This is a guest post from Eon

As a beginner Martial Artist, there will be a number of very confusing things to consider. The first will be how to avoid your trainer’s right hook. The other confusing item is what type of MMA gear to purchase.

There is one item that you will not be able to live without. Gloves! An essential piece of equipment, gloves protect two of your extremely important tools, your hands. There are generally three type of gloves used in MMA. There are Sparring Gloves, Bag Gloves, and Fight Gloves. They all have a specific use and purpose.

The main reason you do not want to repurpose the use of gloves is that you will increase the life of the gloves, as well prevent injury to you or your opponent. Let’s take a look at the types of gloves.

The Different Types of Gloves

Sparring gloves are designed to protect a MMA fighters’ hand while sparring with another fighter. When purchasing, be sure that the MMA Sparring gloves you purchase are made for this use. There are two types of MMA sparring gloves, one type are made in the same fashion as traditional MMA gloves. They will generally have individual finger slots in order to also allow for grappling. The second type has a very large striking area and finger slots. Depending on your preference you can use both types; it really just comes down to the style that is more comfortable to you.

Bag Gloves are heavily cushioned to protect the MMA fighter against the heavier forces of striking heavy bags and striking pads. These gloves also have increased wrist support and a more compact and dense padding. There are a number of model of Bag gloves that contain a grip bar for increased grip while striking. A key thing to remember is not to use a Heavy bag without Bag gloves, you could injure yourself.

Designed to protect both MMA fighters, Fight Gloves contain less padding for obvious reasons. You want your opponent to feel your strike when taking part in a formal competition. MMA Fight Gloves are made for completion; they are made to be the conduits of real strikes. It is for this reason that you generally do not want to use a Sparring glove, they are usually heavier than 5 ounces and may be illegal to use in completion. Check with your regulating organization, 4 ounces is generally legal to use. Unless you are a fan of backyard fighting, I would not use these to spar.

On a more personal note MMA hand wraps: Many people do not like to use Hand wraps when practicing MMA, but I highly recommend them. They can protect you from very serious injuries which can keep you on the bench watch your favorite fighter instead of being your favorite fighter. Since your hands are an extremely important asset in your fighting toolbox, it is worth the time to wrap them. By the way, you will have to wrap your hands during MMA competitions, so it is to your benefit you to get acclimated to them.