On Tuesday November 15th 2016, Lanna MMA sought to enlighten students in an aspect of martial arts which can easily be overlooked: the art of pad holding. With the knowledgeable and tutelage of Tyler McKinnon (Regular Pad Holder for #2 Rank Glory Featherweight: Matt Embree) students were able to acheive months of pad holding improvement in a single seminar. We were able to extract the key components of the lessons taught; we give you the ten commandments of pad holding. Follow these laws to improve your pad holding skills.
The 10 Commandments of Pad Holding:
1. The Pad Holder is the trainer
2. Make sure to hold pads in your Muay Thai stance
3. Hold for the height of your partner
4. ʻMeetʼ your partnerʼs weapons with the pads. You may have to do this harder or softer
depending on the technique thrown
5. Know how to manage distance. Control the range of your partner. Donʼt choke the
6. Correct bad technique (Examples include lazy jabs, not coming back to Muay Thai
stance, not protecting the head and face with the hands)
7. Exhale when the thrown weapon makes contact with your pads, especially for knees
and kicks. This will teach you how to absorb impact for drills and sparring.
8. Pay attention. If you lose focus you can injure yourself or your partner. Especially
when holding for close range weapons like elbows. Remember that you are in control
of what gets thrown by your partner. Control the pads like they are extensions of your
9. Donʼt tuck your thumbs under the pads. You will break them. Always make sure your
head, face, legs, and other body parts are out of harms way. Sticking to your Muay
Thai stance will ensure that you donʼt suffer from an unwanted strike, and miss
valuable training time.
10. When holding for knees, make a point between the kick pad and the belly pad for
your partner to aim for, and use your upper body to lean forward into the knee.
Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the pad holding seminar,
including Tyler, who made the time to share his passion and skill set with the group.
Above are just some of the hard rules that you can apply to become effective pad
holders and training partners. Pad holding when done right, has numerous benefits for
both the fighter and the trainer.
Although there are more intermediate and advanced tips and tricks to help you
become a better pad holder, these are some of the most fundamental things to follow in
order to progress. Practice them even when you learn more advanced skills.
Just like clinching, pad holding is something you can practice outside of class.
Set time aside with a partner to hold for each other. Work on the skills youʼve been
taught by your instructors, and try to stay within your skill level. You will become more
comfortable and confident with what youʼre doing when you practice the basics.
Stay tuned for other announcements regarding the next seminar. Attending these
events helps you sharpen your skills and offer the opportunity to teach newer students
what youʼve learned. Martial arts is all about making each other better as athletes,
people, and fighters.