Muay Thai and taps: practical tips
L'training with taps is one of the learning bases of all the striking, for any type of martial art, such as the Muay Thai, and combat sports such as Kick Boxing e Boxing.
In the world of Muay Thai, there are different training methods to improve techniques: in pairs or solo, with tools and without. In fact, we talk about:
- Shadow boxing, i.e., vacuum boxing
- Sparring or light combat
- Heavy bag training
- Striker training (pao, Punch mitts, shields).
Often the Nak Muay spend a lot of time training at the bag to improve technique and increase breath. Credit where credit is due: this type of training is also very important and bears fruit.
However, let us not forget that Muay Thai is an exchange between two martial artists! It is for this reason that it is essential to train in pairs with sparring, clinching and especially striking.
What strikers are used in Muay Thai?
The following are used extensively in Thai boxing large taps, well padded and rectangular: their shape is designed to receive all Nak Muay strikes such as punches, knees, elbows and kicks.
In addition to these, the Punch mitts, which are also ideal for Kick Boxing and Boxing to improve striking and boxing technique.
Training with strikers: why?
Why train with strikers? Training with strikers resembles a real fight and allows the fighter to hit with power, which during sparring is not so recommended to do.
This type of training has other positive effects:
- it is a valuable cardio workout. Hitting for 3 consecutive minutes a Pao with punches and kicks requires considerable aerobic effort.
- Improves techniques. The one who holds the striker helps the other correct techniques if he sees mistakes, perhaps dictated by incorrect habits that have formed over time without realizing it, but seen by an outside eye are visible. A good training partner can correct you, while a sack cannot!
- It teaches you to improve the movement of your feet. The person who holds the strikers does not stand still, but moves as happens during a real match in the ring. Moving the feet in the correct way means greater stability and balance.
What strikers to use? shields, pao o Punch mitts?
As you have realized, there is a tamper for every need. So when you feel like getting a new tamper, before deciding which one, you need to decide what you want to focus on most during practice.
With shields e pao you go to work on the force of kicks/knees/elbow strikes. These strikers are larger than the Punch mitts and cover the trainer's hands, wrists, and forearms. This is necessary because they are used to work not only on punches, but also to absorb kicks, knees and elbows. These strikers must be able to absorb very powerful blows, such as high kicks and low kicks, so they are heavier and larger. Because of their characteristics, they are ideal for Muay Thai, Kick Boxing and MMA.
I Punch mitts are great, on the other hand, for perfecting precision e speed of strokes. They are lightweight, easy to use, and leave ample room for maneuver because they cover only the hands (and part of the wrists) of the trainer. The space where you are going to hit is less, so they allow you to focus on speed and technique.
An excellent combination for training is the use of a shield and a passing glove, so that you can juxtapose work on accuracy and work on strength. Let us now take a closer look at the Punch mitts.
Keeping the strikers
Of course the taps are used with the master or coach.
It can be said that holding strikers is also an art: when the person holding them and the person training are synchronized, the movement is fluid and incredibly fascinating.
Holding strikers well means knowing how to simulate a real fight, you need a bit of inventiveness, and above all you need to know how to motivate and lead the other person to overcome his or her own limitations. When you train with someone who can do all this, you realize it immediately, and that is real training.
Holding the strikers is itself a very intense workout: the strikers can weigh as much as 4 kilograms, and although the impact of the strikes is cushioned, it requires a lot of energy and concentration.
If you are going to train with a friend, it is essential to communicate and help each other, to also improve the technique for holding strikers. In this way, fellowship will optimize training.
Note for beginners
Holding strikers is not as easy as it sounds. Before starting, especially with kicks, it is important to know at least the basics to avoid running into arm and shoulder problems.
Quality, properly padded strikers will reduce the impact on your arms, but to hold them safely, it is essential to know the techniques. So we strongly advise you not to improvise!
At this point we hope we have clarified your ideas and answered at least some of the questions you were asking. What is essential is that you are clear about the importance of tap training. Bag training is not an alternative to this type of training; they are two complementary ways of your training.