FORM & FUNCTION: 2019 Best MMA Gloves for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

MMA gloves are a Wing Chun guy or gal’s best friend and most valuable training aid. It is imperative to know what to look for to best suit your needs.

To make your Wing Chun skills truly functional, practical and effective – for self-defense or full-contact combat sports such as MMA, muay thai and sanshou kickboxing – depends on several factors, not the least of which is the gear you train with.  Shin pads, mouthpiece, chest protector, groin cup and headgear are all necessities to have in your gear bag, but the single most important item of your gear will always be the gloves you have to punch with.

MMA gloves offer a very specific benefit to us as practitioners of Wing Chun as their open-palm design, loose fingers and minimal weight allow us to train, for all intents and purposes, as if we had no gloves on at all.  Choosing the best MMA glove to suit your needs is of the highest importance when training to make your Wing Chun skills work for you in an efficient, effective and ,above all, realistic way.

That’s me on the right applying Wing Chun against a resisting opponent full-contact to the delight of a bloodthirsty crowd at the “Family Fun Tent” of the local community fairgrounds…the savages!   You need MMA gloves to train this way, period.

Whereas you can train to conceptually apply Wing Chun to any type of combative training, to truly make your Wing Chun skills functional and effective is something that just can’t be done in boxing gloves or karate point sparring gear.  The end result of both would be so much adaptation on your part, either structurally using boxing gloves or decreasing the force of a blow using karate gear, that training such as this would not only be useless but counterproductive.

Having said that, there are definite “do’s” and “dont’s” when it comes to picking out what gloves suit your needs best. This handy guide will examine in detail exactly how you can pick the best MMA gloves for Wing Chun, self-defense training and full-contact combat sports competition.

How To Choose The Right MMA Glove To Suit Your Needs

The three main criteria used in deciding which gloves were included in this review are:

  • Purpose (or why you’re using them),
  • Size/Weight (different uses have different sizes and are constructed differently)
  • Price

Price will be the least important of the three since if you are anything like me you would rather have $120 pairs of gloves and it $20 pairs of jeans, not the other way around.

Note: you will notice that I am not going to be reviewing “bag gloves” as I feel they are not necessary for our training. In my opinion – and this is only my opinion, but hey that’s why you’re reading this in the first place right?- I view “bag gloves” to be a little more than an Arthur Murray or Fred Astaire Dance Studio type tactic to get you to buy yet another pair of gloves. 

Now I’m sure many disagree and can provide sound reasoning for why bag gloves are necessary but I don’t use them and as such I ain’t reviewing them.

In line with our focus on simple, effective and practical training I am focusing on the three general categories that MMA gloves fall in to: training gloves, sparring gloves and competition gloves. Each of the three types has a very specific purpose in our Wing Chun training and will be addressed equally.

Safety in training is paramount.  Consider the following information on injury rates in combat sports taken from Wikipedia’s page on mixed martial arts.

In general, the injury pattern in MMA is very similar to that in professional boxing but unlike that found in other combat sports such as judo and taekwondo.[167] The most commonly injured body region is the head (66.8% to 78.0% of reported injuries) followed by the wrist/hand (6.0% to 12.0% of reported injuries), while the most frequent types of injury were laceration (36.7% to 59.4% of reported injuries), fracture (7.4% to 43.3% of reported injuries), and concussion (3.8% to 20.4% of reported injuries).[167]

This underscores the need not just for different kinds of gloves in training, but the need to employ different types of gloves based on the goals of each training session.

First let’s take a look at of each of the three types of gloves we’ll be looking at in this review:


The 3 Types of MMA Gloves (& Which One Is Best For YOU)

MMA Training Gloves:

  • Training gloves tend to cover up until the second or middle knuckles of the hand they also have a padded thumb which is useful to prevent training accidents and for self-defense work, such as striking the side of someone’s head with a ridge hand technique, for example.
  • They generally fall between the 5-6 oz. range. We will not go any higher than that in this review as anything more than that tends to fall into “bag glove”territory, which I can tell you from experience that a solid pair of MMA Training Gloves can do that job just as well.

