There is no one set way to hold the pads some coaches prefer a more relaxed style, some encourage more aggressive striking and some work a more technical pad style. It all depends on the coach’s personality and the goal of the training. Regardless of which style the pad holder prefers it is worth working through the following eight variations to help produce a well rounded fighter.
- Attacking pad work. Involves the coach calling high-intensity power combinations that develop aggression and an intense fighting style
- Defensive padwork. Defensive pad work focuses on tightening up the defensive movements of the fighter. So lots of quick strikes back from the pad holder are included to force blocking, evasion or parrying
- Interception pad work. Interception pad work is concerned with intercepting the attacking movement of the pad holder with a predetermined counter-attack, (belly pads or coaching shields are good for this).
- Counter-attack pad work. Counter attack pad work works on evading a strike an immediately striking back with a pre arranged combination.
- Footwork/ Head movement pad work. This type of pad work is used to develop evasive footwork and head movement and keep the fighter out of harms way at all times while still allowing for quick counter-attacks.
- Ring Craft or Cage Craft pad work. Moving well in the ring or Cage is a skill that needs to be developed as it does not come naturally. It takes lots of training to get comfortable moving in the confines of a ring or Cage so pad work needs to be performed to develop this underappreciated skill. It is necessary to teach fighters how to move around, control the centre and escape the corners in a boxing ring or use the fence to their advantage in a cage. Without this type of training fighters tend to find that the cage or ring can be used against them by a more experienced opponent. The ability to herd your opponent into a corner is essential in boxing, fighters who are able to do this dictate where the fight takes place and can control the positioning and escape routes of their opponent. Considerable time needs to be devoted to learning good ring or Cage Craft.
- Fight game plan pad work. If at competitor has a fight scheduled pad work needs to reflect the game plan that has been designed to defeat the opponent. Certain combinations or tactics need to be repeated throughout fight camp till they are automatic and can be used on fight night. This type of pad work is different from general pad work as specific techniques and strategies are being practised for a specific opponent. If one is fighting a opponent taller then pad work should reflect this and the pads held higher than usual. If the opponent is smaller the pads should be held lower than usual. Every other variable should be considered and should be incorporated into the game plan and pad work.
- Isolation pad work. This type of pad work is all about improving weaknesses. If a particular technique needs improving isolation pad work is the answer. Let's say a person needs to work on their kick defence then the entire session can be focused on refining defences against kicks. Any technique or strategy can be isolated and worked until it is improved or mastered.
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