In order for pad work to develop as much skill as possible it is necessary to progress from simple moves and combinations into more complex patterns and drills. New students of pad holding need to get comfortable with the basic pad positions and simple combos first before attempting more elaborate technical combinations.
If the pad holder tries to run with the pads before they can walk bad habits can be developed and poor technique is the usual result. Everything needs to be learnt in a step by step process that allows for a gradual increase in both intensity and technical skills.
The mitt master system starts with basic single punch techniques, building to basic two and three punch combinations and eventually over a series of graduated steps leading to free-flowing striking combinations that involve both attack and defence of both punches and kicks and in MMA also takedowns and ground and pound.
The best progression for learning pad work correctly is to
- Learn the techniques individually on the pads one at a time
- Once the techniques have been mastered individually they can be combined in two or three part combinations.
- Next comes head movement and footwork before during and after combos
- Defensive moves such as blocking, parrying and evading then need to be integrated
- Finally advanced concepts such as faking, feinting, non-telegraphic motion, sectoring and broken rhythm need to be developed
Only once a person has mastered a step should they move further along the process. Trying to jump to the advanced levels in the beginning will lead to frustration and the development of technical faults. Slowly, slowly is the best course of action when learning how to hold the pads.
To take a jab for example the system works like this
- Learn the jab
- Use the jab in combination with other techniques
- Add head movement before, during and after the jab
- Use footwork with the jab
- Fake and feint with the jab
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