So you've just bought your very own training bag – woo! Perhaps you picked a versatile freestanding bag. Or you realized that it was a heavy hanging bag that was missing from your life. Maybe you even had an open wall in your bedroom for a speedbag! Whatever the bag, you know you're in for an amazing workout – as soon as you get one more thing!

You're smart, and you know that you need a pair of gloves before you can begin bag work. And here's where people make the mistake that costs them their training efficiency, and possibly even leads to injury.


Buying the first pair of gloves you see, or buying the cheapest gloves, can backfire. Different gloves were intended for different styles of training, dictated by the bag you have. If you've already invested in a bag, don't cut corners choosing gloves! Find a pair that fits your bag.

If you have a…

Wavemaster or Torrent (any bag)

www.centurymartialarts.com

These freestanding heavy bags are amazing for multiple reasons – but we won't get into that here. All you need to know for choosing a glove is that, although the feature a weighted base as heavy as (or heavier than) a hanging bag, the bag section is foam, with a plastic core.

BEST GLOVES: Anything with closed fingers. Strive Machine Washable Gloves would be my top choice, for the washability factor.

$179.99

Strive Washable Glove | Century Martial Arts & Fitness

www.centurymartialarts.com

Because you're striking foam and not dense sand/fiber filling, you can get away with less padding on the gloves (although if you like larger gloves, they'll work too!). The only reason I recommend closed fingers is because, if you're punching hard and fast and miss or land a glancing blow, you can still get a bad friction burn or scuff your fingers if they're exposed. If this doesn't bother you, or you have tougher skin than me, open-finger gloves would be great!

$49.99

Versys V.SPAR.1

www.centurymartialarts.com

The Versys V.SPAR.1 is a versatile training bag designed specifically for young athletes. The size and weight of V.SPAR.1 provides youth with a large striking surface while still small enough to pick up, toss, and take down. Recommended for traditional martial arts, kickboxing, MMA, and general

$199.99

BEST GLOVES: Brave Grip Bar or Women's Grip Bar Bag Gloves, Centurion Gloves, Creed Wrist Wrap Bag Gloves (pictured)

www.centurymartialarts.com

Versys bags were designed for striking combos as well as takedowns, grappling and ground-and-pound work, so again, you'll want individual-finger gloves to allow you take full advantage of that. The weight of the bags is distributed more to keep them upright more than to provide impact resistance (which is what hanging heavy bags offer), so while you don't need super-thick padding, you will want something a little more substantial than you'd use for the speedbag. Bonus: all the gloves in this list have a built-in grip bar, so while you're working your technique, you'll also be building correct fist formation!

$27.99

BOB or BOB XL (pictured)

www.centurymartialarts.com

BOB is a unique bag. He's made of dense foam with a "skin" cover. Many people who get BOB do so because they want to practice their aim on a "human" target. Others just like the idea of an angry-looking bag (inspiration for punching, maybe?). The gloves you want for BOB depend more on how you plan on using him.

$289.99

BEST GLOVES:For tactical/MMA: Brave MMA Competition Glove, Brave Grip Bar (pictured) or Women's Grip Bar Bag Gloves

www.centurymartialarts.com

Training with BOB is about more than building power. You should also be using it to refine technique. Self-defense and tactical arts use many non-sport techniques like eye jabs, slaps, and others that require fingers or an open hand, so you need open-finger gloves. If you're training for MMA, it's better to train using the same style of gloves used in the sport.

$36.99

For general training: Strive Machine Washable Gloves, Brave Neoprene or Women's Neoprene Bag Glove (pictured)

www.centurymartialarts.com

BOB has a little more "squish" than a heavy hanging bag, so you don't need gloves that are quite as thick. There's nothing stopping you from using thicker gloves, of course, but slimmer gloves will let you put more emphasis on speed. Some people, especially those with smaller wrists, may still want extra support. If that sounds like you, try using a pair of hand wraps under the gloves.

