I received the guard back in April (if I recall correctly) and have been training with it since. I loved the fit right out of the box and quality is evident. I had hoped to receive it in time for the central-Nebraska Golden Gloves district fight, which I did.
I can not begin to tell you how overly excited I am about it. Yes, it is comfortable and looks cool, but most important to me is it's function. Ill remind you that I primarily train as a boxer. My sparring partner is a high-level, well-trained pro with hands like bricks and a gas tank that just never runs out. Before coming to IMPACT, I went through 2 Shock Doctor, 3 Tapout, 1 Fight Dentist, and 1 Brain Pad mouthguards. Taking hits was most manageable with the Brain Pad but I hated the two-layer with a breathing channel thing and worst with the shock doctors. Compared to IMPACT, they were/are all crap. and when I say hits, I'm not talking your every day stiff-right hand, this guy's hands are something from a sports fiction novel. Needless to say, I've taken some damage to the face. As I have been training for the past few months with competitive intent, I've logged quite a few hours of sparring with my IMPACT. Again, I cannot be happier. Last week I took an uppercut straight to the chin with enough power I honestly thought it cracked the bone. Experienced fighters know this feeling and it's a scary one. No damage to my mouth or head, other than a tender bruise on the chin (no big deal!) any of my previous guards would not have withstood such a strike. I could feel almost in slow motion the guard absorbing and dispersing the force in a safe and comfortable manner. That is just one of countless examples so far.
Three weeks ago I stepped in to a cage for some MMA sparring for the first time. The gentleman with whom I traded gloves is a seasoned professional and a force to be reckoned with. I took about 4 minutes of ground and pound to the side of my face and mouth- again, no damage, no pain, and nothing to worry about structurally. (He casually mentioned yesterday that the 205 belt for our local promotion is very likely within my grasp. freaky thought).
Lately we have had some of the newer fighters sticking around the gym long enough to start inquiring about gear. I have instructed all of them to look to IMPACT citing my experience with boil-n-bites and why the cost is just so damn worth it. Our fighting community is small, but I do what I can to spread the word. I take safety gear seriously and in no way would I recommend something in which I do not believe.
ALSO if nothing else in terms of comfort, function, and looks- a MAJOR point to me is that I can effectively breathe with my jaw completely clenched. This goes hand-in-hand with breathing control for energy conservation and power generation.
Your guards are amazing, Thanks for keeping me and so many other athletes safe
- Evan Bumann