THROWING BOMBS: 2019 Best Boxing Gloves for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

A solid pair of high-quality boxing gloves, such as the classic Fairtex BGV1 Boxing /Muay Thai Glove shown here, can raise your Wing Chun skill set to the next level by preparing you for the realities of hard contact during training.

When seeking out the best training equipment for Wing Chun, self defense or full-contact training, it’s hard to beat a solid pair of boxing gloves.  While everyone can see the place and role boxing gloves play in training for full-contact combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing or MMA, what many Wing Chun folks do not realize is that a good pair of boxing gloves can be just about the most useful training aid towards functional and practical use of Wing Chun. 

Choosing the best boxing glove for your training needs is one of the most essential yet overlooked aspects of Wing Chun training, as they can take both your self-defense training and sparring experiences (either for class training or for combat sports participation such as boxing, kickboxing and MMA) to the next level by allowing you to apply as well as defend against techniques thrown with speed and power.

3 Key Aspects To Choosing The Right Boxing Glove For Your Training Needs

When looking for a solid pair of Wing Chun gloves for training the following 3 factors need to be taken into consideration:

  1. PURPOSE.  What are you using these for? I am of the opinion that one should have at least one pair of training gloves and one pair of sparring gloves however both should be 16 oz. Reasons for this are that just about any amateur competition out there will require the use of 16 oz gloves.  Many pro events use lighter gloves, but we are not interested in this.  We are interested in getting the right balance of weight and protection on your hands for training with availability to compete in amateur events and the 16 oz. size glove it fits the bill so that is what we will go with from here on in.
  2. MATERIALWhat are these gloves made out of?  Now personally, I will always go with a leather glove but I have learned through experience to never say “never” in training; as such I have included 3 kinds of synthetic leather, or leatherette,  gloves in here out of necessity as a training glove because they are inexpensive & fairly durable, and is always good to have a backup pair on hand just because.  Just remember that when it comes time for actual sparring, refer to this list and go with “leather only” gloves.
  3. PRICE.  How much are you willing to invest in your training? Obviously price is always going to be a factor in any realistic review since at least where I come from, most folks don’t have the luxury and blessing of purchasing without considering the price tag.  My rule of thumb that has never steered me wrong is to always get the best glove you can afford.  Since gloves can run the gamut from $35 upwards to $150 obviously not everyone will have the funds available to pop for the $150 pair you want to get a solid glove at the best price you can.  I have included several options for this and will break down the reasons why in the following review.

Why Training with Boxing Gloves Should Not Be Ignored

Boxing gloves are not something that the average Wing Chun practitioner thinks would or should be a part of their training equipment; the irony is that boxing gloves are perhaps the most versatile and applicable piece of Wing Chun equipment that one can have in their gear bag that can take their training to the next level.  Why is this? There are several reasons:

  • Boxing gloves allow a Wing Chun practitioner to deal with oncoming force in a way that standard Wing Chun training cannot address.  Far too many Wing Chun practitioners stay within the confines of their perfect little “Wing Chun bubble” of forms, drills and chi sau.  While that may make for effective training in that very narrow niche of Wing Chun technique proper, it does little- if anything- to prepare the Wing Chun practitioner for the realities of a street encounter.
  • Boxing gloves allow for a more realistic feel of unpredictable punching since the gloves themselves offer protection so more scenarios can be addressed.  Wing Chun is a straight line system.  Angles are cut very acutely and the centerline is the target that is gone after regardless of the attack launched at you. This is priceless advice and is what drives my own personal training in Wing Chun for self-defense and combat sports such as boxing to this day, however, in order to drill this the right way you need to be exposed to unpredictability and you cannot truly do that with your training partner attacking you with anything but boxing gloves.
  • Boxing gloves also allow a Wing Chun practitioner to apply their skills to full-contact combat sports such as boxing kickboxing and MMA training.  Now I know many folks will say something to the effect of, “why would I need to train for boxing or kickboxing? I’m training for Wing Chun!” Let me just say that I agree with you – Wing Chun is a pure self-defense art and you don’t need to train Wing Chun for combat sports.  What combat sports, full-contact training and tournament competition offers is priceless feedback and the opportunity for growth in terms of functionalizing and applying Wing Chun in a totally unpredictable and non-cooperative setting that class training drills, even slam-bang full contact ones- just cannot replicate or reproduce. There are so many factors that go into combat sports competition that can only benefit your training for no-bullshit self defense, personal protection and Wing Chun proficiency. Proper training addresses all parts of the whole and sparring (especially full-contact sparring) is but one small part of Wing Chun training, however it is one aspect that can yield enormous benefits and results if it is approached in the right way.