MMA Sparring Gloves:

  • Also referred to as “Hybrid” or “Hybrid Training” Gloves, MMA Sparring Gloves are designed to mimic the shock absorbency of a 16 oz. boxing glove while retaining the freedom of an open palmed MMA glove, allowing the user to both grapple and strike.
  • MMA Sparring Gloves have a one-piece circular covering over all the knuckles very much like the old foam-dipped point karate gear (which, incidentally, is about as useful for Wing Chun training as a driver’s license is for a blind guy). This actually bodes very well for Wing Chun folks when sparring while using protective headgear such as the Pro-Force Thunder Face Cage.
  • This type of glove also works very well for self-defense scenario training.

I personally have found this to be a bit of a double-edged sword since the bigger,  bulbous padding tends to shift after repeated contact and expose the second knuckles on your hand a little bit more. The extra absorbent one-piece circular padding definitely allows you to make a harder shot but may get in your way at times. Definite pros and cons to each one but still a very solid piece of equipment.

MMA Competition Gloves:

  • The competition glove has no or padding past the second knuckle and a completely open thumb.
  • The padding also tends to be much thinner, more compact and durable. The downside to this glove is if you are Wing Chun sparring and have not yet reached a level of proficiency where you can cut angles to the side of the face you will be punching a hard plastic face cage or wire mesh mesh cage with such a glove this will hurt your hand. I personally am most comfortable Wing Chun sparring (“gor sau”) with MMA competition gloves, since they allow the most range of motion in your hand and the compact padding does not get in the way of chain punch motions but be forewarned, it took me years to work up to that point.  If you’re not there yet, no worries-for Wing Chun chest sparring (aiming for the chest instead of the face) these gloves are a perfect fit.
  • The compact and dense padding of an MMA competition glove allows you to really “feel” what you are hitting! This cannot be overstated in importance; having safe, padded gloves is very nice however how can you ever truly know what you’re hitting and if you’re hitting correctly if you do not feel and I mean really FEEL the impact of hitting another person? This also develops the ability to cut angles very acutely so that you are actually deflecting an opponent’s attack and then striking them either straight on or in one of the sides of the helmet turning them around that is the ultimate goal of Wing Chun to cut the angle and completely uproot your opponent.What this “uprooting” lead to is to is developing the ability to cut angles and deflect your opponent’s attack while you take their Centerline. This will lead to them turning on their Center axis and exposing their side which allows you to punch the side of the helmet or face cage, or even the back of it. This is what Wing Chun sparring is all about!
  • Whereas training gloves offer additional padding and support for used in training as well as bag work and mitt punching and hybrid gloves offer added padding comparable to a boxing glove for sparring purposes, the  competition glove is for just that: competing in full-contact MMA or combat sports.  For us as Wing Chun guys and gals, this is the most realistic aim of our training: to fight another person in a non-cooperative situation.

NOTE: Read This Before You Wing Chun Spar…

Some of the pitfalls and drawbacks to wearing competition gloves for sparring in Wing Chun have to do with making contact to the opponent’s face while they are wearing protective headgear such as a face cage. Wing Chun sparring is not suited for boxing headgear-we save that type sanda/sanshou (Chinese full-contact kickboxing).  That said, using competition grade gloves can be invaluable to the Wing Chun practitioner in the fact that it forces one to cut very acute angles and attack the opponent in a way that angle cutting would normally occur.

Using MMA Competition Gloves for Wing Chun sparring, my aim is to cut the angles and attack to his centerline while coming in from an angle so I’m not just banging into his face cage head-on.

Being able to cut an angle and hit an opponent in such a way that you attack their body’s centerline while they are skewed off of yours is the highest aim of a Wing Chun practitioner. Plus, as stated earlier, how can you really know how powerful and on point your punching power and abilities are if you do not make solid contact with an opponent? I gotta tell you there is nothing like hitting someone flush in such a way that you feel it down to your root and heels and you feel their body bend to your will… it just feels great.  MMA Competition Gloves offer you the most true feeling of punching another person, period.

Bruce Knew Better!

As Bruce Lee would watch his students engage in full-contact sparring back in the mid-1960’s, one of his favorite expressions  was to tell a student who was sparring an opponent to, “put him in the wounded crane!” This was the cue to whichever student Lee was talking to to open up with a flurry of chain punches leading his opponent to flop backwards and turn away like a wounded crane.  That is the essence of Wing Chun sparring training, and it is in that spirit that this review was written.

