Photo Credit by: Hayabusa
Variables to Consider Before Purchasing a Pair of Focus Mitts
So you have progressed to the point that you feel you need your own focus mitts. For some, this is typical in starting Level 2 Krav Maga classes.
For others, attending fight classes may drive the need for focus mitts. Whatever the case, there are several questions that need to be answered before you can make a good decision about the brand and style of focus mitts you should acquire.
What most people forget when considering a focus mitt purchase is, perhaps, one of the most important considerations. That is, are the focus mitts being purchased for you to PUNCH or for you to HOLD FOR PUNCHES. The answer matters, because the size, shape, and material of the focus mitts may be ideal for punching but not holding for punches and vice versa. For instance, you may like a larger focus mitt for punching at a larger target, but your hand may not be large enough to effectively control the very same focus mitt when you are holding for punches – making the work your forearm, wrists, and fingers do increase substantially. If you’re answer to the question is that you are going to both PUNCH and HOLD FOR PUNCHES with the same focus mitts, you’re going to have to find a mitt that meets both requirements.
KRAV MAGA FOCUS MITTS
CJ Kirk – Chief Krav Maga Instructor
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to utilize your focus mitts, you’ll need to consider cost and availability in the context of your budget and time requirement. Assuming that cost and time are not driving your purchase decision, I’d suggest you take a look at several other factors, including:
- Size: as a general rule, larger focus mitts are better for larger hands in the sense that the hand inside the focus mitt must be able to withstand punches across the entire striking surface. So, smaller mitts are more appropriate for all hand sizes if you’re holding for punches.
- Materials: I’m always going to encourage students to evaluate leather and/or leather plus type material. These materials simply hold up better over time and pressure. If you run across moisture wicking materials inside the focus mitt, that’s a big plus also.
- Construction: When I look over a pair of focus mitts, I specifically look at the stitching. As a general rule, the stitching should feel very tight and substantial across the areas of the focus mitt where one part has been joined with another. I also prefer stitching that has minimal exposure to the work the focus mitts will be doing. I call it inverse stitching, and several models sport this type of construction. Also, look for a focus mitt that has substantial inner foam and/or foam/gel that allows for the holder to absorb snapping punches (usually obvious as you press into the foam core of a focus mitt in that you feel very little “give” but a spring-like response).
- Design & Shape: I don’t really care much about aesthetics. I do care about the shape of the target (think inverted egg shape) for punching, and I prefer a subtle ergonomic shape for both punching and especially holding for punches (the punches seem to stick and hold better). I prefer to punch at a mid to small sized target relatively speaking, and I like the control smaller mitts provide when I’m holding for punches. Always look for a strong hook and loop strap to ensure you lock down your mitts and present the striking surface properly. A non-slip material inside the mitt will aid in this if you can find it (you don’t want the focus mitt turning or shifting when you are holding for punches.
In the end, there are several focus mitts on the market that will provide you with years of service. My favorites are as follows:
- High end price and extreme quality: Hayabusa Pro Training Micro Mitts (~$100)
- Mid range price and good value: Revgear Contoured Focus Mitts (~$70)
Krav Maga Focus Mitts Review
Hayabusa’s New Pro Training™ Elevate Focus Mitts – Top View
Hayabusa’s New Pro Training™ Elevate Focus Mitts – Side View
Hayabusa’s New Pro Training™ Elevate Focus Mitts – Hook and Loop
Hayabusa’s New Pro Training™ Elevate Focus Mitts – Strap
I really don’t recommend a lower price range mitt if you going to utilize your mitts with moderate to heavy frequency. They simply won’t provide the protection your elbows, wrists, and hands need.
If you like novelty and flexibility in drilling with your focus mitts, check out Rosky MMA Training Mitts (~$65). These allow the holder to move from holding for punches to grabbing or grappling. There are a few interesting features with this mitt and if you’re drilling goes beyond punching, slipping, and rolling – these mitts are worth a look.
As a general rule, avoid focus mitts that are found at volume sports stores like Academy Sports. My experience is that the buyers for these stores have no idea what they are doing, and they often buy lower end quality to satisfy a price point or margin requirement. Beware…
Check out the video above, where I detail my favorite mitts.