Mixed Martial Arts

Gear Review: Combat Corner HMIT 10 oz Competition Boxing Gloves

by Drew Winkler

BASIC FACTS

Weight: 10 Oz’s

Colors: Blue and red

Material: 100% premium Cowhide Leather

Closure: Velcro

Handmade in Thailand (HMIT)

Retail price: $109.99

THE MANUFACTURER

Combat Corner was founded in 2007 by former professional MMA fighter Dan LaSavage. Since then, it has become one of the top manufacturers in martial arts equipment, sponsoring the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, and Ben Askren. They take great pride in the durability of their products, using only the finest raw materials to ensure lasting quality.

APPEARANCE

The CC Competition boxing gloves are only sold in blue and red, providing few choices. As for the color distribution, it varies depending on what part of the glove you’re looking at. For example, on the blue pair, the trimming is lighter than on other parts of the glove. This might bother some, but I personally enjoy the contrast. That being said, it’s only a minor difference. Aside from the trimmings and the top part of the glove, the rest is dark black leather, which allows the blue to really pop. On the thumb is a white insignia with an outline of Thailand and a caption reading, “Hand Made in Thailand” and beneath that, “Premium Quality.” The strap also reminds the customer of the quality and origin of these gloves as it features a similar insignia and a Combat Corner in gold stitching. In short, aside from a few distinguishing features, these gloves have a pleasantly simple appearance.

MATERIALS: 9/10

They’re made from 100% cowhide leather and multi-layered foams. The toughness of the leather makes them highly resistant to scratches and other kinds of superficial damage. As for the foam inserts, they are extremely durable and excellent at absorbing tough blows. You’ll typically want to avoid using competition gloves for bag-work as this particular activity tends to cause the greatest amount of wear and tear. But the combination of cowhide leather and multi-layered foam inserts makes them tougher and better suited for bag work than your usual pair of competition gloves.

CRAFTSMANSHIP: 9/10

Both the grip bar and outside padding on these are accentuated, even more so than on some 12 and 14oz gloves. This provides greater protection while punching and in situations where you’re forced to take kicks on the gloves. This makes sense considering they were designed with competition in mind, where the risk of injury is always heightened. So in terms of protection, these gloves score high. Another thing I noticed is that its Velcro surface extends under the wrist, providing a tighter fit. This feature makes these gloves accessible to people with varying wrist sizes. One drawback is that it tends to leave a lot of exposed Velcro, and since Velcro is a very coarse material, this can cause your opponent or training partner rug-burn when clinch fighting.

COMFORT/USE: 9/10

Initially, these gloves were extremely tight and provided little to no wiggle room. This made it harder to open and close my hands while wearing them, making the following tasks more difficult: closing your fists at the end of punches, spreading your hands when throwing elbows, navigating the clinch, and lastly, catching and parrying kicks. All of these require the ability to open and close your hands with ease. Thus, the initial tightness of the gloves was an inconvenience. That being said, this became less of a problem with time and continued use. Eventually, the foam inserts began to soften, the leather stretched a bit, and the gloves themselves gained a looser and more comfortable feel. In other words, the comfortability of these gloves really depends on how often they’re used.

CONCLUSION: 9/10

Combat Corner’s 10oz competition gloves were clearly designed with efficiency in mind. The materials used to construct these gloves are incredibly durable, providing lasting quality and continued protection over time. The only drawback to this is that they’re initially very stiff, and, in comparison to other gloves, take longer to break in. But after a few months of consistent use, maximum comfort is added to their overall quality.

Score: 9/10

Episode 67 – Kirian Fitzgibbons

In the first episode of 2018, we decided we needed to start off the new year of The Striking Corner right! And who better to kick off 2018, then CSA Gym owner and head coach extraordinaire, Kirian Fitzgibbons! “Coach K”, as he is known to his many students and peers, is without a doubt one of the top striking coaches in North America, coaching the likes of Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolaños, Zoila Frausto, Zach Bunnell, Eddie Abasolo, Alexis Davis, Miriam Nakamoto, and the list goes on and on. Coach K has been a huge part of the growth of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America for quite some time. He knows all the players and has seen it all. He is very passionate about combat sports, his students, and his brand. He pulls no punches when giving his opinions, takes no bullshit, and we love him for it. Yet for some, his take no prisoners attitude rubs them the wrong way however the success of his gym, his fighters, and his system cannot be denied. In this episode, we discuss everything from his background in combat sports and defensive tactics to the state of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America. We also discuss why many fighters need to stop bitching, understand that in combat sports you have to learn to promote yourself and that there truly is no secret to success, it’s all about hard work, structure, and the occasional usage of the term “motherfucker!” Enjoy!