So, without any further yap-yap or ado, here are your top picks for the Best MMA Gloves of 2018 for Wing Chun training, self-defense practice and combat sports or full-contact competition:


MMA TRAINING GLOVES

Combat Sports Pro Style MMA Glove

A pair of Combat Sports International gloves were the first gloves I ever picked up. It’s no wonder they have been around so long as they are the preferred glove for several amateur MMA competition organizations.

Much the same way as the Title MMA Gloves these gloves are crafted from durable, sturdy leather not the synthetic nylon stuff- I have always found that after repeated use gloves made of synthetic materials like nylon tend to rip and crack like cheap upholstery.

What I like most about these gloves is that the wrist wrap while sturdy does not impede motion. Sometimes with certain gloves it can feel like tightening The wrist wrap to stabilize your wrist for punching feels like you are applying a freaking tourniquet to your hand! Not so with these.

Solid gloves from a benchmark company at a dependable price – what’s not to like?


 Venum Undisputed 2.0 MMA Gloves

These high quality, handcrafted gloves are manufactured in Thailand so they tend to have that “Thai style” feel for gloves (any Fairtex devotees know what I mean right away.  Dense & compact yet supple and smooth, putting these gloves on is almost like slipping on a pair of gloves you have had for a long time.

The knuckle area tends to be a bit less bulbous then,say, with the Title or Combat Sports gloves much the same way a Fairtex boxing glove tends to be more compact, dense and a bit squarish to the point of being brick-like in shape with less surface area then say and Everlast or Title boxing glove is.

I have seen several top lei tai (Chinese full-contact platform fighting) competitors in the USA using Venum gloves lately so you know they are able to deliver solid blows.


Everlast Pro Style MMA Glove

No review would be complete on gloves without the Everlast making a cameo appearance on the list.

This glove has all of the hallmark features in an MMA glove Last finger design solid wrist wrap open thumb and leather Construction.  I have used these a few times and admittedly am not the biggest fan of these gloves as they are made of synthetic leather which as a rule I avoid, and in my opinion and from past usage they feel a bit to one-size-fits-all for my approach which makes sense if they are going to be one of, if not the most, widely recognized and mass purchased gloves in the world.

That said, I do like the extra heavy wristwrap, double stitching on the fingers and the low surface area of exposed palm (I feel more snug the more of a glove I slip my hand into).  I just prefer something a bit more particular in structure.  I’m not not trying to dissuade anybody from trying them-they are still a great glove at a great price. These definitely get the job done-just decide how important personalized comfort is to you and go from there.

My main reason for their inclusion on this list is that they seem to be everywhere and as the saying goes, “use what you have, do what you can, start where you are.”  These are a great starter glove to start training so if this is all that is around, get them and start training!


MMA SPARRING GLOVES

 Combat Sports MMA Safety Sparring Glove

The main feature of a sparring glove is that it is designed to provide the same protection as a 16 oz boxing glove without the weight and bulky size of a glove like that. This is why the “sparring gloves” have the mitten feature rounding front instead of individual fingers.

What I like most about the Combat Sports Safety MMA Sparring Glove is the solid wrist wrap and the full leather construction. Other, less expensive varieties tend to be made of synthetic leather. If you see that as a general rule, in my opinion, do not buy them unless there is no other option. To me things like “foam dipped,” “synthetic leather,” etc. are all the same :  less expensive but also less durable and less quality. These gloves are solid one-piece construction and full leather which you can tell after wearing them for a few rounds.

One feature I really like is the fact that while, unlike the MMA Training Gloves the Sparring Gloves tend to be much more open and free in the palm (due to their being constructed not only for striking but for grappling) the finger holes themselves are double-layered and reinforced. This may not seem like an important feature but for us as Wing Chun folks we will be using pak sao, lop sao, palm strikes and like so to be able to employ open hand techniques for both attack and defense is imperative.

Also as we begin sparring we will be using headgear such as the ProForce Thunder whose catcher mask bars across the face are an absolute bitch on MMA training gloves with the individual fingers. I have broken a pinky finger doing this so I know what I’m talking about here. These gloves will allow you to bridge the gap between bag work and fighting by way of controlled sparring with face cage headgear on.


Venum Impact Sparring MMA Glove

Venom’s version of the MMA Sparring glove also earns high marks in my book. I am not thrilled that these are not 100% leather as the Combat Sports MMA Safety Sparring Gloves (shown previously) are.

