Tag Archives: Boxing Gloves

The Size of the Bullet…the Size of…the Fist?


The following is a quest editorial by Alaric Dailey

Why is it, that karateka punch with 2 knuckles? why is it, that boxers punch with heavily padded gloves? And why was it unfortunate for Art Jimmerson (the boxer) in the first UFC to wear a single glove. Furthermore, why do big slow bullets have a reputation for stopping power vs smaller faster bullets (specifically the .45 vs 9mm argument).

kwon bup karate fist

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It all has to do with penetration vs dissipation, when it comes to force, a martial artist must put as much weight and power into as small of area as possible to maximize its effect. Making the chosen weapon as small as possible, increases its penetration.

Pads dissipate the force, spreading it out over a wide area, and adding a nice soft surface. In the old days people did bare-knuckle boxing, and hitting the head with bare-knuckles is extremely dangerous, and can cause major damage, this is why boxing added gloves. Boxing gloves are huge and bulky, and they still manage to knock each others brains silly, that gives you some idea of how hard they are hitting.

When sparring in the martial arts, we will often wear pads, to dissipate the force, so that we wiggle the persons nose, rather than smearing it all over their face.

Thus when Art Jimmerson went into the first UFC with a boxing glove on, he went in taking away power off his punches and eliminating his ability to grab.

A really great demonstration of this can be seen with an sewing pin and a balloon. Sewing pins have that nice round end, and you can press pretty darn hard with the round end and never pop the balloon, but turn it around and use the sharp end, and it penetrates immediately popping the balloon. The round end dissipates the force, the sharp end penetrates!!! Easy as that to see.

As a related note, bullets travel SO fast that they have the opposite problem, they have a tendency to go directly through the target, rather than imparting that energy and stopping. At subsonic speeds the .45 has the larger diameter and slower speed to impart more of that force into the FIRST thing it hits, where the 9mm has a tendency to got right through the first thing and second. The faster and smaller bullets can pass right through and do LESS damage. This is why you use hollow-points for self-defense, they open up, causing them to slow and impart that energy, or at least more of it. This tendency for over penetration is something to think about when choosing a home-defense round, so when you shoot the bad guy, it doesn’t go through him and harm someone else.

How to Get Hurt in Kumite Class…and Make Money.

Would Chuck Norris Use Gloves?

I walked into the Kumite Class and everybody was putting on pads. Shin pads, arm pads, one guy was even figuring out how to wear a pad around his whole torso?

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Latest thing,” the instructor told me. “Wear these and you won’t get hurt.”

Now, this was weird, because we didn’t have any problem with getting hurt. We took a few bruises, split a lip,but nobody was getting hurt. So this was going to stop us from something that wasn’t happening. Curiouser and curiouser.

So, I put them on, and used them, and I found out that people got hurt. In fact, they got hurt more. Because people had pads on their fists they figured they had to hit harder to make effect. We actually had a lot more injuries with pads than without. Simply, we weren’t as careful, and we weren’t trying to cultivate control because, doggone it, loss of control meant you could get hurt.
And here’s something interesting to think about. Boxers use big old gloves, and people get brain damaged and killed. I think over a 100 boxers were killed in the ring last century, and it is continuing.
But, MMA, which uses skinny, little gloves, has no deaths.
So less padding causes greater control. And greater control causes more art.
Double Hmmm.
But, forget that, and just remember something my instructor told me after class. You see, I talked to him, told him how I felt, and he told me, “We can sell these to every kid. The parents, you see, they don’t want their kids to get hurt.”
Money. Profit. Death of Art.
Well, disagree or not…I know there will be a lot of opinions out there…but I think the art died a little in Kumite class that day. Drop by Monster Martial Arts for some grest articles, and the best (and most economical) martial arts method in the world.