One Simple Way To Test Your Wing Chun Structure

If you ever want to find out how wire-tight your Wing Chun defense and game plan is, have a training partner don a reinforced cage-style headgear and a pair of boxing gloves while you put on a set of boxing headgear with a face protector and MMA gloves and engage in some live-fire Wing Chun sparring. 

Now this will be different than standard Wing Chun sparring where both parties have face cages and MMA gloves on. What makes this kind of training so different and therefore so effective is the fact that while you have a face cage on and MMA gloves on and are attacking with Wing Chun, your opponent / training partner will be attacking you in an unpredictable way throwing punches from all different angles and putting a lot more pepper on those punches since the gloves are going to be 16 oz instead of the standard 4 to 5 oz MMA gloves.

Why this is important is twofold:

  1. First, anybody who has ever thrown more than 10 punches with a pair of boxing gloves on can tell you that a good solid pair of boxing gloves makes it feel like you’re holding a roll of pennies in each hand so the punches have that much more momentum going into them. The punches thrown at you will have much more power attached to them.
  2. Consequently, your Wing Chun game plan in both attack and defense will have to be that much tighter and on-point. This is not something something that can be replicated with drills only. At some point you need to jump in the water and get wet. Boxing gloves provide this measure of reality in a way that MMA gloves and Wing Chun drills just can’t do, and I don’t care how long you train.

For sake of being thorough, I have divided the gloves listed into 2 categories: synthetic leather and full leather gloves.

The chief benefit to synthetic leather is price, as these are less expensive as a general rule of thumb, however always keep in mind that if Wing Chun training is to be a lifetime activity, always invest in the highest quality product since it will yield the greatest training rewards.


SYNTHETIC LEATHER GLOVES

GungFu ProForce Leatherette Boxing Gloves 16oz.

As I have just previously stated, I always go with leather gloves however I feel that the ProForce Gung Fu Leatherette glove warrants inclusion here for the simple reason that you never want to say never.

There may be times when all that you have available to you is a leatherette/synthetic leather/vinyl glove and the dumbass thing to do would be to forgo purchasing such a glove because it’s not “leather” and in doing so you short-change your own training. 

This is a no bells & whistles boxing glove, pretty much exactly what you would expect from a non- leather economy 16oz. glove. It has a hook thumb and velcro closure which keeps the hand in place and the wrist snug.  The glove itself is compact and light and, while I would not use it anymore than I had to, a glove such as the Leatherette does makes a fine addition to your gear bag just in case you misplace or leave your other set at home, or are doing a drill with a partner that does not have gloves.

Anyone who uses boxing gloves or other full contact gear regularly will understand this one-sometimes you need to air them sumbitches out because they can get downright rank and rancid. I cannot tell you how many times I have grabbed my gear bag to go to class only to find out when I get there that my gloves are airing out in the garage or in the upstairs room because they were just so smelly and damp. It happens.

Having a lightweight, fairly durable and, most of all, inexpensive pair of gloves in your gear bag for just this purpose can mean the difference between a very productive training session and nothing. Think of these gloves as the spare tire in the trunk of your car. They are great for what they are for but I would not use these as the mainstay or even a regular part of your training.  Pick up a pair just so you know you will have them on hand should you ever need a backup pair.


Everlast Pro Style Training Gloves 16oz.

Once again I know I am bending my rule for nothing but leather on gloves a bit, however, this one actually makes more sense then just for a backup glove. This is a basic yet well constructed glove that is in my opinion ideal for someone either just starting out or who does not yet have the need for a more durable and high-quality glove but still wants to glean the benefits of training with gloves and needs a glove to deliver more than a “backup” glove would.

