The switch to MMA gloves in striking sports

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by FokaiMuayThai, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. FokaiMuayThai

    FokaiMuayThai MOO TAI LEGENDARY

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    I hate to bring up a prehistoric topic on this board, but in the eyes of the younger generation of casual combat sports fans and the diehard MMA fans it seems like the use of MMA gloves are the standard for true striking prowess in the world of prizefighting. Whether this is absolutely true or not I can't say, though I personally disagree based on my chosen sport, this opinion is pure bias naturally, i can't be arsed to try and figure that out.

    Now in my 8 years of Muay Thai, I haven't even put on, let alone touched a pair of MMA gloves, but i have held pads for quite a few MMA fighters in a secondary supportive capacity for fights. I.e. not as the main striking trainer, but as the supplemental kickboxing dummy/consultant, and only if they absolutely need me to help out...MMA was never my thing, but i seem to be called in for a lot of favors. Even then, when i did help out, i mostly worked with fighters on using punches to setup the kicks, knees and elbows in a very simplistic way that i thought best suited the sport, a sport that i have never done tbh. So i was basically the "theory padholder".

    Anyway, with the introduction and popularity of promotions like caged Muay Thai in Australia as well as the resurgence special "bareknuckle" fights in Thailand which already exist in other SEA countries, i'm wondering if it is a good idea to introduce MMA gloves to kickboxing and boxing in the states.

    Now this is very, very unlikely to happen, but what would be the pros and cons of introducing 4-6oz MMA gloves into amateur/pro striking competitions? Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai etc.

    The only thing i can think of is quicker knockouts and more broken hands.

    Anyone think there would be a big change in fighting style? Maybe more conservative striking?

    I think it might change Muay Thai a bit i.e. more aggressive punching (if it is true that a bare knuckle/MMA glove produces a KO quicker, based on the caged Muay Thai fights ive seen, it might be true), punches score the least in Muay Thai because of cultural perceptions of the hands being "padded" and the other limbs being bare, also the bodily damage based scoring system and gambling of traditional Muay Thai make punching less (unless you have significant KO power) the smarter idea.

    I know being seen as "badass" by some casual fans isn't what MuayThai/kickboxing/boxing is about, so this is all hypothetical and i'd like the guys with lots of striking and MMA experience to chime in on this.

    Again, all hypothetical so purists don't get your panties in a bunch, lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  2. Ayin

    Ayin Black Belt

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    Besides differences in the ounces of padding, the two great differences between other gloves and MMA gloves are the covering of the thumb (and sometimes attachment of the thumb to the rest of the glove) and the covering of the finger tips (and combining into a mitt instead of a glove).

    However anyone feels about how much gloves should weigh or how much padding is on them, MMA already sees an unfortunate amount of (accidental) eye pokes, an action that can have lifelong and potentially career ending consequences. This is seen as the trade-off for greater dexterity required in other facets of the MMA game, but those other needs don't exist in striking only combat sports, and so there's nothing to justify the increased risk of damage from eye pokes or thumbs in eyes (especially as such results would likely be more common in a striking only sport).
     
  3. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    Adjusting the block. The usual "V" block where elbows sit on the ribs won't be as protective as 10-12s

    Pummeling in the clinch will have to change also since the gloves are smaller
     
  4. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    There would be more thumbs in eyes, and more broken hands. Knockouts? Maybe, but it's doubtful there would be a huge increase. That's the immediate effect.

    Long-term, tehcnique would have to change. Some of the biggest changes in technique came on the heels of changes to gloves. Bigger gloves meant more things could be neglected.

    Who fights in 10s or 12s professionally?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  5. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    Oh shit, I didn't realize this was just for pros only. My fights (ammy) have been in 10s and 12oz in exibitions so I was basing on that.
     
  6. FokaiMuayThai

    FokaiMuayThai MOO TAI LEGENDARY

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    10oz are the biggest you're gonna get in Kickfighting sports and that's for the heavier weight classes. I believe it's the same in Boxing.

    I've been looking up bareknuckle Boxing fights on YouTube but have yet to find any guys with high boxing level skill dumb enough to risk their hands and fight for free.

    I'm really interested in how these fights would look. Maybe more body work? Seems like it would be easier to break someone's rib with a bare/wrapped/MMA gloved punch.

    Perhaps less jabs? Or maybe more of a reliance on a different type of jab/range finder? It also seems like being lazy with the jab would cause you to jam a finger or poke an eye out.
     
  7. FokaiMuayThai

    FokaiMuayThai MOO TAI LEGENDARY

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    Still surfing youtube...What the hell is this BKB stuff? I'm assuming it stands for bare knuckle Boxing but they are wearing Boxing gloves? I sure am out of the loop.