Episode 50 – Zach Bunnell

We have hit the 50 episode mark! And in this 50th episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with the Pro Muay Thai & MMA Fighter, CSA Gym alum, owner and head coach of Reno City Kickboxing, and IFMA Team USA Bronze Medalist, Zach Bunnel!. The guys met Zach at the recent 2017 Coaches Clinic at CSA Gym in Dublin, California, and needless to say we knew we had to get Zach on the podcast right away.

Zach is a talented fighter, a total character, and without question extremely passionate about combat sports and the proper application of them in order to maximize what he feels is the proficiency, timing, and rhythm of our bodies, or as he likes to call it, “our bio-mechanical robots.”

Get ready to dive into the combat obsessed mind of Zach Bunnell! Open your mind and listen!

Episode 48 – Phoenix Carnevale

In this episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with our good friend Phoenix Carnevale! Phoenix is a passionate follower of all things hip-hop, martial arts, comic books, movies, superheroes, etc. She is an actress, fight commentator, martial artist, fight journalist, and she is also the host of Everlast’s In Fighting Shape podcast.

An avid MMA fan, Phoenix has interviewed top UFC fighters such as Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Frankie Edgar, Georges St. Pierre, and many more…in this episode the guys talk about MMA, the culture of MMA, and how Muay Thai and Kickboxing are falling short in the marketing game compared to the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is MMA. They also discuss women in MMA and Combat Sports. Phoenix has a lot of great insight and the conversation was great. Check it out!

Going Pro – When should you do it?

“How much do you get paid?” a question that most serious amateur fighters hate answering. The layman hears “amateur” and “I don’t get paid” and immediately scoffs as if to say, “oh, you’re not that serious. ” After all, their buddy from high school is a pro MMA fighter and he just started training 2 or 3 years ago. This drives me nuts.

Unlike ball sports, combat sports athletes don’t have the luxury of a regulated system that tracks the years you’ve put in and the level of competition that you compete at. In order to get your first amateur fight, you essentially just have to know a guy who knows a guy. Training isn’t even technically a requirement. Sure, most promoters will only accept trained fighters who will put on a good show for their crowd. But let’s be real here, when amateur fighters drop at the last minute, promoters tend to get desperate and accept anyone who is willing to save the show. I have seen some terrible fights at some local shows because of this. It really is the Wild West out here if you don’t have an experienced trainer looking out for you.

Signing A ContractI wish I could say it was much harder to go pro, but in some states its really not. Although you stand a much higher chance of brain damage, technically, the system is the same. You probably have to talk yourself up a bit more and maybe even just flat out lie to the promoter but at the end of the day, there’s still no back-end infrastructure to prove that you’re “bullshittin’”. After you have managed to con yourself in there and sign the contract, all you have to do is show up and (probably) get knocked out. Congratulations, you now get to tell all your friends that you’re a professional fighter.

This happens more than you might think.

However, the real problem here is not bullshitters getting knocked out, or that amateurs don’t get paid. It’s the fact that, in America, there are only 2 rungs on the ladder, Amateur and Professional. There are no levels in between that the serious athletes can use as an indicator of ability or for common people to apply prestige too. A college football player and a high school football player are both amateur athletes but are vastly different in ability and prestige.

Now imagine that high school football player who is the best player in his league. If his league’s competition is at a lower level, he still may not be at the level that his favorite colleges compete at. Now imagine the ranking system for the leagues doesn’t exist either, there’s no D1 or D2, there’s just football. If there’s no one around to check his ego, he may try and make the jump to college-level competition and meet a rude awakening.