Everlast has been around forever and is synonymous with boxing; ask anyone who grew up pre-UFC or MMA what brand do they think of when they think of “boxing” and I can all but guarantee you they will say Everlast.  The Pro Style Training Glove has a mesh center palm which is important for airing out and breathability, as I have found synthetic leather tends to absorb moisture more than regular leather. 

Synthetic leather, while not my favorite, is still more than adequate padding for basic contact work, however if someone is pursuing combat sports seriously or even padwork on a regular basis it behooves them to get a solid leather construction glove as the fist of synthetic leather or vinyl gloves (I don’t care how well they’re made) begin to wear out and crack sooner rather than later. 

Also par for the course on boxing gloves is the stitched thumb lock, which basically means the thumb is stitched to prevent it from hanging out and breaking your thumb when your punching.  One feature I do like quite a bit is that the wristwrap does not wrap all the way around, which is useful since many times having the wraparound leads to velcro either snagging when you’re punching or wearing out. This may reduce the stability on your wrist, so if I were you I’d go with a pair of handwraps when using these gloves, too (just my 2 cents).

All told, while still not my favorite choice for anything other than a backup glove, if you have been around enough to know that this is something that you want to pursue but are not yet ready to make the plunge into buying a higher-quality glove, then this is an excellent starting glove.  


Venum Challenger 2.0 Boxing Gloves 16oz.

The Venum Challenger 2.0 is the top of the line synthetic leather glove.  As I have stated above, synthetic leather is NOT my favorite for glove, however it’s “handmade in Thailand” design puts it to the head of the line as far as synthetic leather gloves go. You will see many of the same features in the Venom Elite full leather glove later in this review but for now I will touch on a few of the key points since their design is the same.

The fist has a more pronounced curved design than the previous synthetic leather gloves I have reviewed, which means you do not need to break in these gloves as much by making a fist conscientiously.  Another feature worth mentioning is the wider velcro wristwrap, which makes it he was easier to pull tight either with your mouth or your hand (we’ve all been there!)

The foam density is also higher in this glove, resulting in a more compact and stylized the design, not to mention increase punching power and impact. The aeration holes in the palms wick away moisture which is more important since synthetic leather gloves, as stated in the previous review and in my opinion, have always tend to hold moisture longer than 100% leather gloves.  If I had to use only 1 glove and it had to be synthetic, this is the one I’d go with.


LEATHER GLOVES

Pro Impact Leather Boxing Gloves 16oz

The Pro Impact Leather 16oz. Boxing Glove is your garden variety,  full leather boxing glove. This is an excellent choice for a basic,” no frills” leather boxing glove and will serve as an ideal starting point as you progress into the higher quality gloves made by such manufacturers as Hayabusa,  Fairtex and Venom.  Think of this as a standard “meat and potatoes” glove – simple, solid and functional.

The foam across the fist is actually triple-layered for a more dense fit and, since it is backed up with leather and not synthetic leather or leatherette, the durability of the surface area (knuckles) is going to be much higher and the impact is going to be substantially greater when you are punching something. 

Leather produces an impact against your opponent that synthetic leather or vinyl gloves just cannot match.  Trust me-bop someone in the kisser with synthetic leather gloves on, then try it with the full leather version.  The difference is like tasting your all-time favorite food when you have a horrible cold and can’t taste anything versus while feeling 100% healthy.

One feature in particular I enjoy on this  glove is an extra long cuff around the wrist.  I personally feel most comfortable in the glove extends of my forearm at least a third of the way. this is a solid choice for a training glove and one that is more than worth the price paid. Remember that just because a glove is expensive, it does not mean that it is automatically a better fit for what your needs may be.

I have used this glove on several occasions and have no complaints with it at all. it is true with gloves that you get what you pay for so be prepared after a while for stitching to come loose and general wear and tear to occur, but for the price paid you could do far far worse than picking up a pair of these.


Title Boxing Pro Style Leather Training Glove 16oz.