However, much the same way as their MMA Training Gloves are designed, what they lack in pure leather construction they make up for with high quality craftsmanship such as individually double-stitched finger lace holes, a durable wrist strap and a front mitten-style glove impact area that is noticeably less around and more beveled of an edge. This feature is especially noteworthy to us as Wing Chun folks when we unleash a flurry of straight punches during sparring.

Far too often in using a rounder, more bulky or “puffy” glove it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain it tight structure and forward pressure, leading to a more “milling” style of wheel-like motion instead of a tight, hand-over-hand, piercing pressure chain punch.

That kind of forward pressure chain punching is easily obtained in practice with MMA training gloves but not with the Sparring Gloves-until these came out. Their compact and sturdy design makes adhering to Wing chun’s principles quite easy and the increase in padding means your little digits will not have to suffer for maintaining a tight structure and forward pressure.

One last feature I enjoy is an added thumb pad on the reinforced thumb this comes in handy as many times during our Wing Chun sparring or self-defense training are thumb is exposed not just to being snag on clothing but banging into a straight elbow or and I’m sure everyone who does Wing Chun can appreciate our fists occasionally bang together which can lead to some pretty sore thumbs.

Something as small as an extra reinforced padding on the thumb joint area of raises its marks more than a few notches in my book.


Fighting Sports MMA Striking Training Glove

One of my training buddies picked these up when he picked me up a diaper-style Fighting Sports Groin & Hip Guard as a gift.

I didn’t really pay much attention to them and had no opinion of them either way until I forgot my gloves one day and used his.  I initially assumed that the bigger bulky and design wouldn’t play to my Wing Chun style but surprisingly it did it took a little adjusting but once I kind of got in the rhythm of using a bigger glove it was surprisingly natural.

Now part of that may have been that I have been dialed into Wing Chun sparring with gloves on for a while and can dial in and adjust quickly to any change in gloves, however, I can see where if somebody is new this may not be the best glove to begin training with right away.

That said, Fighting Sports is a high-quality organization who makes very good products so from my limited use of these gloves on a handful (dozen-or-so occasions) I can say that these gloves are more than adequate for our Wing Chun and self defense needs and are quite excellent for any manner of full-contact work.

One specific feature that really stuck out to me  and the one thing I really enjoyed the most was the fact that their thumbs are almost entirely covered much the same way that your 4 digits are covered. This allows me to focus less on protecting my little baby thumbs and more on punching an opponent n the face.

I have found that because the leather thumb sleeve extend so far up as long as you make a proper fist if there is any incidental clashing of the hands (and make no mistake, at some point there will be), the leather thumb sleeve will take the brunt, not your thumb.  Now this can lead to wearing out the thumb stitching if you are not careful however better to wear out them stitching and then to hyperextend or break a thumb in training.


Fairtex FGV15 MMA Sparring Glove

My hands down favorite for sparring gloves is the Fairtex FGV15 MMA sparring glove. There are several reasons for this.

For starters, Fairtex is a Muay Thai company first and foremost so their gear is designed to withstand rounds and rounds-and more rounds of abuse.

Sparring gloves are designed to mimic the shock absorbency of a 16oz boxing glove in a compact design. The FGV15’s solid leather construction and leather loopholes for the hand to me feel to be much more snug a design than merely having loops to slip your digits through.

As stated earlier with their boxing gloves,  the Fairtex design is both dense and compact yet sturdy and simple. What this means for the user is a feeling of having the glove be a part of you and not something you wear; this translates to more powerful and fluid punching.  There is just something about lacing up a pair of Fairtex gloves that feel like your hands can punch through a wall.

Another key benefit to the Fairtex FGV15 is it’s more compact nature.  In contrast to other MMA gloves, which tend to have a rather cookie-cutter design, the FGV15 feels as though it has been tailored to your hand. Your techniques feel much more natural this way than if you have  apair of gloves on that feel incompatible or cumbersome.  This is how all of Fairtex’ products are designed which is why I am a huge fan of their boxing gloves as well.

My only gripe with Fairtex products in general stems from-believe it or not-the velcro. I have found that over repeated use (4-5 years)the velcro tends to lose a bit of its grip after a while however this can be remedied by adequately drying out your gloves after each use and not in a bag. The same goes for other Fairtex equipment such a shin pads and focus mitts. Anything with velcro made by Fairtex, in my experience, needs to be adequately aired out and dried so as not to reduce the grip from the velcro.

