Gary Edwards, Head MMA coach at Laurel Mountain MMA, North Carolina
As a martial arts school owner, I make my livelihood by being hands on with my students and fellow training partners. The last thing I need is to injure myself while holding focus mitts or Thai pads, but small joint twists and tweaks come with the territory. If I finish a lesson and walk away feeling more beat up than my students, then Houston…we have a problem! My only option is to constantly try out new training equipment that is not only comfortable and useful for the student, but also safe for the coach/pad holder.
Wrist injuries from holding focus mitts are a tough mishap to avoid. Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of wrist pain after holding mitts for the heavier weight classes. As long as they’re hitting the target in the center, I’m fine… but when their arms get tired and they skim off the top or side of the focus mitt, my wrist is getting bent backwards at bad angles. I decided that I would try out an air mitt from Revgear that has a larger and thicker striking surface in hopes to prevent wrist injuries. Well Houston…we don’t have a problem anymore! Not only are they better for holding, but they are super lightweight and have enough cushion surface for knees and certain kicks. I have many more options for a variety of strikes where as the average focus mitt is only suitable for punching combinations.
The air mitts also have a nice Velcro strap to where my hand feels very secure and I don’t have to worry about the mitt being knocked off my hand. Unlike a lot of traditional focus mitts that offer a hard striking surface on the knuckles, the air pocket in these mitts allows for students to also practice in MMA gloves and avoid knuckle damage. I highly recommend these as an alternative to the traditional focus mitt.