Should you use gloves for training?

Often I am asked for my opinion regarding the use of boxing gloves for “reality training”-good or bad? The people who object to the use of gloves claim that you shouldn't use them, because in the street you'll have no boxing gloves. Therefore, your hands must get used to punching without them. They say, using boxing gloves is unrealistic and only sports oriented. While of course everyone is entitled to an opinion, let's look at some facts: - If the argument is that you should not train with gloves because you won't wear them in the street, then you can say the same thing about hitting pads..in the street there's no pads. So let's smash our heads in with hammer fists over and over until our faces are mashed potato for the purpose of training? Or even better, in the street the knives are real, so lets butcher each other in practice? Or point loaded guns at one another for the sake of being realistic? Of course not. There's being realistic, and then there’s being stupid. The boxing gloves are meant to protect two things; our hands, and our partners face. True we won't be wearing gloves in a street fight, but for a three to twelve second street fight, there's no reason to break our hands over and over again for years in training. - If you never wear gloves you never punch and get punched in training. If you did, after one day your school would be out of business. The most basic element of being ready for any fight is getting used to hitting and getting used to getting hit in the face. Hitting only pads and the heavy bag as hard as you want, will never give you that sensation. Remember, as long as there's no real resistance from a training partner, then you're not really training under pressure. Oftentimes people make the mistake between “training under pressure” where you must have 100% resistance from your partner, on top of being fatigue, and what's called “aggression drills” where all you need is to be fatigued and keep going. So in fact, the boxing gloves and the sparring add a much more realistic element to your training through actually punching, and getting punched. Take boxers for example; yes it's a sport, but in the street they are extremely dangerous. Why? Because punching people is a part of them, and they have great leg work. Of course you can once in a while take off the gloves and feel what it's like to strike without them, it will do you good. but if you want to get a good experience of fighting, put your gloves on, your hands up and start fighting. Nothing will prepare you more than a fight, than to actually fight. Train smart, stay safe Sharir R, ICCS head instructor

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