I must admit in any review that I am a bit biased towards the Title Boxing Co. for the simple fact that I have had the most experience with Title products. Are there higher quality gloves out there? Absolutely.  Will you find a better value for your buck than Title products. In my opinion, no.

I have used Title Boxing gloves and equipment in varying capacities consistently since 2002 and have never had a complaint aside from the occasional stitching or velcro issue.

The ratio of problems to mileage put on the gloves or other equipment is unmatched in my opinion and I can say this from years and years of hard-won personal experience literally beating the hell out of this equipment.  As an aside, let me say that in my experience, Title Boxing ships very quickly which is another reason I have used them so often…when I want my shit, I want it now and don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for overnight fees.

For starters, the foam on the fist is triple layer, which really comes in handy when you’re banging your fists off of hips, elbows and other bony areas. Check out the following clip of one of my training partners throwing light punches at me while wearing a pair of Title gloves while I employ elbow destructions to his punches.  Make no mistake, you will feel the elbows (hence the light punches in this drill-the attacker in this clip is actually an E.R doc and cannot afford to break his moneymakers on my elbows); the right glove gives you enough padding to give you an accurate feel.

The leather is compact and densely stitched to prevent the errant stitch coming loose where it counts.  Stitching loose on a label I don’t care about; on the other hand, loose stitching on the seam of the glove?  In the immortal words of Randy Jackson, “that’s a NO for me, dog.”

One thing I really enjoy is the full wrap-around cuff, which feels much the same way weight lifting gloves wrap around to keep the wrist tight.  Combined with a good set of Title Boxing wrist wraps, slipping your hand into any Title glove keeps your wrists solid and stable.

Of course, the thumb is stitched to prevent it from hanging out, but one thing I have noticed about the Title line of gloves in general is that they tend to be more compact in overall design than many other clubs in their price range. Several pairs of lower-end price to gloves tend to have a billowy, almost cauliflower-ish look when you put them on.  The Title glove line tends to stick to a more cylindrical, almost rectangular feel –  a trait shared by high-end high-cost gloves Hayabusa and Fairtex lines (more on those later).

It is for all these reason that my default glove, unless I am looking for specifically investing in a higher-end product, is the Title brand.   It delivers damn near all of the benefits of a top shelf glove at a reasonable price. 


Title Platinum Paramount Training/Sparring Glove 16oz.

The Paramount is the premium style of glove offered by Title Boxing. All of the same benefits and standard features of the Title Pro Style Training Glove listed above apply along with some new features that set the Paramount ahead of the standard Title products and further demonstrate Title Boxing’s attention to detail and emphasis on value.

For starters, the cuff is longer than the standard cuff design. This aids not only in wrist stability, but also in protecting the wrist itself against elbows and hips when throwing close, body shots.  Anybody who has banged their wrist off of somebody’s elbow knows that that can potentially take you out of training for at least a week.

The outer shell is double thick, pure grain leather that has been “pre-broken in” and the the soft inner lining I have found increases the comfort and ease of slipping on and slipping out of them.  The interior of the glove is designed to wick away moisture which aids in the airing out of the glove after a sweaty session, however, any gloves when used regularly and vigorously will have a tendency to hold moisture, so be sure to dry out gloves any gloves you use on a regular basis. 

Gloves should be taken out of your gear bag to dry after a good solid sparring session and allowed to air out.  One trick I always use is to stuff newspaper wads in the entire glove and let sit in a cool, dry place; this will absorb moisture and severely halt any smell issues caused by bacteria in the glove.

These gloves are, price to value-wise, one of the highest ratio gloves in this review and in terms of protection offer a very high level for your knuckles without sacrificing speed or mobility since the nature of the glove is compact and dense not puffy like a lower end product would be; this way you do not need to sacrifice form and function for protection. 


Venum Elite Boxing Gloves 16oz.

The Venum Elite is another member of the “Thailand Royal Court,” so to speak, for gloves.  Again, the handmade in Thailand craftsmanship is beyond reproach.  These are designed for your punishment; these are designed for you to literally beat the hell out of them. These will last a long time and the compact design and tight structure delivers more force in a powerful punch.

