9 Tips On Muay Thai Pad Holding For Your Partner

What separates a good Muay Thai fighter from a great one? They can hold pads effectively for their partner. Pad holding is an art that requires proper technique, body positioning, and communication skills. In this blog, you will find nine tips on how to master the art of Muay Thai pad holding for your partner. These tips are based on years of experience, training, and research and will help you quickly become an expert pad holder. By the end of this blog, you’ll have a deeper understanding of pad holding and be equipped with the knowledge to take your Muay Thai training to the next level.

Muay Thai Pad Holding: Tips and Techniques for Pad Holders

Discover helpful tips and techniques for holding Thai pads properly and safely.

1. Understand the Basics of Pad Holding

Muay Thai pad holding is essential for both pad holders and fighters. It’s a great way to learn the sport, help your partner build strength, and have fun. To become a proficient pad holder, it’s essential to understand the different types of pads and how to hold them correctly.

Thai pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common are rectangular Thai pads. When holding a rectangular Thai pad, it is recommended to keep your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and place your hand flat against the pad to provide stability and support for your partner’s strikes. They should then slide their hand up and down the pad to adjust their position.

Note: Always hold your pads by placing your thumbs on top [2]for better control and safety during Muay Thai training sessions.

Importance of proper body positioning

The pad holder must stand in a balanced position with feet shoulder-width apart. This will help maintain stability and support both the holder and their partner.

It will also allow them to quickly move out of the way if their partner misses a punch or kick.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication is an essential part of Muay Thai training and pad holding. When your partner is striking the pads, it’s necessary to give clear, accurate directions for them to follow. If you need more clarity or specificity in your orders, your partner may need help to improve their technique or be frustrated with the results.

How to give constructive feedback?

  • When giving feedback, be sure to keep it positive and encouraging.
  • Remember to praise them when they do something well, but be bold and provide constructive criticism when needed.
  • Be specific about what changes your partner needs to make, and explain how those changes can help them to improve their technique.

Note: When providing feedback, it’s essential to actively listen to what your partner is saying. Ensure you understand what they are trying to do and their goals. This will help you to provide better feedback and tailor your advice more effectively.

3. Focus on Technique

It is essential to focus on technique when holding pads for your partner during Muay Thai training. Pad saving should always be done with proper technique to ensure safety and to get the most out of the drills. Proper technique includes adequate footwork, good posture, accurate timing, and effective blocking and striking.

Look out for technical errors when watching your partner practice with the pads. If you spot one, let your partner know and try to demonstrate the correct technique. You can also use verbal cues such as “extend your arm” or “relax your shoulders.” Working together, you and your partner can improve their technique and become more efficient in their movements.

4. Develop a Game Plan

When it comes to Muay Thai pad holding for your partner, having a game plan is essential. Planning will help you stay focused and organized throughout the Muay Thai training session. This will enable you to provide the best possible support for your partner and ensure that the session runs as smoothly as possible.

When developing a game plan for Muay Thai pad holding, it’s essential to consider your partner’s skill level and individual needs. It would help if you also thought of any specific areas they would like to work on or focus on during the session. You can create a basic game plan by determining which techniques and combinations you want to include in the session and how long each section should last.

5. Progression

Regarding pad holding, progression is about introducing new elements to the drill as your partner advances. This could include switching up stances, varying the speed or intensity of strikes, or introducing combinations. These can make the drills more challenging and satisfy your partner’s continued progress with their skills.

How to Gradually Increase Difficulty

It’s important to start slowly and gradually introduce new elements. You can begin by teaching basic stances and combinations, then progressively increasing both complexities. Add variations such as kick catches, uppercuts, elbow strikes, and more when comfortable with a particular drill.

6. Footwork and Movement

Footwork is essential to Muay Thai pad holding, and it’s important to get it right. Correct footwork and movement can help you and your partner move effectively and create a good rhythm for the pad work. It’s also important to be aware of the limited space you have to ensure you and your partner stay safe.

Note: Adjust the pad height to match your partner’s size [3] or comfort level.

How to move with your partner

When pad-holding with your partner, you must move around them in a circular motion to keep the pad in the right spot for the punches and kicks they are throwing. As your partner moves, you should follow them, ensuring they stay in the circle’s center. If your partner throws a punch or kicks, stay close enough to catch it with the pad and then move back into position so they can continue their strikes.

How to make the most of limited space

  • In some spaces, you will have little room to move around. In this case, you must know your body position and ensure you are not blocking your partner’s Muat thai kicks and punches.
  • You should also use smaller movements, such as small shifts in direction, rather than large jumps or turns. This will help you both to stay safe and maximize the amount of space you have available.

7. Build Endurance

Endurance training is an essential part of Muay Thai pad holding. As a pad holder, you should be able to keep up with your partner’s pace and intensity for the entire training session. Building endurance allows you to hold pads longer without getting tired. It also helps reduce the risk of injury and maintains the places correctly.

8. Patience and Consistency

Patience and consistency are essential when mastering Thai pad holding for your partner. Patience is the ability to remain calm and composed, even if things don’t go as planned. Consistency is the ability to maintain steady effort and performance over time.

The significance of being patient and consistent

As a pad holder, you must remain patient and consistent with your partner to help them improve their technique and skill set. If you become frustrated or give up easily, you won’t be able to help them reach their goals. Patience and consistency will also ensure your partner feels supported and motivated throughout their training.

Tips for maintaining consistency

  • The best way to maintain consistency when pad-holding is to practice regularly and focus on small, achievable goals.
  • Remember that mistakes are part of learning, and don’t be too hard on yourself or your partner.

9. Exhale After Each Strike Touches the Mitts

After each strike touches the mitts, exhaling is integral to the proper pad-holding technique [1]. Exhaling slows you to keep the pads from moving too far away from the body after each strike. This will prevent the pads from jerking back and forth, which can cause injury to both the pad holder and the person struck. By exhaling after each strike, the pad holder can remain in control of the pads and ensure they stay in the same position.

Exhaling also helps the pad holder to maintain proper breathing and pacing during a session. The pad holder must be able to control their breathing to maintain their stamina and endurance throughout the session. The pad holder can exhale after each strike to ensure they don’t become too tired or breathless during the session. This allows for longer and more consistent training sessions.


Mastering the art of Muay Thai pad holding takes time, practice, and patience. These tips can improve your technique and help your partner get the most out of their training. Suppose you are a beginner with little knowledge of pad holding. In that case, it is essential to be steady and avoid unnecessary movements to reduce the risk of Muay Thai injury for you and your partner. Remember to stay focused, have fun, and enjoy the journey of Muay Thai training.


1. How long do Thai pads last?

Investing in high-quality Thai pads can be expensive, ranging from $100-$250. However, it’s a worthwhile investment because it can last 5-10 years, depending on usage. This means you can save money in the long run instead of constantly buying new, low-quality pads every two years.

2. What size Muay Thai pads should I get?

Thai trainers usually use small or medium kick pads, but large kick pads with an extra layer of padding are preferred for heavy strikers. Large kick pads are suitable for big and heavy fighters and provide a bigger target for inexperienced students.

3. Why are Thai pads curved?

Curved pads are ideal for smaller fighters to enhance their accuracy, while straight pads suit more prominent fighters and those aiming for more powerful kicks.


[1] https://evolve-mma.com/blog/15-tips-on-effective-pad-holding-for-your-partner/

[2] https://www.leasidemartialarts.com/10-essential-tips-for-holding-pads/


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