mainly because i was on t.v twice boxing and for some reason this made people at school wanna pick at me “oh he thinks hes tough huh”. Out of all these fights i’ve only been hit probably 3or 4 times. Sevaral of these fights were with people that were hardcore martial artist. (hapkido,tae kwon do, shorin ryu-shorin kan,) and none of the martial artist ever even touched me. Theyed get into these fancy stances and start flailing about and hoppin and spinning around,(the hapkido guy grabbed my arm and shirt collar and started trying to get me on the ground)but none of the fights even made it to the ground. Im not a bad ass,i just know how to use my hands properly. Have you ever seen a real fist fight. Its not real gracefull or pretty, it usually looks pretty pathetic. In all my fights (oh im gonna get flamed) everybody said it was like watching a fight in a movie. I’d usually jab to the nose, slide up close to em and rip off a hard hook to the magic button (tip of the chin) and that would be it.When the hapkido guy grabed me i just hooked him and he went right out. In fact i’ve never once seen a martial artist win a street fight. I know i just pissed alot of people off but im just telling what i’ve seen. Let the flaming begin!!!

Baby Faced: I am boxing. I am also a former martial artist. You are not doing oblivion any service by providing him this advice. The difference with boxing and most “hardcore” MA? Contact. The MAs’ you listed more than likely had no contact involved in their training. THAT, sir, is the difference.

However, with MMA? Like what Ko, Jason Braswell are doing? Oh yeah, there's contact. Boxing is great for learning the punches - it's great for standup fighting. But what you gonna do when it comes to ground fighting. Most fights end on the ground. So, for self-defense purposes, MMA would be the way to go.

As for the use of bag gloves. You must also remember that oblivion is at a "boxing fitness" level. SO, oblivion: get bag gloves. Learn to wrap your hands. You're going to appreciate the wraps after spending 8-10 rounds on the heavy bag. WORK your way to a thinner bag glove. I wouldn't recommend a thinner glove right away. What I do to keep my knuckles toughened when I'm away from the boxing gym? I do knuckle push ups on hardwood and cement floors. I perform 3-4 sets of at least 12 (sometimes I go as high as 20).

Baby Faced Assassin: Actuallly, from what I’ve seen, you’re right. I don’t have much martial arts experience, and have never fought “for real”, but judging from what I’ve seen in various MMA events, and a few “real fights”, you seem right. But basicly, the styles you mentioned doesn’t contain sparring, so it’s pretty obvious that those fighters weren’t used to being hit or hitting people for real. If you met a kickboxer or Muay Thai guy, the tables might have been turned.

On the gloves subject, I think I’ll prefer some padding untill further. If I’m not mistaken, the hardening of your hands must come from scar tissue. I do see your point in getting accustomed to wearing too much padding and then getting injured, when you fight with less.

Sorry i couldnt resist. The reason i can do what i can do is because i started learning to box when i was 8. By the time i was 15 it was so deeply ingrained that its always been a automatic response.By the time i was 17 i’d be boxing and it was like my hands would work by themselves,somthing would happen i would’nt even think about it, my body would just start workin. If Oblivion is gonna be actually competing in mma, then thats the way he should go. But just for fightin i still say boxing. Wrestlers,grapplers,drunks,rednecks,anybody… if there trying to shoot for position and you just step outta the way, it looks kinda funny when they fall down. Remember,mma and grapplers do their trainning against other people from there gym who are practicing the same thing. When they get into a altercation and there opponent does’nt do what there used to it throws em off pretty good. I’ve seen it happen…too many times. I’d meet people on the street who had a reputation for being tough and invite them to spar with me. It happens to boxers too. If ya train against the same kind of fighter all the time ya get used to it. By sparring random strangers, i never got set into any particular game plan. Worked out very well. Oh well, I know i sound soooo braggy, but i really am just talkin from experience.

2 things. First I hope i’ve been some help. 2. I know theres always somebody tougher. You may very well be right, lucky for me theres no kickboxing or muay thai schools around here.lol. If ya ever need any help on getting ready for a fight i’d be more than happy to try to help, no matter what style you choose. Good luck in all your efforts. BFA