The Crucial Art of Holding Thai Pads

Thai Pads

Muay Thai pads are the specific training aid of Muay Thai practitioners and Kickboxers around the world. They differ from boxing mitts in that they allow the fighter to throw kicks, elbows and knees in addition to punches. Thai pads are a heavy gauge rectangular pad that strap onto the forearms of the holder and provide a strap that the holder can grip with each hand for added control and stability.

Holding Thai pads is an art of its own. Correct use of Thai pads can greatly benefit the person striking them and protect the individual holding them. There are a few basic techniques on how to hold thai pads every wearer should know.

First rule when holding boxing pads and catching strikes is to be in an fighting stance. This will simulate proper fighting conditions for the person throwing strikes and help the individual catching strikes to absorb the shots properly and safely. It is important when holding punching pads to be in a fighting stance because this will help the individual throwing strikes gauge distance and range correctly.

Second rule on how to hold boxing pads is in regard to catching punches. The holder should have the Thai pads up at head level. This allows the striker to properly throw punches at the intended target. The pads should not be far out in front of the holders face but as close as possible while maintaining proper sight lines so the holder can see the strikes coming. The thai pad holder should meet the striker’s punches with a good amount of tension on impact.

If the holder does not produce tension with the pads when meeting the punch this can result in injury of the holder and the striker. If during thai pads workout the pads are held flimsily when struck they can fly back into the holders face. If the holder does not offer a proper target with proper tension the striker can over extend their punch and injure the shoulder or elbow joints.

thai padsThe third rule pertains to catching body kicks. If the holder does not hold the pads close to the body with the proper technique during boxing pads training it does not benefit the striker. Often times the holder will present the pads away from their body at an angle that does not allow the striker to turn over their hip and get the desired strength on the kick. This improper technique can lead to poor kick training and injury to the holder.

The proper technique allows the Thai pads to be held at an angle that resembles the letter “A”, the top corners of each pad touching each other while leaving an “A” shaped space between the middle and bottom of each pad. The holder should brace for impact exhaling strongly as the kick connects with the pad to offer the correct amount of resistance to the strike. This is the most important technique to master because if it’s done incorrectly can result in the holder eating a body or head kick from the striker resulting in serious injury.

Once these basic techniques can be performed with a certain level of confidence and expertise boxing pads training can be enjoyable and productive for both participants. The Thai pads are crucial in the development of Muay Thai practitioners all across the globe. They can offer something focus mitts cannot during boxing mitts training, the ability to string together long combinations of punches, kicks, knees and elbows.

These strikes are most effective when done in combination with one another. Devastating one’s opponent with a plethora of strikes is what separates good and great Muay Thai fighters. Proper boxing pads workout can help increase power, stamina, accuracy and fight IQ.

Check out this step by step tutorial by Master A on how to utilize flow pad work in order to develop advanced students in Muay Thai.

Thai pads offer essential growth between trainer and fighter that cannot be obtained by any other training equipment. This bond can only be created through many long hard hours in the gym and best thai pads offer as a bridge between the two individuals in order to forge this connection. Any trainer or fighter will tell you that patience and trust is the key ingredient to successful pad work.

Advanced thai pads training can offer a freestyle aspect to training that other conventional pad work is just not suitable for. The trainer can catch strikes from the fight but also deliver counters to force the fighter to move correctly in and out of range. Excellent Muay Thai pads training can sometime looks like a beautiful choreographed dance between trainer and fighter.

Muay Thai is often practiced in poor developing countries where additional training equipment like heavy bags, muay thai belly pad and muay thai shin pads are considered costly.

Thai pads offer the full extent of training techniques unmatched by other pieces of training equipment making them the first and only choice of combat sport clubs across the globe.

Check out how the 5 years old kid Nijee “The Future” killing it on boxing pads!

Over to you. If you have any questions about boxing pads combinations or how to use boxing pads please comment below.

By Chris Grabowski