    Edit: never mind looked it up, I was watching it without the volume on. So weird. Reminds me of the shitty world combat league promotion Chuck Norris started a few years back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  8. j123

    j123 Pro Sherdogger 500-0-1

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    Watch old boxing fights where they had 6oz gloves like during the 1930s. And the gloves fighters like Dempsey and jack Johnson probably didn't offer much more protection than MMA gloves.

    But there's a big difference between bare knuckle and MMA gloves + wraps which is closer to 9oz or even 10oz boxing gloves than bareknuckle.
    In JWp's caged Mt they fight with MMA gloves and it doesnt look that much difference beside them using the hands a bit more and blocking less.

    Smaller and especially no gloves don't make for less jabbing bu for more in the bareknuckle days according to all records they threw almost exclusively straight punches and they also pucnhed vertically a lot and hit the body more than the head.

    Wraps or no wraps make a huge difference because the chances to hurt your hands throwing hooks without wraps and even small gloves are that much higher.

    So for boxing you can just watch really old boxing fights and for MT you can watch Lethwei fights where they fight only with wraps. And some MT fighters also have a few fights under lethwei rules.

    And didnt they also have 6oz gloves in old MT fights?

    So you don#t have to think about it a lot since there's more than enough footage I doubt that the difference ebtween 6oz and 4 oz gloves is that big especially with those old 6oz gloves they used back then in MT and boxing compared to modern 4oz gloves
     
  10. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    ^They didn't hit the body more for lack of trying. They were better at protecting their heads. Keeping their heads out of range, and using hip movements and elevation changes, as well as distance changes when the head was in danger. Case in point would be a guy like Tony Canzoneri, he fought in horse-hair gloves, which offered VERY little hand protection:



    Also, they knew how to get hit better. How to be in position to endure shots. Their whole entire game was to hit a guy right at the best moment when he was out of position. So when Canzoneri fought McLarnin (a very intelligent aggressive fighter), it looked like a Wild West shootout:

     
  11. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    P.S. - The reason the above generation of fighters is important to this discussion is because many of them were trained by relics from the bare-knuckle era.
     
  12. Fire of Youth

    Fire of Youth Green Belt

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    I'm curious about this. What particular skills could be neglected with the bigger gloves? Are the absence of these skills and the focus on other preserved skills how boxing in general changed after the introduction of bigger gloves? Would it theoretically go back to the old skill sets if the sport of boxing started using minimalist gloves?

    When I watch the older black and white fighters, I notice how much they used their feet to manage distance from further out. Now a days, they seem to work from finer judgements at closer distances. Is this something along the lines of what you mentioned where old school fighters would defend by managing their distance more?
     
  13. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    Do you know who the black fighter he is fighting from 3:35 on is?

    When I watch a lot of these old clips, it seems many of them stood very tall with their chin up in the air, elevating when punching and getting off balanced/having to adjust all the time. I have a hard time seeing the hip movement. They didn't seem to sink as much, more like a fencing style. Was that just the style back then? They had a lot of skill, but I can't help but think that a lower stance is almost always better. I think that is why the black boxer did so relatively well and caught him a few times. He looks more like a newer age guy with his stance.

    Fedor actually fought a bit like that, but it takes a lot of agility to fights as reactive.
     
  14. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Positioning became easier to neglect. With bigger gloves, you could stand in range and cover up more:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Both those guys, Winky and Abraham, made their careers out of this being referred to as "good defense." In the days of smaller gloves, this would not suffice. You'd get hammered. And it didn't have AS MUCH to do with their feet as it did with their hips. Look at the video I posed of Canzoneri and McLarnin, neither guy is running around the ring. But they're incredibly difficult to land a clean shot on. Each of them has to work very hard to do so. And yes, it would HAVE to go back to that if fighters didn't want to get knocked out often.

    That is the legendary Kid Chocolate.

    No, you're not seeing tallness with the chin up. Canzoneri stuck his face up a lot, but that was an anatomical thing much like with Floyd. Chin up, but one of the hardest chins to touch cleanly. And they sank MUCH more than modern fighters do, actually. They just do it when exchanging, on the outside when they know they're safe, they rest their hips. Unless they move to feint. Kid Chocolate definitely wasn't "new age"...he was just Cuban. And he lost to Canzoneri. In fact the second time they met, Canzoneri knocked Kid Chocolate out in just 2 rounds.

    Definitely not reactive fighting.
     
  15. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    I see. I forgot to mention it was more a generalisation of the fighters back then than purely directed at Canzoneri. Are they really sitting down more than modern fighters? Yeah I must be missing something in the exchanges.