An understated benefit to these gloves is that At 5.5 oz in Large and 6 oz in XL, these are noticeably smaller than the standard sparring glove which tends to weigh in at a minimum of 7 ounces. To most folks, 1 ounce might not seem like a lot but when you’re throwing punches for round after round your hands start to feel like bricks so every ounce counts.

I love these gloves.  The quality is superb and unlike a glass, bowl or piece of pottery handcrafted in the rainforest by indigenous tribesman (forgive me for not caring about that shit, so long as I can eat out of it) this is one of those products where the hand-craftsmanship demonstrates its’ benefits to the user, in both form and function.


MMA COMPETITION GLOVES

 Official UFC Fight Glove

Okay, so you had to know that we were We have the official UFC Fight Gloves on this list at some point.  And why not?  If it is good enough for the premier mixed martial arts organization in the entire world it’s good enough for us to train with.

What I like about this glove is its contour design which basically means you do not have to focus on making so much of a fist as with other gloves since the glove’s shape is designed that way.

Also, if you look at the palms you will see that there is basically a hole cut out for an open palm as opposed to just finger holes.  This more comprehensive design, a hallmark of the competition-grade glove, leads to a much snugger fit for the glove instead of the way hybrid or training gloves are gray arranged with little loops or sleeves for each individual finger. This means that the glove will stay fitted to your hand and not slide around as you punch some poor sap over and over again.

You will notice to that the the open thumb design is not awkwardly placed at all; it just simply isn’t there.   The end result?  These are very comfortable and user-friendly gloves.  Finally-and I’m just being honest here-who wouldn’t want to punch another person in the face while wearing a pair of official UFC fight gloves? Works for me.  Pick these up and get to living out your ass-kicking daydreams.


 Title MMA Cage & Competition Gloves

My love affair with Title Boxing company is not something I hide. I have used several of their products over the last 15 years and have never been disappointed. In terms of price to reliability and quality title cannot be beat.

Are there other more high-quality gloves out there? Absolutely, however in terms of ratio of general reliability, functionality, durability and overall quality to cost, Title Boxing products simply cannot be beat.

Their competition cage glove is no different while it perhaps has a bit too thick of padding over the knuckles for my liking especially as a Wing Chun practitioner (and having been spoiled by the “Thai flava” of gloves and gear), their overall value for price more than makes up for it.

The wrist wrap is sturdy and the velcro holds very tight-actually more tight than some of the very well-known brands out there. I’ll admit the extra padding on the knuckle as a Wing Chun practitioner I find it to be a bit cumbersome at times but then again when I WIng Chun spar the structure is different.  For MMA style sparring and padwork these things work great.  All things considered, Title does it again with a solid, dependable and very rugged glove.


 Combat Sports Traditional MMA Fight Glove

In the world of amateur MMA the name Combat Sports International is what the UFC name  is to the professional world. These gloves are official pro-MMA competition approved gloves.

Combat Sports also makes an amateur MMA competition glove,however, the reason why it is not included in this report is because the amateur competition includes the covered thumb. This is something that I got away from in the competition gloves section of this review (gloves with a covered thumb are included in the MMA Training Gloves section above).

This is a solid, no bells & whistles and very user-friendly glove with an established track record in professional and amateur MMA competition more than capable of handling any training requirements you put to them.

One nice little feature about this glove is the fact that the finger holes are double-stitched around all of each finger. This might not seem like a big deal however after years of use you’ll notice that that is one of the first areas in which gloves start to fall apart-definitely a solid choice for all of your competition, self defense or Wing Chun training needs.

One aspect of these gloves that I like is the fact that the padding on the knuckle is only one half inch whereas on the Title MMA Competition Glove shown above, for example, the padding is 3/4 inch.  For reasons we’ve already described as Wing Chun guys and gals, we do not need to that much padding on the knuckles for the competition or full-contact glove since our game will be to maintain tight structure and cut hitting our opponent in an awkward area such as the side of the head as they turn around not only focusing on hitting them straight on which will bang off of the face cage all of the time .

Getting your opponent square on any face against the face cage is what the Training and/or Hybrid Sparring gloves are for. In other words, we train first by hitting someone square in the face; as we progress in our training, we then learn to cut angles so that as we punch them we are taking their centerline while preserving ours.  This is why our gloves must change as our training evolves.  These gloves make a fine addition to that third phase of training.


