Face shields in tournaments (and in class)?

Stac3y

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So, I'm off to the doctor today to get a finger x-rayed (please forgive typos). In tournaments for my organization, everyone under brown belt is required to wear a face shield. Since the darn things are so pricey, a lot of people use metal baseball cages instead of ones made for MA. As I discovered last night, these aren't designed for contact (except from baseballs), so the bars are welded on the outside, leaving "points" at the joints. I caught my knuckle on one of those and now have a purple sausage finger. :(

I'd hate to create an economic barrier for students in my school, but I'm starting to think those things are dangerous. What's your opinion?

I'm also interested in knowing if your org requires or suggests face shields, and, if so, do they require specific types, or woud they accept metal baseball cages?

Just curious.
 

Empty Hands

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No requirement. If you want the face shield, you can go for it. Almost no one does though. I actually think they are counterproductive. If you aren't wearing one, I'm going to watch my shots to your face. If you are wearing one, I'm going to let it fly.
 

jks9199

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Personal choice -- but I'd suggest that if you're going to let people improvise with baseball or other sporting gear, that they have to cover all exposed welds, etc. Some foam tape and electrical tape over it are probably enough. You have to really look carefully at improvised gear to make sure it's safe and will do the job it's supposed to... For example, you can get things that look like motorcycle helmets, but aren't DOT approved and won't do squat for you in a crash...
 
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Stac3y

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Well, I'm back from the doc, and it's just a sprain and bad bruising--no fracture. I guess I'll have to wear my boxing gloves instead of regular handgear at this weekend's tournament.
 

searcher

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For a long time there has been a discussion of making face shields mandatory for all MA tourneys, but there has been enough resistance against it to keep it from happening. I just recently purchased some KUMA headgear that has face shields built in. These are going to be a requirement for my students, so we can start throwing elbows in class. If the students want to spar without one that is their choice. I, personally, don't wear any headgear when I spar. It keeps me on my toes and I have had less injuries by not wearing it.

Look around for some face masks at different distributors, I am sure you could get them wholesale. And make them get rid of those others. They are not good from a liability standpoint.
 

Haze

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Equipment needs to be safe for all parties involved.

I like the idea of a face mask. I see to many people out there that lack the ability to protect their faces because of "light or no contact to the face" rules.

With the majority of people being "head hunters" on the street we need to allow this in the schools or we do an injustice to our students.
 

Kacey

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Equipment needs to be safe for all parties involved.

I like the idea of a face mask. I see to many people out there that lack the ability to protect their faces because of "light or no contact to the face" rules.

With the majority of people being "head hunters" on the street we need to allow this in the schools or we do an injustice to our students.

We don't mandate face masks - in fact, we prohibit them, for the reverse of the reason you give - students who wear face masks tend to not block their faces, relying on the protection of the mask. When they take the mask off for other activities, the habit of not blocking the face remains. And yes... we allow contact to the face - lighter than body contact, but still sufficient to teach people to block their faces.
 

Grenadier

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We don't mandate face masks - in fact, we prohibit them, for the reverse of the reason you give - students who wear face masks tend to not block their faces, relying on the protection of the mask. When they take the mask off for other activities, the habit of not blocking the face remains. And yes... we allow contact to the face - lighter than body contact, but still sufficient to teach people to block their faces.

Same here. We don't use face masks, since people who wear them develop bad habits.

Also, the people punching at people who wear face masks develop rotten control, relying on the face mask to protect their opponent against wild swings. When I watched the AAU competition a few years ago, I saw girls taking full power punches to the face, just because of the face masks, and all of those shots aren't going to be too healthy to the head.

I'd rather take a controlled punch to the bare face, than an uncontrolled one to a shielded one.
 

Andrew Green

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I'd hate to create an economic barrier for students in my school, but I'm starting to think those things are dangerous. What's your opinion?

Yes, I think they are more about giving the appearance of safety then actually making things safer. Punching them can injure your hands, and people tend to not worry about control as much when the other person is wearing one. You have decreased vision, a larger target, and your head is going to get shaken almost as much, all it really does is stop bruises and cuts, and get you hit more.

If headgear is needed I'd go with a full face boxing headgear, which gives better vision and doesn't stick out as much, as well as offering better breathing.

I think the biggest benefit to head gear in tournament fighting has more to do with the floor then then with other peoples fists.

I'm also interested in knowing if your org requires or suggests face shields, and, if so, do they require specific types, or woud they accept metal baseball cages?

Just curious.

The only time we use any face mask is when we are doing weapons sparring.
 

Kacey

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I think the biggest benefit to head gear in tournament fighting has more to do with the floor then then with other peoples fists.

I agree - and, in fact, while we prohibit face masks, we require headgear, as sweeps are legal at red and black belt - and the greatest danger of sweeps is that the swept person will hit the floor with his/her head, which is why we require them. Headgear does not protect against head shots - just floor shots :)
 

Brandon Fisher

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When they used the old "bogu" style gear in okinawa they had a lot of injuries. The face masks were metal just like in kendo and it caused a lot of problems. Since then they have gone to plastic face shields normally the Mizuno brand head and face gear I believe. Here is a picture of them:
face.jpg
 

Lee Mainprize

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Face shields for points sparring and continuous. I don't like that stick fighting - self defense comps maybe.

Baseball masks must be heavy and cumbersum to wear too?
 

msmitht

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Face masks? Are you serious? Rotflol. I train in wtf tkd, boxing and bjj. Been kicked and punched full force in the face as well as slammed on it. Too much safety gear keeps you from learning to protect and move properly. Forget blocking, it doesn't work. When was the last time you saw a block work in the UFC or a fight? NEVER! Any instructor that tells you to high block in a fight does not know what they are talking about and should not be teaching.
Keep hands up to deflect or to "cover up" and work on movement, timing and distance instead.
A boxing headgear is OK for lots of repetitive striking but needs to be taken off eventually.
Face cages...lol. what a joke.
 

sfs982000

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We're required to wear face-shields in our organization and I personally hate them. We're required to purchase the shields throught the school so of course that generates another source of income for them, although their prices are about the same as I found on-line so I can't really complain about that. I agree that wearing the faceshields can tend to develop bad habits in some that use them (not evading techniques and tending to stick their faces out there cause they're not afraid of getting hit). I'd much rather spar without them, besides you won't be wearing that face shield out on the street.
 

msmitht

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We're required to wear face-shields in our organization and I personally hate them. We're required to purchase the shields throught the school so of course that generates another source of income for them, although their prices are about the same as I found on-line so I can't really complain about that. I agree that wearing the faceshields can tend to develop bad habits in some that use them (not evading techniques and tending to stick their faces out there cause they're not afraid of getting hit). I'd much rather spar without them, besides you won't be wearing that face shield out on the street.
find a new school
 
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