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How to Use Focus Pads

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Boxing Classes Mississauga

How to Use Focus Pads

This is a video showing how to properly use focus pads (focus mitts) for boxing or Muay Thai for the beginner student, as illustrated by Muay Thai coach, Kru Joey de Los Reyes and Boxing coach, Sean Fulgencio.  Here are some pros, cons and tips, and there is small training video at the bottom of this post.

Focus Pads Pros and Cons

Focus pads are a great training tool for sharpening the tools for any martial arts involving strikes.   Here are some pros and cons of using focus pads.


  1. You can work accuracy, timing, distance and footwork.
  2. You can work your defense.
  3. There are tons of combinations that you can try on focus pads; you are only limited by your imagination.


  1. You need a good pad holder.  A bad pad holder can make you look…well…bad.
  2. Not the ideal tool for power.  You can injure your pad holder and possibly yourself if you try to go full power on focus pads.

Focus Pad Holding Tips

  • Generally speaking, left punches are directed towards the left focus pad, and right punches are directed to the right focus pad.
  • Hold the pads in front of your shoulders.  Do not hold in line with your shoulders.
  • Make sure that you hold the pads close to each other to simulate the size of a human head, but make sure that the pads are away from your own face and head.
  • You can give some resistance to the boxer or Muay Thai practitioner, by gently slapping back with the pads, so that they have to punch through the pads.  However, do not slap so hard so as to cause damage to their hand or wrists.  The motion resembles giving someone a “high 5.”
  • Move around and learn how to “flash” the pads.  Do not stay in one spot with the pads always up in the air.  This is no better than being like a glorified heavy bag, and misses the benefits of using focus pads.
  • Only present the pads when you, as the coach are ready.
  • As a striker, the one hitting the pads, always try to use the same rhythm, and only strike the pads when the coach is ready.
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