Another noteworthy feature is, much like their synthetic leather budget version Venum Challenger 2.0 gloves (my top pick in the above-mentioned synthetic leather category), the Venom Elite comes with a reinforced palm.  Sometimes blocking can put stress on the palm due to catching punches or even blocking an elbow or a knee, so you always want to have a reinforced palm when sparring and blocking things like elbows & knees.

Much like the Venum Challenger 2.0 there are aeration holes on the inside of the palm which keep the glove from starting to smell since it will aerate and keep moisture down,  The stitching all around the glove is reinforced and there is an extra layer of foam that keep it both compact and ultra shock-absorbent.

Basically all of the features that I reviewed in the synthetic leather equivalent Venum Challenger 2.0 apply to the Venum Elite only in a full leather package. You cannot go wrong and picking up a pair-they will feel like a part of you after a few rounds.


Fairtex BGV1 Boxing Muay Thai Gloves 16oz.

Before there was MMA the pre-eminent full contact events to watch were Muay Thai kickbboxing and full-contact rules or American kickboxing and before any of the MMA equipment companies sprouted up there was Fairtex. 

Fairtex is to the Muay Thai/kickboxing world what Nike is to basketball shoes and the UFC is to mixed martial arts.  Indeed, Fairtex for all intents and purposes is the granddaddy of Muay Thai / kickboxing equipment companies.

Do not let the extreme name recognition and reputation fool you; this is one company that has not gone downhill as it has become more well-known. Fairtex knows its’ lane, stays in it and churns out some of my favorite gear hands-down. 

For starters, all Fairtex equipment is still handmade in Thailand and its’ 16oz glove, the BGV1, is no exception.  The BGV1 Muay Thai Boxing Glove boasts triple reinforced stitching, wide velcro loops, handmade construction that can and will stand up to hour after hour of pure abuse andits design is what has become, in my opinion, to be the standard shape and density of all Thai handmade gloves.

All Fairtex boxing gloves have that unique compact & dense, almost brick-like feel.  This helps keep your punches solid and compact, thereby increasing their effectiveness while at the same time protecting your fists against hip bones, elbows and the like. I have never found the need to “break in” a pair of Fairtex gloves for all that long they have a curved design that literally feels like a J-hook so Fairtex gloves have what I feel to be the standard feel of any high quality handmade in Thailand glove. 

This not only helps deliver much more momentum and power in your punching by keeping your structure compact and dense but also protects your knuckles from hip bones, elbows and any other hard surface.

My only complaint-if it is one- with Fairtex gloves is that after repeated use (and I mean months and months even years of several times weekly use) the velcro tends to lose it’s grip however I say this fully admitting that for a long time I did not properly take care of my equipment. I left wet boxing gloves, MMA gloves, etc. in my gear bag and did not properly air them out after each use.

Boxing gloves and any other MMA equipment for that matter needs to be taken care of as you would any other mechanical or specific piece of equipment and these are no different. Fairtex quality is top-notch and it really comes through in these gloves.


Twins Special Boxing Gloves Velcro 16oz.

Twins is another brand handmade in Thailand and is clearly in the top class of Muay Thai training and MMA equipment, being one of the most widely recognized brands.  Well known in Muay Thai and MMA circles, ironically this is one of those brands that is most well known to fighters and fight aficionados only since the casual training dilettante or “tasters” as we like to call them only are familiar with brands that are much much more well-known. Handmade in Thailand and extra strong durable stitching make any Twins product a fine and valuable addition to your training gear bag.

One exceptionally noteworthy characteristic of the Twins glove is a padded wrist with the velcro strap.  This not only steadies the wrist; it guards against full impact of kicks and punches, especially as you are blocking.

For an example of why this is so important check out the following clip of Cung Le and Frank Shamrock fighting for the Strikeforce Middleweight World Championship.  The action is fierce and Cung Le’s striking is amazing. Watch Frank Shamrock attempt to block Cung’s kicks to his high line by covering up and what eventually happens is that Cung breaks Shamrock’s forearm. This is should fully explain to you why this feature on the Twins glove is so important.  To date this remains my favorite MMA fight.

