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  1. #1

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    A newbie's questions on mma gloves

    I've always been told that MMA gloves are made to protect the hands, and that they really don't have much effect into the way that fights play out on UFC. How on earth can that be?
    I realize that they don't provide nearly as much padding as boxing gloves, but give me a break. They wouldn't work at protecting the hands if they weren't equally protecting the targets. And if it protects both equally, then it means that it just requires more force to get the same result from a strike, which limits the significance of striking in the sport. Especially in grappling situations where it's hard to get the alignment to generate a really powerful hit I think if we were to see the gloves come off, after a while we might see some of the grappling strategies evolve a little differently. Of course the groundfighting would still be the main scene for the fights, I just think it might start looking a little different, and that the punching all around might start looking a little snappier.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    PointyShinyBurn's Avatar
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    If you watch bare knuckle vale tudo there was drastically less GnP punching and what there was was fare less effective. If the target is the head then the gloves allow you to hit much harder and distribute the force more evenly, which improves the chance of concussive impact on the brain at the cost of less severe superficial damage (cuts and bruises).

  3. #3
    MMAMickey's Avatar
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    This is newbietown so I'll play nice:

    with four ounces of padding the primary concern is to protect your hands. People get Ko'd in boxing all the time using 8,10,12,14,or even 16oz gloves so 4oz will not offer much protection to the face at all.

    Pretty much the only difference between wearing those gloves and not wearing those gloves is that you would see more broken hands and cut faces if they weren't there.

    the punches generally aren't 'snappy' because not every MMA fighter, in fact no MMA fighters fight using Wing chun. They fight using boxing/mt etc.

    and when it comes to grappling.. if you are on the top you can easily hurt people through those gloves. if you are on the bottom you won't get much power in your punches anyway, you're better off trying to escape.

  4. #4
    danniboi07's Avatar
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    I understand where you're coming from. Equal and opposite reaction right? If my fist is protected, then your face is equally protected right? Well, you'd be correct! Skin and bone are equally protected in both the fist of the attacker and the face of the receiver.

    However, you need to realize that one of the body parts involved IS the head. The goal isn't to break someone's jaw or cheekbone....it's to knock the guy out. That is to say, you're aiming for his brain. In this respect, the gloves don't offer much protection. The gloves are just there to make sure the fighters' knuckles don't end up bloody and broken at the end of the fight.
    "The pedant is he who finds it impossible to read criticism of himself without immediately reaching for his pen and replying to the effect that the accusation is a gross insult to his person. He is, in effect, a man unable to laugh at himself."Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id.


  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies and thanks for going easy on me. I think I get the point about the brain verses first deal. The way I see it these are the main factors that play into how the punch deals (and receives) its damage, try and help me out a little.

    1. all of the force generated from the punch-- muscles
    2. the duration of the transfer of force
    3. the surface area of striking surface

    for breaking bones, skin, etc the main thing the way to go would be to minimize points 2 and 3 to get the pressure as high as possible, like as in a snappy karate board break but limiting 1 to the limits of your weapon. For a knockout you'd want to create as much impact as possible by increasing 1 and 3 and decreasing 2.
    So the gloves work by increasing to increase total force you can safely apply, and in distributing the weight quickly, but the increased duration still requires more muscular force to get the same jarring impact, right?

    MMAMickey:
    the punches generally aren't 'snappy' because not every MMA fighter, in fact no MMA fighters fight using Wing chun. They fight using boxing/mt etc.
    Well that's kind of the point to my post. MMA fighters do what is most effective given the parameters of the match. I don't think anyone out there is trying to "prove" the merits of any system as much as they're trying to win using whatever works for them.Gloves are part of those parameters, and the most effective way to punch with them could be different than without. Even a little padding goes a long way to take the snap out of a punch, so snappy punches aren't on the scene because they aren't as efficient through padding. The question, would having the padding gone make them significantly more so?

    if you are on the top you can easily hurt people through those gloves. if you are on the bottom you won't get much power in your punches anyway, you're better off trying to escape
    and would not having to punch through your gloves effect the line in which punching is a viable option? obviously there are always situations in which punching is an efficient expenditure of energy and when it is not, but you notice different fighters draw the line differently. I think the absence of gloves would affect that, both positively and negatively, because now you have to worry about protecting your fist as well.

  6. #6
    Yoj's Avatar
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    Dude, the hand wasn't made for punching, it's a bunch of small bones, attached to the arm by a bunch of other small bones, it's just not smart to keep wailing into things which are often made of more bone than it is.

  7. #7
    MMAMickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalavic View Post
    so snappy punches aren't on the scene because they aren't as efficient through padding. The question, would having the padding gone make them significantly more so?
    In a word, No.

    Snappy punches (if we are referring to chain punches) are at best a distraction and a means of driving someone backwards. they are not powerful enough to do damage. without a glove they may cause some superficial injuries such as bruising but that would be pretty much it.

    If we are referring to snappy punches as in karate type quickly withdrawn punches, they will do even less damage as they cannot drive you back and still won't hurt.

    penetrative punches do damage regardless of padding, this is why they are used in MMA.

  8. #8

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    maybe snappy isn't the right word, because everyone seems to be thinking of like quick punches. by this I mean the beginning and end of the transfer of power are close together, not that it begins and retreats before following through. Think of the difference between the result a 100 lb decent golfer girl driving a ball, and then a 220 lb golfer doing the same thing with the same club but with a 1/4 inch of foam around the head of his club. The girl is still driving through, but it has a very short moment of contact.

  9. #9
    Yoj's Avatar
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    Golf clubs, unlike hands, are designed specifically for hitting golf balls, and nothing else, you couldn't even use a golf club in another ball based sport, except maybe croquet, if that's a sport, or if golf is.

  10. #10

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    I can't really understand any of you elaborate examples but I'm going to try and answer your first question.

    The gloves are there to protect the hands, even though they don't always help. Think of it this way: If the gloves were for the protection of the person receiving hits why don't fighters wear shin,elbow and knee pads too? Those can definitely do more damage than fists.

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