 Fairtex FGV12 Ultimate Combat MMA Glove

I must admit I am a bit partial to the Fairtex MMA Competition Glove.

Back in my Chinatown training days this was the premier equipment that we used. We all saved up to buy Fairtex gear and we were never disappointed.  Aside from the nostalgia factor, there are several key points which make the Fairtex FGV12 a cut above almost all of the other ones out there.

First, all Fairtex products are handmade in Thailand.  This can be seen in the attention to detail of these gloves. I especially enjoy the contour design which, just as with the UFC gloves, means when I make a fist I don’t have a bulbous knob of extra padding on the top nor is it difficult for me to maintain holding a fist or like Wing Chun folks off and keeping my hand up in the wu sau guard hand is just as easy.

The finger area is double reinforced stitched for each finger.  Unlike other gloves which have no slot for your thumb the Fairtex FGV15 has a separate open slot for the phone with no padding. What this means is that there is extra added stability instead of merely letting your thumb hang out in the breeze. Having this sleeve for the thumb also allows you to make a tighter fist since it feels as though your thumb can grip around something again instead of being left out there to dry in the wind.

I have one issue with Fairtex it is that, as I’ve said earlier, after years a few years the velcro starts to lose some of its grip, however, this can be chalked up to the youthful ignorance and not properly drying my equipment out.

Just like a pair of handcrafted leather shoes these are no different take care of them and they will take care of you. If you want to feel what decades of tradition and hand crafted expertise feels like, pick a pair of these up.  I love these gloves.


Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki MMA Glove

It would take a special glove indeed to bump Fairtex from the top of my list; having said that, I have seen these for last for a very specific reason.

Insofar as training and sparring gloves are concerned as long as my base needs are met I am fairly impartial, however, when it comes to full contact or competition gloves to my hands down favorite pair are these. Let me explain why:

My favorite pair of 4oz MMA gloves were an old pair of RAJA-brand MMA gloves that I received from my Sifu, Philip Ng, from Hong Kong.  Those were tanks-they kept going! I had no issues with them on the velcro side, and the leather just grew more supple as I used them like an old baseball glove at just gets perfectly broken in. The Hayabusa T3 is the only glove in design, construction and feeling that satisfy all of my picky needs for a full-contact competition glove.

  • The contour design is flawless, undoubtedly due to its handcrafted nature.
  • The padding is not only very dense and compact but also very thin around the knuckles in design which leads to a feeling of next to no padding on your hand.
  • The wrist wraps are stellar it keeps my wrist in place it literally feels like the way a boxer’s hand gets To the point of being like a wrecking ball. This bodes very well for Wing Chun sparring because I know I can launch an attack and parry with a wu sau guarding hand equally and with equal force.
  • The finger holes are very snug and I have no point do I ever feel like one of my digits is hanging out there ready to get jammed snap or worse (this also has as much to do with experience as I now know enough to keep my hands closed and my fingers together while having my hands open- it doesn’t matter what will you use if your fingers are all loosey-goosey out there they’re going to get jammed it’s going to suck and it’s going to be a long day for you).
  • On the inner palm design you will notice that there are few areas where there is not leather what I like about that is the fact that it gives my fingers something to grip while I’m making a fist. In my experience I have found that the more open areas that there are on the palm The last snug the glove fits on the back side or knuckle the side of your hand these gloves literally conform to your hand.

Again these are not for beginners and if you are new to Wing Chun sparring or self-defense training you would be better suited to stick with the Training or Sparring section of this review, however, if your aim is to complete for arsenal your toolbox of warrior training this is my top pick for Wing Chun, self defense or competition grade glove.

For the ultimate in comfort, durability and compact design that makes your fist feel like a tightly wound hammer, check these gloves out pronto.


In Conclusion (There You Have It, Folks)

There you have it folks – an hones,  unbiased, no-bullshit guide to the best MMA gloves for every specific aspect of your training.

To recap, remember that when choosing the best MMA gloves for your needs, the 3 key factors to consider are:

  • Purpose -what activity are you engaging in?
  • Size/Weight – are these for training, sparring or fighting?
  • Price – how much are you willing to invest in this aspect of your training?