Don’t forget that when throwing body shots you may,and occasionally will, catch the opponent’s elbow if they have a good, solid structure and a tight defense. 

Having a padded wrist is an invaluable resource because-and let me tell you from personal experience-banging your wrists off of someone’s elbow when you are geared up and ready to throw a punishing body shot only to have your hand suddenly radiate waves of pain really, really sucks and for a split second you freak out thinking that you’ve broken your wrist.


Cleto Reyes Hook and Loop Training Glove 16oz.

Cleto Reyes gloves are one of those gloves that, if you have been in the combat arts for awhile, you almost are shocked that no one knows about. Cleto Reyes gloves are one of the most widely recognized boxing gloves and equipment line in Mexico- a country which has produced countless champions especially out the world renowned boxing Mecca, Mexico City. 

One of my boxing coaches, Juan Carlos Salazar, is a former Mexico City Golden Gloves champion (FYI Mexico City is about 8.5 million people and they breed some very tough boxers down there) and Cleto Reyes is his preferred brand.

What I love about the Cleto Reyes line of gloves and equipment is the way they feel like you have owned them for about 6 years from the moment you put them on. 

Several other gloves, including the more compact high-end ones covered in this review) do feel stiff at first, and while that is not a problem since they are new gloves and that is what you’d expect, having a glove that is designed to feel both stiff and broken in in the right spots this allows you to really relax into the job you are doing when you put on gloves-and that is punching other human being in the face very hard.

All of the standard trimmings for high-quality gloves apply to the Cleto Reyes line as well: Reinforced stitching to withstand round after round of hard workouts and sparring, handmade construction with attention to detail and the contour of the fist, dense foam around the fist to protect your knuckles and add power to your punches while protecting the bones in your hand, and a wide wrap-around closure system to support the rest and aid in ease of use for putting on and taking off.

If you are serious about investing in products that are designed to last for a very long time, you would do well by investing in a pair of these gloves.  If so many talented fighters from one of the most respected places on the boxing map swear by this line, there has to be something to them.  Good enough for them, good enough for me. 


 Hayabusa T3 16oz. Boxing Gloves 

For the ultimate in boxing gloves, from my experience and in my opinion (hence the review you are reading)  Hayabusa stands alone. Available in both standard and the kanpeki full grain (which has the look, feel and comfort of a well-oiled and broken in old baseball glove) leather, the several features of the Hayabusa line clearly differentiate it from even other top-shelf glove lines.

For starters the Hayabusa T3 line uses five layers of foam-dense foam-underneath their top grain leather. This not only provides increased support and shock absorbency for your hand (again, banging your fist off someone’s hip or elbow will put a damper on your day if you don’t have a glove with the right padding), its top of the line leather ensures that after punch after punch after punch there is no need to break these in but also provides unparalleled protection against cracks and tears.

The way the gloves are designed to fit your hand and not move has to do with the closing system by having a duel system it in effect mimics the lace-up feel while using velcro. Anyone who has ever done any punching with lace-up gloves when properly put on can tell you that no matter how nice and good a velcro glove feels on your hand for stability there is nothing out there that beats the feel of having a glove laced up from your fist to your wrist and below. These gloves mimic that feel. Once they’re on they’re not getting off.

The XT2 antimicrobial lining also ensures that moisture inside the glove is kept to a minimum.  While I would always recommend airing out any equipment after use and stuffing the gloves with newspaper to soak up moisture and the resulting odors that can be caused by excessive bacteria from moisture, this is minimized here partly because of the microfiber thumb that helps wick away sweat and moisture.

The long and the short of it is this: the Hayabusa T3 Boxing Glove is the Rolls-Royce of boxing gloves and is one that every martial artist could stand to have in his or her gear bag.


The “Brown Bomber” Knew Wing Chun?

Adaptation is KEY to any real-world application of Wing Chun for the street or for the combat sports/sparring game.  Boxing gloves play a huge role in this-right down to the ability to adapt your punching technique to fit boxing gloves. And example of this type of adaptation can be seen when checking out old footage of 1930’s & 40s boxer Joe Louis, “The Brown Bomber.”  One can see his punching technique was different than all other boxers of his era and even now who all sport to be more familiar twisting “corkscrew” style punch: Joe Louis threw only vertical punches.

