Padholding without a Pad Holder
Back when the weather was nice I wanted to social distancing introduce people in the park to Muay Thai so I took some thai pads and tied them to a tree with some rope. Could you kick very hard on the tree? No. You’re still pretty much kicking a tree with just a little bit of foam inbetween. But hey, in a pandemic pinch I’ll take what I can get.
After my “tie some pads to a tree” test, I determined having a kick shield #ad (or multiple kick shields) would make more sense. The shield is larger, and the particular model in the photo above has enough handles on the back you can tie it to pretty much anything.
Why a Kick Shield for Invisible Pad Holders
The shield, in combination with the thai pads would allow for hooks, teeps, and kicks to be thrown without a lot of adjusting. With just the thai pads on each side of the tree (like in the photo at the top) you end up throwing teeps on an actual tree, which when you’re in a public park, may be frowned upon by park goers.
A 3 piece system opens up a few extra possibilities.
Why am I writing about MacGyvering together your own pad holder using trees and such? I was talking with my brother last night (who lives in another state) and neither of us currently have an active pad holder. There are products on the market for literally thousands of dollars that are nothing but steel and some foam. The frames are probably well enough designed to not fall over when you kick it, but at the end of the day some rope and $100 of pads on Amazon will give you a similar result.
Pad Holding versus Heavy Bag Work
My gym currently has a 6 foot banana bag on a Titan Heavy Bag Stand, a Spar Bar, and a tennis ball tied to a string. A standard heavy bag is awkward to throw uppercuts on. The swinging can also be a problem when you’re just trying to do cardio (although the swinging helps with cognition, timing, and angles so it’s a positive thing outside of just trying to burn calories.) And sometimes you just want to bang on some pads, they’re smaller targets, whereas the heavy bag is a giant target that’s fairly difficult to miss.
A 12″ thai pad is a very specific target. The rounded ones (there are flat and rounded pads) help in the beginning with knowing exactly where your shin should hit the pad. Targeting. It’s a visual representation for the brain to know exactly what to do. And it’s in a pattern the brain can easily see so it’s not too difficult for the brain to act.
With a three piece system you can do combos like punch, punch, kick, knee. The punches and knee would be on the middle shield with the kick on either side thai pad. Or teep, hook, knee. The hook going to one of the thai pads and the teep and knee going right up the middle.
You’d need to play around with the angles of the pad to truly get some uppercuts in there so you wouldn’t hurt your wrist / hand, but it’s doable.
What sort of sparring partners have you been MacGyvering together?