$49.99

Heavy Hanging Bag

www.centurymartialarts.com

These bags tip the scales at 80 lbs. minimum, and go over 100 lbs. at the larger end. This weight comes from the filling – a firm mix of sand and fiber/fabric scraps. These bags are meant to be hit hard.

$229.99

BEST GLOVES: Creed Heavy Bag Gloves, Brave Boxing Gloves (pictured), Drive Boxing Gloves

www.centurymartialarts.com

Look for gloves with full-finger coverage, thick padding, and wrist support. Punching a heavy bag without adequate padding and support is a good way to sprain something, especially if you're new to bag work. If you invest in a heavy bag, but buy cheap, flimsy gloves, you've just wasted your investment in the bag because you won't safely be able to strike at your full capacity. Using hand wraps along with your gloves is also a good idea!

$99.99

Speedbag

www.centurymartialarts.com

Space constraints in your dojo or home gym are no problem with the Foldaway Speedbag Platform! When not in use, it can be folded back to lie virtually flush with the wall, saving you valuable space. Six adjustable height levels make the platform perfect for any student. Includes hardware required for wall mount. Speedbag sold separately.

$129.99

BEST GLOVES: Brave Bag (pictured) or Women's Bag Glove, Neoprene Quick Wrap

www.centurymartialarts.com

These gloves (or wraps) are all lightweight and have a slim, low-lying profile. This is ideal for a speedbag – even if you strike as hard as you can, the way the bag keeps you from absorbing any real impact, so you need very little wrist support or padding. In fact, you shouldn't be hitting a speedbag all that hard in the first place, since it's meant to improve reflexes and, well, speed. You don't want large, bulky gloves that will get in the way of striking the small target either.

Hope that helps you find the right pair of gloves!

$13.99
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

To Master the Supreme Philosophy of Enshin Karate, Look to Musashi's Book of Five Rings for Guidance!

In the martial arts, we voluntarily subject ourselves to conflict in a training environment so we can transcend conflict in the real world. After all, we wouldn't knowingly train in a style that makes us weaker or worsens our position. The irony of all this is that we don't want to fight our opponent. We prefer to work with what an opponent gives us to turn the tide in our favor, to resolve the situation effectively and efficiently.The Japanese have a word for this: sabaki. It means to work with energy efficiently. When we train with the sabaki mindset, we receive our opponent's attack, almost as a gift. Doing so requires less physical effort and frees up our mental operating system so it can determine the most efficient solution to the conflict.In this essay, I will present a brief history of sabaki, as well as break down the sabaki method using Miyamoto Musashi's five elements

Keep Reading Show less

Enter our partner's current Sweepstakes. They are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe'.

TAKE NOTICE!

FIVE KNUCKLE BULLET 'Wardrobe' Sweepstakes

Feeling Lucky? Enter our current Sweepstakes Now! We are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe' which consists of our most popular sportswear items. Prize includes the following:

Keep Reading Show less

It's a difficult subject, but perhaps I'm finally old enough to examine it with some objectivity — and with some insight that's worth sharing. The issue, of course, is when one should retire in karate or other forms of budo.

A quick clarification: No serious martial artist "retires" in the sense that the person ceases to train, study and explore life by traveling along a martial way. There's an expression in Japanese that one should live one's life as a kara kyohi, a dry husk, one that's used up completely. In other words, one should leave nothing left undone. There is no retirement from any martial art; they all represent a lifelong path.There is a moment, however, if a budo teacher lives long enough, when he or she must contemplate retiring from a position of authority. More accurately, the person must be willing to step back, to allow a new generation to take over the active teaching role.
Keep Reading Show less

I've trained in several martial arts (krav maga, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, jeet kune do, kali) over a time period of eight or so years. For all their differences, they – and all martial arts – have one thing in common: partner training. There is no martial art where partner training doesn't play a crucial role. So like it or not, you are going to have a major impact on the quality of training your partners get.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter