Muay Thai, also known as the ‘art of eight limbs” is an old sports activity in which fighters use fists, elbows, knees and feet in fighting. This is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with some other clinching techniques.
In order to practice it or improve yourself in it, you’ll need the right gear like headgear, a steel cap for groin and chest protection, as well as elbow, knee and shin pads. Even though all of them are paramount, there is one type of pad in particular without which you won’t be able to train Muay Thai – Thai fight pads.
What Are Thai Pads?
Practice shows that padded and durable Thai pads are paramount for training Muay Thai since they can help you practice your strikes, kicks and punches while providing you with the needed protection and conditioning for your muscles and shins. Just like boxing pads, these can also come in a range of sizes, shapes and features in order to meet different purposes and comfort needs.
Curved vs. Flat
The curved pads are ergonomically designed to fit your forearm which makes it easier to hold during training. They’re also light enough to allow you to move it around freely for hooks and jabs, so a lot of fighters prefer them since the curve helps a lot in catching the kick better.
As the name suggests, flat or straight models don’t have this curve. Their flat side gives off a thud sound when struck and they’re mainly preferred for boxing.
Thicker vs. Thinner
Choosing the right size and thickness is paramount when choosing the right pads since they have a huge impact on impact absorption. Consequently, larger pads are ideal for making big strikes, while smaller models are perfect for boxing heavy combos.
When it comes to their thickness, it’s said that slightly thicker pads offer better hits while also providing you with better arm protection. Even though thinner ones seem less stiff and more comfortable to wear, thicker varieties are a better option for more experienced fighters. When in the search for the right type, make sure to choose ones that have a solid construction in order to protect you from bruises.
Forearm Padding or No Padding
The comfort of the wearer is one of the most important things manufacturers should have in mind, and it seems that lately, they have done a really good job. Many of them add an extra line of padding on the forearm part. Even though lighter in comparison to the actual pad, still, this extra layer of protection cushions the arm from any impacts.
It also raises the arm slightly, allowing the wrist to be in a natural position when holding the handle. The ones that have no padding are designed for those of you who want to wear lighter pads because they are quicker to use. The type you choose should mainly depend on your personal preferences and on your level of expertise.
Strap Padding or No Strap Padding
Most of them come with forearm straps to hold them in place well. Even though thicker, they are comfortable and strong, however, when used heavily, they can wear down over time and feel uncomfortable.
Having that in mind, you can opt for a pair that come with extra padding on the straps. This extra padding will add more comfort which makes them ideal for those who plan to hold them all day, like coaches for instance. If used for shorter periods of time, you won’t need to buy Thai pads with extra strap padding.
Buckle Closure vs. Velcro Closure
For extra convenience, almost all manufacturers use Velcro closure, however, if you’re one of those people who doesn’t feel his pads are tight enough with Velcro closure, then you should certainly invest in models with buckles. Even though considered a bit old-fashioned, still, models with buckles offer a consistent level of tightness.
The only downside is that they’re a bit harder to put on and take off which isn’t the case with Velcro closure. When it comes to adjustment, both of these closures allow for easier adjustment, whereas Velcro closures offer more freedom to adjust. When comparing them, it seems that both of them have their pros and cons, but when it comes to usability, it seems that Velcro is better which is why it’s considered the standard closure type these days.
As you can see, the choice for fighting pads of this kind is huge, so choosing quality, durable yet light versions is paramount for enhancing your training. The most commonly used material for this purpose is premium cowhide since it’s extremely durable.
Even though these days you can choose from pads coming from different manufacturers all over the world, the ones coming from Thailand’s trusted manufacturers seem to be the best since Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport. Consequently, they know best which also makes them experts in manufacturing models that are built better.