Provide the Best Trainer Protection on the Market
Pro heavyweight Fred Kassi (18-5-1, 50% KO rate) and his manager Matt Nussbaum had a problem. Fred is an active prize fighter and head trainer at the Le Boxeur Gym in downtown New Orleans. The problem -- the volume of daily mitt work was taking its toll on Fred's shoulders. We tried the best focus mitts on the market with the thickest pads -- Rival, Title, Ringside, Winning, Reyes - they all failed to protect Fred's shoulders. They all have a fatal design flaw from a protection perspective - punch force is directly connected to the trainer's shoulder. The protection comes only from the foam cushion which compresses with use. They become hard and no longer provide any trainer protection. We were going through high-end mitts ($130+) every four or five months with the amount of mitt work we do. We needed more between the trainer and the punch - and something that would last - it was too expensive to replace these high-end mitts three or four times a year. We tried those striking paddles from Winning and Nike, and while they took some of the pressure off, they didn't have the feel of real mitt work, and those handles broke every three months! We needed something durable and felt like real mitts to the fighter. And something that made the right sound when hit... to provide the trainer and fighter that positive feedback on a good punch thrown.
The handle is a heavy-duty polyurethane that is flexible but basically unbreakable. The grip is a soft plastic that allows for multiple hand positions - choked up for inside work, choked down for outside work. The mitt itself is high-quality closed-cell foam with a syn leather cover. Most importantly, like a good six-shooter, the entire mitt is perfectly balanced so that it takes the minimum effort to move the mitt through combinations. And finally, the loose wrist technique we teach in addition to the flexible handle takes almost all the punch force pressure off trainer's shoulders and elbows. And when the foam in the mitt compresses, as they all do, that's ok because its the handle and technique, not the foam, that provides the protection. That's why we can offer a two year replacement warranty - if it stops providing you protection for 24 months after purchase we will replace at no charge. No other focus mitt on the market offers a replacement warranty AT ALL, let alone for 24 months. If you give them a try, you will see for yourself that Flex-mitts provide the best shoulder and elbow protection of any focus mitt on the market today. Period.
Improve Fighter Defense and Reaction Time
The handle of the flex-mitt gives the trainer an extra 20"+ of reach with which to poke, jab, cajole, and otherwise pressure fighters. Many trainers use striking sticks (a mitt or glove on a solid stick) for that type of training and then have to switch to traditional hand mitts to work offensive combinations. With Flex-mitts both types are instantly available. The huge benefit is catching fighters with hands dropped after finishing combinations...and training them to keep their hands up!
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Congrats on your Flex-Mitts Purchase!
This pair of flex-mitts will provide your shoulders and elbows relief from constant pounding experienced by trainers who do a lot of mitts. We developed Flex-mitts because some days at our Le Boxeur Gym in New Orleans we can be holding mitts for 4-5 hours a day with just ring timer breaks – its how we earn our living! My Pro Heavyweight Fred Kassi needed to protect his shoulders because besides training is an active prize fighter and he needs his shoulders in top shape.
Step 1 – The Grip
Technique is critical to your success with flex-mitts. The first thing is the grip. Flex-mitts are carefully balanced about mid handle (Fig 1.), just above the blue grip. Because they are balanced at that point, the closer your grip to that point, the less effort it takes to rock the mitts back and forth to catch punchers. For that reason it’s important that you start out “choked up” with your top finger (trigger finger) resting comfortably on the WHITE portion of the handle with the opposing thumb wrapping around. The next three fingers are in the next three slots down the BLUE grip. That’s it, keep your hands and wrists loose.
Step 2 – Square Off and Signaling Punches
Your body position to your fighter should be exactly like you were fighting. For orthodox stance your lead hand will be out in front and you’ll use that mitt to catch jabs, lead hooks, lead uppercuts with a simple twist of the wrist. To signal you want a jab just hold up the mitt up facing the fighter. For a lead hook simply signal, simply rotate the mitt 90 degrees horizontally. For a lead uppercut, just dip the mitt head down 90 degrees. To catch a lead body shot, you can either use your other (RIGHT) hand mitt and just drop it down facing at a bit of an angle just above the waist. Another way is to tuck the LEFT mitt across the body and lay it up on the trainers right side (tight) and take the body shot. The second way is a bit more realistic but also exposes the trainer to the punchers power where the first way puts all the punching out in front of the trainer.
For straight rights or overhand rights just signal with the trainers RIGHT mitt facing the fighter. For the overhand right, I put my left arm out so my fighters have to come over the top. For power hand upper cuts just dip the right hand 90 degrees so the mitt faces the ground but toward the fighter. For the Right body hook, I cross the right mitt to the left side and lay it up on my ribs as the target.
Step 3 – Combinations
Flex-mitts are very dynamic targets. They should be moving and I kind of hide the face of the mitt until I’m ready to signal the combinations so that my fighters have to use their eyes to identify targets as they become open. To build up speed, keep the flex-mitts loose in your wrists, almost like playing the drums, with each beat being a new punch signal. Your hands acts as fulcrums and you bring the mitt head forward to meet whatever punch you signal. So the fighter feels the forward momentum of the mitt head swinging slightly forward and just on impact you tighten your grip. Just like a punch – hands are loose until just before impact then the fist tightens on impact. Then you release the tight grip slightly to have just enough pressure to slow down the mitt head after being punched. Then as you come forward again you signal the next punch. Sounds more complicated than it is. You basically swing the mitt back and forth with your loose wrists toward the punch and tighten, then release slightly and just break the mitt after the punch. Our trainers can hold about 300 punches in a 3 minute round.
Step 4 – Work Defense
Working defense is one of the best things Flex-mitts does. As a trainer, the handle gives you an extra 23” of reach! J. Sometimes I put the mitts down and spar with my fighters and forget how short my arms are (and quickly go back to my flex-mitts J). With a flick of your wrist you can be upside your fighters face or down below mimicking body shots. You can perfect your fighter’s slips and counters and make them pay for any dropped hands! When working defense you can change your grip position down the handle to give you a variety of reach lengths.
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