Notably there are things like Kyokushin (and other knockdown Karate perhaps?) that seem to train without gloves.

Obviously you normally remove the head as target if you're going with much intensity, but for better or worse it's pretty common in the Karate world to not use gloves.

Agreed. Kyokushinkai was my very first "style" way back in the day..

One thing I would add is that the head should (IMO) be the primary target in a street fight/self-defense situation. Thus removal of the head in a sparring situation would be truly detrimental, wouldn't you say?


I personally think there are merits and downsides to doing both things.