THE STORY BEHIND THE X-FACTOR GLOVE

By, Trevor Wittman

5 years ago I made a new commitment and goal to better the industry I am so passionate about. I decided I would re-think how the tools combative athletes use daily to Hone their skills and their dreams to chasing gold in competition.

My 20 years experience as a coach has been filled with witnessing the trails and tribulations through the daily grind athletes and hobbyists endure with avoidable injuries caused by the pieces that should be protecting them. 

Being the critical thinker I am, I was always finding my self questioning the equipment these high level athletes were using. Here were some of the questions that were consistently presenting themselves.

Questioning for sparring gloves :: 

1.) Sizing-Weight
- Why do all these gloves that have a tag that say 16oz. all feel so different in weight? doesn't this mean they should weigh 1lb. ?? 

So 1 year ago I decided to get a scale and start weighing the gloves. This little test left me feeling irritated, confused, bothered, and most of all misled. I was a gym owner for 20 years and allowing my members, and athletes play punch face with gloves that weighed not what is being advertised on a printed, branded or little hang tag. 

Because the responsibility of my members falls back on me as the gym owner right as they sign the waiver, and I should trust whats being printed, or should I have?? Is it an oversight, a lack of quality control, a cookie cutter tag, trust in manufacturing, or the norm to just do it? This was more than 50% of the gloves that I tested, and many were leading brands in the sport. 

I take 100% full responsibility for my trusting in what was being put on the gloves, and me allowing my students and athletes to use what they were using. I refuse focus on issues but am driven by solutions, and these experiences drive my passion to re-think equipment.

2.) Fit
- Why are gloves supposed to be sized as 16oz. but fit all users? In the norm of the business its known as 16oz. are sparring gloves? All fighters from 100lbs. and up are to wear 16oz. gloves? 

I am comfortable with a 100 lb. fighter can wear a 12 oz sparring glove and a 250 lb. fighter can wear a 18oz glove. But how is this being branded through the consumers, gym owners, and coaches. As the 16oz glove is being pushed as the sparring glove. 

Put a basic 16oz glove on a 100 lb. female fighter and their hand is swimming in the glove, like putting a size 14 shoe on a size 5 track star and performance plummets, and injuries are destined. 

Put a 16oz top brand on a 275 lb Shane Carwin, and the hand is pinched into loss of circulation with the the present benefits being the best part of putting the glove on, is taking it off. Again put a size 5 ballerina shoe on a size 14 NFL player and performance again is not even in the picture. Fit to me is one of the most important part to effectiveness.

3.) Fist
- Why when putting on gloves for punching take so much effort to make a fist as thats the sole reason for the glove is to protect the hands. The boxing gloves was created, for the sole reason bareknuckle prize fighters were damaging their hands punching the bowling ball hardness of the forehead. 

I see so many fighters doubling up on hand wraps, putting multiple layers of padding on the knuckles thinking it will help the hand issues? Try hitting the softest heavy bag with a lose fist and injuries will happen even if hitting softest of heavy bags. 

Try taking a hammer no matter the weight, that does not have a level cut nose, or contact service. No matter the precision in the one swinging the hammer, they will never get the nail to penetrate the surface. 

So when it comes to the user, it might not be the way you are throwing a punch, but what are you throwing a punch with? How many wraps are you using? How many knuckle pads have you fabricated? How many times has your coach taped a fight cast on your hand for training? How many gym owners have felt with members saying that the bags are to hard or my hands hurt? 

An experienced handy man knows that the hammer that is being used is as important as the one swinging the hammer. 

4.) Support
- Why does a training glove have a velcro strap around the forearm? Is it a support strap, or there just to keep the glove from flying off when throwing punches? 

Most injuries caused by lack off support are in the wrist or hand, not the forearm. 

Why do lace up training gloves stop below the palm, and wrap around the forearm? Again to keep the glove from flying off? I can't remember the last time I tied my shoes and noticed that my shoes could not be tied any tighter because the seem in the middle met its furthest point of synching and still did not meet my foot. How is this not the most common sense thing ever? But again its the norm.

I could go on and on with my internal dialogue of equipment questions, but have you questioned these same issues?

I was fed up with the amount of fights I cornered with fighters entering the ring or cage with these avoidable, needless injuries that fighters just have to deal with because its a part of the business! Or is it? No its time for the business to start protecting the most important part of fighting. THE FIGHTERS! With out the fighter, there is no promoter, no manager, no coach, no gym, no sponsorship opportunities, no PPV, no inspiration, no excitement, and most importantly no fight. So the foundation to what we all share and love in the industry comes down to THE FIGHTER.

Enough with the issues! So the mission began.

These simple questions are what lead me to my purpose behind creating ONX Sports and Re-Thinking the tools that being used to become the Best at what you do, the champion, the #1, the king of kings! 

I remember hearing Dana White in repeated interviews saying "these guys are sparring to hard, training like gladiators. Their is science to training now a days." 

He is 100% right!! They are training like gladiators, because they are the common day gladiators. 

He is also right, there is science behind training. Then why is there not science behind the gear that these elite of the elite are using for combat training? 

He also has been quoted saying "AKA or (American Kickboxing Academy) train like idiots. Why is the coach allowing these guys to keep getting injured like that?" 

BUT, AKA is one of the most winning teams out there, and when this quote was thrown into the publics eye, I believe they had 4 or 5 current World Champions. 

I believe they know what they are doing and the proof is in the pudding. I also believe the issue is not what is in the athletes, or the coaches leading the squad, or the training. I believe it is what is external, the tools, the armor, the gear that should allow you to train like you fight, and fight like you train. 