    Another thing, what I mean by reactive is not that they can't set the tone or are not deliberate, but in a lot of the black and white footage they have to reset their position and feet after most punches. Like they change foot position, step while punching, throw themselves around a lot. It's not only back then, but also in the 70-80's, and still exists as a style today. When I think about being in good position, I think less about the ability to regain postural control and more about not losing it.

    This actually is very interesting to me because I can't seem to get it. Let me give you an example. Someone like Errol Spence Jr, that is what I think of when I think strong stance. Always has his feet under him, always lowered, uses his hips a lot, never gets his feet out of place, never lunges or throws himself around, always centered. Obviously he is not as skilled as the best atm, but the stance. Or someone like Roman Gonzalez. Is that not the stance to strive for? Or is it too immobile and rooted, or not creative enough? Is it simply a question of pros and cons, and individuality?

    I really have a hard time figuring it out.
     
  16. StopDucking

    StopDucking Ronda Rousey hater

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    Give Floyd Mayweather Jr. small gloves and put him in a ring against this man. He'd get outboxed, outclinched and end up in need of reconstructive surgery.


    [YT]hx-fW8FYdYk[/YT]


    [YT]dBhylRbhq6I[/YT]


    [YT]HlSy1aKpQ4A[/YT]
     
  17. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I think these guys have more awareness of their danger of being hit than you do. Ali once joked that it was because they all fought alike. But he was being cheeky. But yes, look at the HL video of Canzoneri, when in-range, he's very cognizant of his elevation (usually it drops a bit) and how far away he is. His opponents are as well, just not as much so as he is.

    That's because they move their legs when they punch. They're supposed to. This is why when they knocked someone out, it looked like the guy got shot in the face, even if HE was in good position and took a flush hit. Good positioning is defined by balance, and ability to deliver or receive force. These guys were hardly ever in bad positions generally, despite how odd it may seem to your eyes. They don't fall over. They don't stumble a whole lot. They can deliver hard punches without completely falling on top of their man, then can pull back or make an evasive maneuver when they miss. That's good positioning.

    You're describing Spence romantically. He's not nearly as "always" perfect as you're suggesting. I've seen him wide-legged with his head over his front foot just like everyone else. Is he very good? Absolutely. Perfect? Nah. Similar with Gonzalez. Those are two of my more well-regarded modern fighters, but Gonzalez DOES get hit. It just doesn't matter much when he does. Also, is this about stance? You keep using that term. Stance is not static. And neither Canzoneri nor McLarnin have poor stances, their stances are pretty textbook.
     
  18. Sano

    Sano Red Belt

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    A bit late with the reply.

    Yeah, I might be romanticizing someone like Spence or Gonzalez, but do you understand what I mean by how they look different?

    I don't presume to know half as much as you or them, and that is why it's interesting for me to get clarified. As I said, I have always had a hard time figuring out what the best way to move and stand is. I'm thinking like a Tai Chi style horse stance, without sounding ridicules/going too low, is the best stance for balance. Low center of gravity, easy to distibute weight, easy to use waist, big BOS(base of support). But as you say, the stance is not static as we are dealing with moving parts. I understand that you would have to move your feet the entire time to stay in that position, so I see why they move as they punch to be in good position. It's just that some seem to sacrifice balance and center of gravity as they do, therefor being in bad position, but make up for it with reflexes or skill.

    There are a lot of factors when talking about balance, the most important are probably how well you deliver force to the ground, how good your postural reactions are(both muscular and neurological), how wide your BOS is and where your center of mass is. That is why I hate leaning, because theoretically, if your center of mass gets outside your BOS, you fall. Or at least, you have to use muscle strenght and drive, or change foot positions not to. Which is what I meant by reactive. Like so:

    [​IMG]

    That is where I am claiming that some stances are more in tune with a wider BOS and a lower center of gravity. And why it is not always best to be in a stance like that(or as close to) and never lean, stand tall, move upper body without lower body and so forth.

    I guess I just can't see the subleties yet, because I've seen you teach things like the tile exercise, digger down/up, and talk about balance and positioning(broad term) being key. I have a hard time seeing that being displayed in some of the old black and white videos and even newer ones. I do see a lot of timing, turn on punches, ring smarts, traps, proper extension, awareness, toughness and so on though.

    Actually when I think about it, I am making a broader generalisation than just the oldschool fighters.

    And again, look at someone like Naseem who is the complete opposite of what I just said. He was an amazing boxer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2015
  19. roventu

    roventu Brown Belt

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    how big are those gloves? didn't realize they were so small back then.

    gonna head to the gym now, i'll watch this entire fight when i get back :D
     
  20. Paradigm

    Paradigm Gold Belt

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    look at the old gloves Thai boxers wore...like mittens:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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