What makes a sparring session fun but safe? PROPER PROTECTIVE GEAR: mouth guard, helmet, gloves, and groin protection. You can also include elbow pad, knee pad, and chest protection with hard sparring.
A mouth guard is crucial in preventing concussion and as well as losing teeth in any contact sport. Generally speaking, everyone’s preference on mouth guard is different. The best brand is to go to your dentist and have a custom made mouth guard. It costs about $100 for a custom one but you can use it for life. Other than that, Shock Doctor and Underarmour mouth guards are pretty good.
We find Pro-Force full cage helmets work best in Krav Maga sparring. It is the same type of helmet the IDF uses to train their soldiers in Krav Maga. Pro-Force helmets can absorb most of the impact from any straight attacks but they still have limits in taking attacks from the side such as a hook. I was dropped a couple of times from hooks and high kicks wearing the Pro-Force helmets. The helmet also limits a fighter’s field of view. In some way, we think this increases the training value. It can simulate tunnel vision when people encounter threats. One disadvantage that could happen with wearing a helmet is that a student does not get accustomed to the feeling of an actual fist impacting their face. The Pro-force helmet does such good job that the wearer usually only feels some impact but their face is never directly touched.
Two types of gloves are recommended in Krav Maga training: bag gloves and 16 oz boxing gloves. Bag gloves are recommended instead of normal MMA gloves because they can protect the wearer’s wrist and the surface of bag gloves are much better suited for punching a caged mask. In addition, students can also use all types of attacks from Krav Maga such as the hammer punch, palm strike, grabbing and other attacks that exist in self defense.
16 oz boxing gloves are recommended as well because they can be used without students wearing Pro-Force caged helmets and students can get use to the impact from other student’s punches. The disadvantage of 16 oz boxing gloves are that students cannot use the hammer punch, palm strike, or grab each other. It is also important to know that it is not a good idea to mix 16 oz boxing gloves with Pro-Force caged helmet. The force from the boxing gloves is too great and usually transfers into student’s neck.
Groin protection is vital in Krav Maga training. After all, one of the signature moves in Krav Maga is to kick the attacker in the groin. Adida’s groin protection is generally a good choice. This type of groin protection generally covers the area all the way to anus, which is extremely sensitive as well.
Written By: Borhan J
Edit By: Adam Y