Martial arts is a sport that is not usually practiced alone. While there are times when you would need to train on your own with the help of heavy bags at home, it would simply not be as educative and fun without the presence of a partner or a team that learns at the same pace as you do. Not to mention that another person training alongside you means there is someone to call you out on your mistakes or cheer you on when you need it.

Of course, training with a partner requires extra equipment and gear so they can receive kicks and punches from you like it’s no big deal. There are two kinds of non-striking gear used in partner training: Thai pads and focus mitts Philippines.

Thai pads

Thai pads are most commonly used in muay Thai and Thai kickboxing training, hence the name.

Proper use of a Thai pad will protect the holder/non-striker from breaking or dislocating their thumb. To hold it properly, the forearm should be placed straight along the length of the pad, with the hands facing it and the palm perfectly placed over the topmost handle. The thumb should never be placed underneath the handle, for this position will render the Thai pads Philippines useless and lead to injuries.

Pros

  • Thai pads are thick enough to catch and distribute the force from all kinds of strikes, including kicks and knees.
  • The larger surface area of Thai pads makes if less likely for the striker to miss them.
  • Aside from the top handles, Thai pads usually have one or two adjustable straps per pad, making them easy to hold and control.

Cons

  • Strikers that are on the heavier side kicking hard enough might still cause pain or discomfort through the Thai pads, especially if the non-striker is smaller. This is why it’s important to make sure that partners are of the same size.
  • Thai pads can start to feel really heavy after a long training session.

Focus mitts

While Thai pads are meant to be worn along the forearm, focus mitts are similar to gloves in which they are worn on the hands for the purpose of catching hits and punches. Thus, all focus mitts are smaller in size.

Unlike Thai pads which are hard to miss, focus mitts requires greater concentration to hit due to their size. Because of this, you utilize both your mind and your body, and training with focus mitts helps you achieve a more dynamic workout.

Pros

  • Focus mitts are lightweight so they are easy to hold and control.
  • Focus mitts have individual finger channels and you can usually see through the back so there is little chance for the non-striker to hold them wrong.
  • The smaller size of focus mitts helps the striker to develop aim and hand-eye coordination.

Cons

  • Focus mitts are not appropriate for catching knee strikes.
  • Some mitts do not provide for a secure grip/hold, as they do not have finger channels or adjustable wrist straps.

Figuring out which one to get comes down to what martial art or skill you want to hone at the moment. If you want to focus on your boxing, get focus mitts. For training in muay Thai and kickboxing, which obviously involves kicks and knees, go for Thai pads.

Figuring out which one to get comes down to what martial art or skill you want to hone at the moment. If you want to focus on your boxing, get focus mitts. For training in muay Thai and kickboxing, which obviously involves kicks and knees, go for Thai pads.