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MMA gear review: Bad Boy Face Saver Head Guard

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Bloody Elbow presents this MMA gear review, focusing on the Bad Boy Face Saver Head Guard - a head gear that offers great protection, with a bit of a trade-off.

When I took up Muay Thai training about two years ago, one of the hardest aspects was getting gear. There are so many options, many of which are very expensive, and it can be hard to sort out what is needed. To help, I'll periodically review gear and hopefully offer some guidance about what's good, what's not.

Up today - head gear for sparring courtesy of Bad Boy. This particular piece of equipment is the Bad Boy Face Saver Head Guard. It's actually a European only product, so only available for sale through Bad Boy's UK store. Here it is:


As you can see from the picture, this thing packs a ton of protection. It has a solid piece of padding that goes essentially right across your mouth, plus the padding in both that area and the forehead is good and thick. The end result is that even a straight punch is not going to really connect on your face, leaving your nose good and protected. This seems like something all head gear should do, but you'd be surprised - most gear leaves the nose really exposed. I've seen guys in the gym get bloody noses, while I've been hit straight and been just fine. Seriously, you're NOT getting punched in the face with this on.

The thing with head gear though is that there is always a trade-off: protection vs. comfort. Here, the protection level is high. The comfort? That's tougher. It's a great material, and a nice fit on the skull (plus easy to get on, which is a big plus). The trouble is, as I said, the mouth guard goes right across your mouth and under your nose. Because of that, it can get in the way of your breathing a bit. When I first used it, I was very uncomfortable, but after a few sparring sessions, it works well for me and I've been able to find my zone with it.

Because of the comfort factor (plus a weird macho thing), a lot of guys shy away from head gear, but I think it's essential if you want to really spar. When you're just getting started, is top of the line head gear a must buy? No. But once you do need it, get it, and spend the money to make sure whatever you buy is going to actually protect you.

So is this the gear to buy? Again, it depends on your need for comfort. This offers fantastic protection, but it can take some getting used to. If you're able to get it easily, it's a very good purchase that will treat you well.

Hope that helps, and if you have gear questions or recommendations, let's hear them!

Previous MMA Gear Reviews:

The legal fine print - I received this product free of charge for review purposes. This does not impact my review.