When deciding which MMA glove is best for your needs, remember the 3 categories all gloves must fall into are as follows:

  • Training
  • Sparring (AKA Hybrid or Hybrid Training)
  • Competition

Which glove you use depends entirely on what type of training you are engaging in.  As Wing Chun people we can and must use each of the three types of MMA gloves for different phases of our training.

The only way to make your Wing Chun training functional, practical and effective for self-defense and for competition in such combat sports as kickboxing and MMA is to be able to focus your training on different aspects of the fight game to allow your Wing Chun skills to develop and be applied in the appropriate ways.

In My Opinion…

If I was to pick one type of glove and only one I would have to say that I would pick a glove from the “Training” section as it can be used in all three phases. The round nature of the sparring glove and the lack of padding on the competition glove can make certain aspects of our Wing Chun as well as self-defense training a bit more difficult, and can make combat sports sparring a bit too close to the real thing, leading to injuries before the event.

The type of material, the price and the purpose for which you will use the glove will be the three factors that decide which glove you go with and what style of glove most closely matches your needs.

Refer to this list often.  Use it as a handy go-to reference for identifying each of the three phases of training and where your wants and needs as a Wing Chun guy or gal match up with how your training for sport and self-defense practice will move you towards your aim of being the best martial artist, fighter or competitor you can be.

 

Train Smart, Stay Safe

Sifu Bobby

6 comments

  1. Hello Sifu!! Do the gloves have different sizes for people with smaller hands? Or it is a universal size? Which gloves do you recommend if I need a quicker punch?I’m a really skinny dude and I hope the gloves won’t slow me down because of its weight. Anyways, thanks for posting this! I didn’t know there are so many high-quality gloves on the market!

    1. Jerry,

      Glad you liked the article!  Yes they come in different sizes.  I would say that for a quicker punch one of the more compact, dense leather gloves works best.  I prefer the Fairtex FGV12 MMA Glove or Hayabusa T3 Kanpeki Glove for this reason:  my favorite pair of MMA gloves of all time were a pair of black RAJA gloves which I cannot find on the market anymore (or they would have been in my list). They were light and flat, not bulky around the knuckle, but were made of top notch leather and felt like my hand could punch through a wall. The only thing they werent good for was punching against a headgear with a face cage, but that forced me to cut better angles against my opponent to hit the side of his face not head on.  It made me pick shots better.  For regular MMA sparring or padwork, even Wing Chun sparring, they were fantastic and durable as hell.  The only 2 gloves I have found that give me the same feel are the Fairtex and Hayabusa ones I listed above.  I have found that if I would only get one glove to satisfy all 3 types of uses in my review it would be one from the Training glove section but I’m about 225 lol for smaller folks who need compact power and structure from a glove I’d say pop for the extra and get a top notch pair of either of the 2 I listed above.  They will make your hands feel like you are holding a roll of pennies in each hand=-)

      Hope this helps!

      Sifu Bobby

  2. As an ex-Wing Chun practitioner I think that the best gloves for Wing Chun would be the ones that leave you the most free space between your fingers and palms. Wing Chun is not a conventional competition sport such as boxing and due to its wild nature there are many techniques that require you to use your palm and lower arm, which won’t be comfortable to perform with a boxing or karate glow.

    Venum Undisputed and Hayabusa Gloves are the best ones in my opinion.

    1. Tyler,

      Exactly!  Hayabusa’s design most closely mimics the RAJA design of compact without puffy knuckles, as does Venum.  I am partial to the Fairtex 4oz as well but that may be partially out of nostalgia.  I agree though, even MMA gloves per se may have a bit of padding that interferes or hinders the application of Wing Chun techniques proper.  Thanks for joining in!

  3. This is really cool. My wife Just started going to the gym to help her lose weight and get in shape. Her gym class does a lot of sparring and self defense teachings and she always have to used the worn out gloves they give you if you don’t have any. She hates doing this so we been looking around for the best gloves for her, but there is just so many different options to choose from. This article most definitely cleared things up. I am surely going to send this to my wife and share it on Facebook.

    1. Garrett,

      Thanks for the comment and kudos to your wife for beginning her journey!  Let me know if this list is what she is looking for; I am currently working on a boxing glove list as well.  Please let me know if she is looking for boxing gloves or MMA gloves and I will give her my top picks even if I haven’t published the article yet.

      Thanks again!  

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