In our long term live in multi-martial arts and fitness camps, we use rely on the Kenpo Fighting gloves (as seen by Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon) as our main combat glove. However, we do not call them Kenpo gloves (as we don’t practice Kenpo). This is a name seen in martial art supply stores when looking to purchase a pair. Some call them Gladiator gloves. We call them, Tiger Claw gloves as they look like the claw of a tiger.
These gloves are perfect for Multi-Martial Arts training as one pair of gloves can be used in multiple training situations. This is mainly due to its versatility as pointed out below:
01 Open Hand Design for Grabbing
02 Plenty of Padding for Protection
03 Wrist Protection for Weapons Training
The padding is on the top back of the hand but only a piece of thick leather (and in some cases vinyl) is on the palm and under the fingers. Because of this open hand style and design, you can grab quite easily and use them in combat grappling training.
Punching and Sparring
For sparring, they offer enough protection (in combination with headgear) to be used for full contact sparring. Unlike Mixed Martial Art Gloves – Kenpo / Gladiator gloves have padding that fully covers the tops of each finger.
The Kenpo glove is usually made of leather though we have tested out some vinyl versions. Because each finger and thumb fits similar to a glove – these sparring gloves offer more freedom of movement.
The gloves at the wrist have a shoestring style lace option to keep them tight. What we usually do is pre-tie these so that they can be slipped on and off without having to tie them over and over again. You can imagine how hard this is once you have the gloves on – so if you prefer to lace them up tight, you will need to have someone that can tie up the laces for you.
Next, we do weapons fighting and having wrist and hand protection is important. The thick canvas section that covers the wrist will hold up to strikes from a shinai bamboo sword. And since the gloves are also great for grabbing, you can use them for sword sparring without risking damage to the wrist. For anyone that has spent some time in Kendo or fighting with bamboo swords, you will know the value of finger and wrist protection. Just get a pair of kenpo gloves, a shinai and head gear with face protection and you can play Star Wars Jedi Knights all day long (providing your partner has exactly the same set of gear).
These are the primary gloves for our Martial Arts and Fitness Camps. The reason for this is that they offer the most versatility (weapons training, full contact sparring and grappling without the need to change gloves).
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