Think of it as if the Wing Chun punch and the boxing punch got together and had a baby. The end result of this was bone-crushing power, compact & tight structure and the ability to throw punches at different angles, different heights with ease and with a extreme degree of unpredictability.

Of all of the boxing footage I have ever watched and boxers I have studied, Joe Louis remains my hands-down favorite boxer of all time.  He boxes with the flavor of applied Wing Chun concept and it shows.

Now it goes without saying that in the 1930’s and 40’s he had no idea what Wing Chun was, but his style lines up with Wing Chun training to a “T” for combat sports participation.  Check out this clip and watch how he chops down his opponents like Paul Bunyan.  Pay attention to his hips and elbows being in line and his vertical punches:


Recap / Review: Everything You Need To Know To Make The Best Choice

To review, boxing gloves are perhaps the most underutilized yet valuable resource that a Wing Chun practitioner can have in his or her gear bag to ensure that his or her training has the proper element of reality to it.

This may be a bitter pill to swallow for many folks out there, but I don’t give a rat’s ass if you can work the wooden dummy like a wizard, swing the butterfly swords around the way Tom Cruise flipped those bottles of Bacardi around in Cocktail or perform chi sau on one leg, blindfolded with your tongue super-glued to the roof of you mouth: if you cannot apply your Wing Chun skills against a non-cooperative opponent who wants to hit you, either take my advice and suit up with the right gear and adjust your training to rectify this issue or go home and build a ship in a bottle, because your training is not training for self-defense and that will ultimately get you injured or maybe worse.

Drills involving heavier contact with boxing gloves are not drills that need to be done every single day, however, approaching your Wing Chun training to address the realities of combat should have an element in each time you train and boxing gloves can play a crucial role in this element.

Does this mean that every drill has to be a balls-out full-contact slugfest?  Of course not. In fact it is best to only do stuff like that maybe once or twice every few weeks, as there are other things that you need to focus on, but it is always good to remain “within arm’s reach of reality,’ so to speak,  as you train.

Once again, the three main areas to focus on when choosing the right boxing glove for your needs are:

  • PURPOSE: What are you using these for?
  • MATERIAL: This one is easy- leather is the order of the day, however, for training you can get away with synthetic leather (“leatherette”) or even some vinyl but I highly recommend that non-leather gloves be either starting or backup gloves and not your “go-to” or mainstay glove.
  • COST: How much are they?  Always get the highest quality glove you can afford.  If you’re like me you are the kind of person that buys 20.00 jeans, saves for and then buys 120.00 gloves, not the other way around.

Refer to this list for a detailed breakdown anytime you need to replace or purchase a new pair of gloves, and always remember this Wing Chun is designed for fighting, and in fighting you will get hit.  Make no mistake about that. 

Anybody who is telling you or is trying to train Wing Chun in such a way as to hit and not get hit is only lying to themselves and to you.  That kind of mentality only works in a boxing match or in a touch-point karate tournament although in the case of the boxing match that is an ideal based on the parameters of a sport & not the reality. 

Ask any boxer who trains, any kickboxer who trains, any MMA athlete who trains – they will all tell you that if you are making hitting and not getting hit your end goal then you are in for a long day. 

Wing Chun folks across the world would all see a skyrocket in their abilities if they all took a few shots to the face now and again and sent all the Neo from The Matrix-type excessive leaning, over- reaching body contortionist shit so as not to get hit for the mental SPAM folder, ’cause that’s where that stuff belongs. 


Something to Keep In Mind

Remember you can only train the right way if you use the right equipment. Your training is limited by two things: what’s between your ears and what’s in your gear bag. Always strive to maximize both. Refer to this list anytime you need to either purchase or replace a pair of boxing gloves.

Make sure you run through each of the three criteria to determine that the glove you are looking for is the right when you purchase, pick up the pair that best suits your needs at that time and get to training.

Remember that, as I always say, Wing Chun only works if YOU do.

 

Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

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