This is the question under discussion:

Old school leather bag gloves

I would interpret this question as being on-topic based on this item:

Martial arts equipment (including use, maintenance, and construction)

I do not see any current item on the do-not-ask list to counterweight the on-topic portion.

Although other StackExchange sites may restrict shopping or recommendation questions like this, each site is expected to maintain its own question standards. For example, recommendation questions are off-topic on StackOverflow, but there is a separate Software Recommendations site that accepts recommendation questions that meet certain standards.

The fact that other StackExchange sites restrict shopping and recommendations questions does not mean that martial arts should. Shopping and recommendation questions for technology equipment quickly go out of date because every few years models of mobile phones and laptops become obsolete. Martial arts equipment does not become obsolete every few years.

To me, this question seems very similar in character to this other, better-received question:

What is a good mat system for home MMA training?

Although past questions are not necessarily indicative of what is acceptable now, we at least need to explain clearly what is acceptable now.

Similarly, Philosphy and history of Okinawan Karate is a shopping question. I think this is fundamentally a what question. The answer should be a book title with author and publisher and description of what is in the book. The asker can go find a seller for this title themselves.


1 Answer 1


In my opinion, a question of "where can I buy this?" boils down to some value of "too localized", "too broad", or "opinion-based". It's an invitation to a list of answers that range from "Amazon.com" to "Bob's Martial Arts supply down the road from me carries them" to "You shouldn't be using that set of gloves, but official Gracie Gloves which you can find at this URL".

To use a parallel to "list questions" that come up at the SF&F SE, the question "Does Everlast still manufacture and sell this glove" is a better question in that it has a specific answer. Even "what manufacturers offer a thinly-padded leather glove with a weighted palm?" might work, but my hackles immediately go up with "where can I buy this?". Maybe it is irrational.

I'm willing to be overruled of course. That's the beauty of the flagging system where we come to a community consensus.

  • 1
    There is the also the point, where some equipment is rare or difficult to find, and not immediately obvious where to go (martial arts stores, major online sites, Amazon, etc. not carrying it). But obviously that's does open the door where we end up potentially having list questions and we'd need to seriously consider where we draw the line.
    – Bankuei
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 14:22
  • I agree with why "where can I buy this" is problematic. I don't agree, however, that questions that try to identify a product or book fit in this category (a what question) or are equally problematic. Anyone in the world can find their own source for a particular item or book.
    – mattm Mod
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 12:42
  • 1
    @mattm: It's an interesting question. I think you are right that if there's a good definitive source (or at least a front-runner), that would be a good answerable question. Part of the problem is that Stack Overflow does bias towards a "there is one most correct answer" model. Truthfully, I'm having difficulty finding a way to phrase such a question objectively, though. Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 13:40

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