I am all about change. It is growth, it is evolution, it is new perspective, and most importantly, it is time! 

Like Albert Einstein said, "the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting the same result."

Here at ONX Sports,
We Believe Champions are Honed, Not Born.
What Hones You?

Now 5 years later after grinding through sewing, cutting, shaping, molding, pattern making, testing, re-shaping, finding out at least 100 or more ways on how not to make a glove. 

The defining moment with ONX and deciding to move forward with a glove that has new patent technology and a long list of new qualities. 

In my perspective Is it the perfect glove, NO. But I can't wait to make the next one, and then the next one after that, Oh and I can't imagine how amazing the glove after that one will be! 

I believe will never have the perfect glove, because in the present state of perfection will only stand still. But I will chase evolution, with a mindset of evolving with observing the issues, and perfecting the present solutions.

January 13th, 2017 We released the first and far from perfect but so uniquely different X-Factor Glove. In less than 45 days we completely sold out of the first production all through pre-sale only. I am feeling extremely grateful that the Gloves did not even get the chance to sell at regular price. 

Today they shipped and will be arriving at the end of the week and then I get to weigh each one, attach the serial # and be like Santa and send these to all the patient early adopters. I am very grateful in your trust in my self and ONX, and being a part of this Culture behind the must needed change.

SPARRING SAFE SERIES 2: BE A LEADER NOT A RING LEADER

 

Definition of a Leader: A guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.

Definition of a Ring Leader: A person who leads others, especially in opposition to authority, law etc. 

Who is leading the team and are they being a Leader or Ring Leader? There is many things that can cause injuries when sparring, and the most important part to safe sparring is have the sparring sessions observed by a coach. It is up to the coach to observe the sparring sessions to help their athletes prepare the safest and most effective way possible to perform at their best. There is so many times in my career that I have been to schools where there is no one watching the sparring sessions or the coach is calling the rounds but also sparring with the team. Very dangerous in my opinion.

Why is it important to have someone observing the Sparring?

  • To oversee that there is no foul play going on, or injury causing techniques being used.
  • To make sure everyone has the correct protective equipment on.
  • To make sure the correct partners are being matched up by size and experience, and if even if they are allowed to be matched up the coach can pull the more experienced or bigger athlete back.
  • The coach can see if the athlete is taking to much damage and pull them out of the session so serious injuries can be prevented.
  • If an injury does happen the coach can asses whether it was caused from foul play and if so can take action. If the injury was not caused from foul play the coach can asses theories on how it could have been avoided for future experiences. Again in some cases injuries can not be avoided but at least you will know.

Get the most out of your sparring and longevity to your career, or your athletes career.

SAFE SPARRING SERIES 1

Thank you for your question Al Pallone on the form submission. His question was, Sparring is a big issue with fighter injuries. Would you expound on how you have your fighters sparr! Frequency - duration - safety measures & whatever else goes into your sparring process?

Sparring for combative sports is a must when competition is what you are wanting to do. I will give some tips on how to get the most out of your sparring and keep it as real to competition as possible. This was a great question and a question that has such an in depth answer that I will start with these tips and then follow up in detail on each one of the tips in full detail following this blog.

- BE A LEADER NOT A RINGLEADER: Having a coach to watch is a must. When sparring it is a must to have someone watching so the someone is observing and keeping control of the sessions. 

- BE A MATCH MAKER: Make sure the training partners are as evenly matched matched as possible. This comes down to weight/size, amateur/professional, and experience.  

- HARD CONTACT: Understand the pros and cons to hard sparring and make sure to balance it into and athletes needs for performance. 

- TECH SPARRING & DRILLING: Understanding the benefits to Tech sparring.

- WEAR YOUR ARMOR: Using the correct equipment when when sparring.

- STRATEGIES TO A SCHEDULE: Adjusting amounts and types of sparring through an athletes training camps and also be able to make these adjustments when an athlete is not in training camp.

- HOW TO GAIN FROM EXPERIENCE: Adjusting the amounts and types of sparring by the experience of the athlete by the age of ring experience. 

- LISTEN TO THIER BODY: Observe the body language of the athletes and be able to adjust the sparring to what their body is telling you.  

- TAKE CARE OF YOUR PARTNER: To be able to make your training camp as effective as possible it is very important that you have partners to train with, so take care of them.

This is the start to the series and I will continue the series with in depth look at all of the tips above.. 

 

 

 

How to make a re-usable professional training wrap

Professional training gear is very important. Sports specific tools will help you perform to the fullest. This Hand wrapping technique will take 1 roll of 1" athletic tape, and 2 rolls of old school gauze per hand. Protecting your hands for boxing, kickboxing, and mma for training or fighting is very important. This will help prevent injuries and help cater to pre-existing injuries. Train hard and stay safe. 

Please leave any ideas that you would like me to post about like training, working cuts, different styles of hand wrapping, protecting certain injuries, cornering, equipment uses and anything you can think of when it comes to training staying safe and facing your fears.

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TAKE CARE OF YOUR TRAINING PARTNERS

josh.png

A very common thing in MMA gyms is fight preparation without using the proper training gear. This was a photo was taken after a training session when the opponent was throwing a kick. Josh who is shown in the picture was shooting in for a takedown when his training partner was throwing a kick and ran into a knee. Even though his partner had on shin guards he was not wearing knee pads and caused this cut. There was no foul play in the training but if the partner would have had on the correct protection gear this injury could have been avoided. When it comes to training gear it is not just to protect you, but to protect the partners you are working with. This type of thing could have be avoided by properly equipping your yourself to be effective and protected. Train hard but train safe.