HomeSportsMMAShould 4oz Gloves Be Standard Equipment for Muay Thai?
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Should 4oz Gloves Be Standard Equipment for Muay Thai?

Should 4oz Gloves Be Standard Equipment for Muay Thai?

4oz Gloves: Over the past ten years, Muay Thai has seen several modifications. Fighters from previous generations could not have predicted the enormous growth of the sport or its unexpected mass appeal, given the rise in popularity of three-round bouts and the introduction of the Globalised Ruleset. The use of 4oz gloves in the form of mixed martial arts in some of the major events in the sport is one of the most noteworthy developments in recent years. The Muay Thai community has responded to this discovery in a mixed way; they are still unsure of whether or not to use them at all or at the right times.

The frequent reasons for and against the usage of 4 oz gloves will be covered in the following paragraphs, followed by recommendations on how and when to employ 4 oz gloves in future Muay Thai matches.

Do 4oz gloves represent a break from tradition or a return to the ancient roots of Muay Thai?

Within the Muay Thai community, there has been disagreement about the decision to abandon boxing-style gloves.

Some Muay Thai “purists” believe that the use of smaller gloves is a move away from traditional scoring. They also assert that because of the gloves’ lack of padding, most fighters now only use Muay Mat and Muay Bouk techniques, which ignore the value of IQ and the variety of Muay Thai techniques that are typically seen in Thailand’s gambling stadiums.

Although there may be some truth to these allegations, opponents of the 4-ounce glove craze sometimes overlook the fact that, despite Muay Thai’s long history, the usage of boxing-style gloves is a relatively new phenomenon.

Muay Thai fighters just started using boxing gloves and westernised fighting techniques a century ago, in the 1920s. Before this, combatants frequently used roped hands, which had no cushioning at all due to the binding. Over the ages when this was a widespread practice, the sport of Muay Thai evolved, with its eight weapons, many styles, and long clinch. The increasing prevalence of forceful striking techniques may therefore be attributed to both the adoption of a globalised regulation and faster-paced bouts lasting fewer rounds, rather than only the direct impacts brought on by a fighter’s knuckle protection being decreased.

You might also be interested in reading this: Who Are the Top 15 Muay Farang in Muay Thai History?

4oz gloves alter the fighting style of Muay Thai

The most prominent promotion that supports the usage of 4 ounce gloves is ONE Championship, where fighters compete. These fighters are usually experienced pros. Years of training have passed before they remove the excess padding from their gloves so they can withstand elbows and punches. Even then, the switch is difficult since the smaller gloves offer much less protection, and defensive moves that work well with boxing-style gloves become obviously wrong when you’re holding only 4 ounces of gloves. You are unable to lower your defences or rely on the padding to keep elbows and fists away from you. In these circumstances, head movement and footwork become increasingly crucial, and many athletes have made the mistake of switching to smaller gloves.

Using 4oz gloves in a tiered system

Should 4oz Gloves Be Standard Equipment for Muay Thai?
Source: evolve-mma.com

An agreement on the appropriate timing for smaller glove usage in competitions is required if we are to acknowledge that the smaller gloves are a contemporary adaptation of Muay Thai’s historical tradition. Muay Thai has evolved greatly from its historical foundations, and perhaps the amateur category should be the first to adjust to 4oz gloves and a worldwide system.

In light of this, we should consult the well-established amateur Muay Thai scenes worldwide for advice on the best way to include 4oz gloves in Muay Thai promotions and when to do so.

Round durations are extended, padding is taken away, and weapons are added during a series of fights until the fighter and coach feel that they are capable of competing in “A-Class,” professional competition. Under such a system, 4 oz gloves would be considered the next natural step up on the tiered system and should be used exclusively by seasoned pros with a track record in the ring.

Greater Risk Equivalent to Greater Gain

This strategy is a great method to nurture potential while lowering the dangers that novice fighters incur as they advance in the sport. A larger monetary incentive for their efforts complements the greater danger that fighters incur as they advance through the amateur rulesets in the United Kingdom.

A professional fighter’s base pay is more than that of a fighter wearing elbow pads because of their talent and other possible dangers. These dangers are what make for an entertaining, crowd-pleasing battle. Fights in 4 ounce gloves really draw larger crowds and generate more income for promoters, as seen by the success of ONE Championship and the fact that other promotions are capitalising on its success with smaller gloves.

Given the increased risk involved in fighting in smaller gloves—particularly the possibility of getting struck directly, which has been shown to be a growing concern for these athletes and can keep a professional fighter out of the ring for months at a time—the extra money that smaller glove fights bring in should be distributed to the athletes in the form of larger purses.

A Fair Trade-Off

4oz gloves are now frequently seen in Muay Thai matches, whether you like the look or not. It seems like this trend is here to stay. They are a modern take on the ancient Thai martial art of fighting with rope-bound knuckles, which persisted for decades before boxing gloves were invented. They will certainly go down in the annals of combat sports history throughout the globe.

That being said, Muay Thai combat shouldn’t limit itself to fighting with 4 ounce gloves in the future. Before being thrown into the deep end, amateur fighters should have an opportunity to hone their craft with larger gloves and protected shins. The most seasoned athletes should be the only ones allowed to wear them, and their purses should be commensurate with the higher dangers involved in entering the ring while donning smaller gloves.

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