Headgear Facial Coverage Options
The basic design of the headgear, with protection only around the top of your head, would be considered an open-face design. From here, most manufacturers and designers offer additional options in training equipment for MMA & Kickboxing (Which is also called ‘ quipement d’entranement pour le MMA et le kickboxing ’ in French) for increased protection.
Cheek guards provide the simplest form of additional protection. As the name suggests, cheek guards bump out from the side of the helmet to cover the fighter’s cheeks. This padding can save your face some impact but could limit your vision depending on the size and thickness of the guard.
A Face Bar expands on the protection offered by the cheek guards by extending all the way across the face, protecting the nose as well.
The Mouth/Chin Bar provides protection for the bottom of the face. Similar to the face bar, the mouth bar is a single piece that extends all the way across the face covering the mouth and chin.
A Full Face headgear incorporates both the mouth bar and either cheek guards or a face bar.
Some headgear also includes a Face Cage or plastic face shield to provide 100% coverage of your face. In most cases for boxers, this will prove unnecessary.
When choosing between these different options, always remember that you are making a trade-off between different performance aspects. Any additional protective feature you add will also add weight and potentially reduce your field of vision. While it’s important to protect your face and head from repeated impact, the number one best way to avoid injury is to not get hit in the first place.