IRude Awakeningn football that rude awakening would most likely happen at some sort of combine or college try-out. In combat-sports, it happens on a stage with an audience and a killer across the ring causing you brain trauma to score points.

On top of that, once you go pro in the US, you can never fight as an amateur again. Going pro can be a costly mistake that if made too soon, could result in a series of damaging losses and end your fighting career entirely. These are the risks that an amateur fighter takes when they go pro.

The question of whether or not to go pro also depends on which combat sport you mean to compete in. Once you’ve gone pro in any combat sport, you must remain a professional in all of them. That means if you’re a great grappler and you go pro in MMA, you can never take an amateur boxing match to build that skillset. Competing as a professional boxer is your only option if you want boxing experience on your resume. Needless to say, professional boxers tend to be better boxers than great grapplers, so it can be hard to cultivate their boxing skillset with competition once they have already gone pro.

It also takes more competition experience to get prepared in a serious fashion to go pro in some combat sports over others. It seems to be related to the age and progression of the particular sport within the USA. MMA is the youngest combat sport and least developed on the amateur level. Mixed martial artists tend to have the least amount of amateur fights before going pro, sometimes not even having 1 and still reaching the UFC. As opposed to amateur boxers who usually average around 100 matches and couldn’t possibly hope to even win one professional fight without amateur experience. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was 84-6 as an amateur, and Andre Ward was 114-5. Most successful Muay Thai fighters find themselves right in the middle, averaging anywhere between 20-50 amateur fights before making the leap to better competition and a paycheck.

That doesn’t speak very authentically to the skillsets that need to be acquired or the time spent training to acquire them. In all combat sports, years of training are required in order to make a serious run at the professional ranks.

With all of this considered it still leaves me dumbfounded. There really isn’t a right or a wrong answer to the question. I have personally seen professional fighters in all combat sports that I know I could destroy in competition, yet I remain an amateur. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make me prepared for a professional career in any of the combat sports.

MBK Fight

So what does? Over the last few years I’ve taken it upon myself to find the answer to this question from every resource available to me. In either my own, or other’s interviews, I’ve been able to extrapolate advice from champions like Gastón Bolaños, Kevin Ross, Joe Schilling and world renown coaches like Eric Haycraft and Kirian Fitzgibbons. They all seem to reiterate the same advice. Stay amateur for as long as possible. Once you go pro the stakes are higher and the competition is brutal. The most effectual piece of information that I found came from Eric Haycraft when he explained to me in an interview that going pro means you are going to fight less. There are significantly less promotions out there for professional fighters, especially in boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai and its much harder to find fights.

So if you’re thinking about going pro, consider this.

The Striking Corner – Rousey vs Holm Highlight

As most of you know The Striking Corner is a website and media outlet dedicated to further promoting Muay Thai and Kickboxing. We usually steer clear of MMA. But when big fights happen in the MMA world, we can’t avoid talking about them.

Ronda Rousey’s influence on the world of MMA and Martial Arts as a whole is undeniable. Especially when it comes to showcasing that women can indeed fight just as well and be just exciting, if not more so at times, then the guys. As martial arts that love the respect and humility frequently shown in Muay Thai, we can’t say that we agreed with Ronda’s trash talk, attitude, and many times arrogance. But how much of that is really Ronda and how much of it is the UFC hype machine trying to build up an event? Only those closest to her really know.

The truth is in that in fighting sports such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA it is very difficult to rermain undefeated at the highest level. Almost impossible. For a few years now, Ronda Rousey has had that aura of invincibility. Many people fell in love with her because she was seemingly invincible, while others wanted to see her fall.

That comes with stardom.

And Ronda Rousey is a star in more ways then one. But even the greatest of champions eventually fall. Sometimes due to their own hubris and after many victories, some fighters begin to believe the hype built around them about being unbeatable. Ronda may have done so before her fight with Holly Holm. Or it could simply be that in Holm she faced a fighter that was simply better than her on that night. This is our highlight of what was an amazing upset and great fight. And the fact that a main event fight between two women became the talk of the town during an entre weekend and week, shows how far we have come in society. The women have definitely made their mark. ENJOY!