Head Gear for Sparring

Barn Side

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Sep 16, 2012
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I’m looking for headgear that will allow me to spar taking big shots without facial injury. I currently use Winning headgear with the nose bar and a custom mouthguard. I regularly spar with some high-level guys and have found that upon taking it off I have a bloody nose and bruising. This week whilst sparring a smaller former world class MT fighter I took some big shots, upon taking the head gear off I had a bruise over my eye and another over the bridge of my nose which I thought might be broken. My nose still smarts and I’m going to have to take a week off sparring for everything to go back to normal. Just wondering is there some head gear that will provide better protection? Has anyone used RedMan headgear with the cage or High Gear headgear? If so, how do they stand up to big blows?

The obvious answer is to develop better defence such as head movement, slips and feints etc. I’m working on these but need something whilst sparring high level guys. Another obvious answer is getting better sparring partners, but every gym seems to have somebody that goes too hard. Also, it is not me going to hard as I’ve often been told to go harder. I’m in the military and joining the police and know both wouldn’t be impressed if I get injured sparring outside work.
 

MadDuner

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Sep 6, 2019
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I can’t help with anything modern.
I haven’t sparred in 20 years.

I just distinctly remember that people work at hitting harder if they think your headgear will soften the blows.
 
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Barn Side

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No doubt, but if I'd taken some of the blows I've been dealt without it I would have been KO or had a broken nose etc. It's kind of a catch 22.
 

WATERWALKER

0311 SHELLBACK
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Apr 19, 2014
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Deep in the Lone Star
Look man, headgear or not you’re going to get some bumps & bruises along the way. It’s just one of those things that are going to happen.

You shouldn’t be sparring w/ anything less than 16 oz sparring gloves. No exceptions. That doesn’t mean sparring w/ 16 bag gloves either. If you’re fellow fighters are kicking your ass that badly they’re doing you a disservice. Sparring is meant for fighters to get quality work w/ out guys hurting one another. You can’t fight in sanctioned bouts if you’re broken.

Things happen along the way, guys get carried away & get to banging’ away in the gym & sometimes it’s good for promoting competition. I’ve done it & so has everyone else who’s fought for any length of time.

I had a shit talking buddy in the gym that talked too much shit. I knocked his ass out w/ 16 oz gloves w/ a right cross about 3 seconds into the first round. The trainers had to break out the smelling salts to bring him back around. Another time, I showed up to the Golden Gloves Regional Finals w/ a black eye & a mouse under the same eye.

As far as headgear is concerned, I’ve never used a full face protector or nose guard. I’ve never used anything but an open-faced head guard. I haven’t been an active fighter in over 20 years, but I still train on a fairly regular basis. Tendinitis in my elbows is slowing me down a bit these days. That being said, I’d recommend using equipment such as Ringside, Reyes, RDX, etc. ***You don’t want to be cheap on your protective gear.***
 
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kentuckyMarksman

Sergeant of the Hide
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May 7, 2018
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I just use a standard open-faced head guard.

A friend of mine though, has broken his nose like 5 or 6 times, and his doctors don't want him taking any more hits to the nose. He spars wearing padded head gear with a face mask.
 

j-moose32

Sergeant of the Hide
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Apr 13, 2019
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Custom mouth guard and winning full nose guard is the best you can get. Like said above your gonna get bloody noses and bruises, just part of the game if your gonna do full on sparring. If your getting broken noses though, time to take it down.

IMO you can spar these guys above your level to gain experience, but it shouldn’t be a multi time a week ass kicking. I train with a light heavy weight pro and have been a sparring partner for him leading up to his bouts. 1x a week would be the limit for an all out sparring, especially at heavier weights. Lighter guys can sometimes get away with 2x a week
 

WIVigilance

Private
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Mar 10, 2017
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Headgear just makes my brain rattle around more...use bigger gloves IMO. Taking a ton of damage doesn’t help you get better...professionals should be able to figure out your skill level and resist beating the crap out of you, just my 2 cents