An important part of training, whether you’re learning for self defence or for sport, is to learn how to punch correctly. Whilst some people like to use a punch bag if training by themselves, or a pair of thai pads for practicing punches, kicks, elbows and knees with a fellow training partner, sometimes they’re not quite fit for the job. To enhance the speed and power of strikes, as well as defensive blocking and bobbing and weaving, the best training aids to use are a pair of focus mitts, also known as hook and jab pads.
In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the latest focus pads from British premium fightwear brand, Badbreed – the Badbreed Twisted Intentions Deluxe Focus Pads.
Badbreed Twisted Intentions Deluxe Focus Pads
Continuing with their ‘forged’ series of premium fight gear, Badbreed have produced these gothic inspired curved focus pads for martial artists to use at the gym, home or anywhere you fancy training! The beauty of focus mitts is that they don’t take up much space, making them easy to store when not in use and easy to pack in your bag if you fancy an improptu training session. These particular focus pads come delivered in a neat plastic and net zipped bag which ideal to store the pads in.
Upon first look, the Badbreed Twisted Intentions Focus Pads look particularly smart. It’s clear that when these pads were designed, they were kept in line with the design of the boxing gloves, MMA gloves and even the BJJ gi of Badbreed’s latest range, with the brand’s medieval-styled fleur-de-lis decorating each and every piece.
With most focus mitts designed by brands, the decoration is usually quite simple, maybe using a two tone coloured design and the brand logo. Badbreed have gone that step further to craft a thing of beauty as well as practicality. The striking side of the pad is black with grey print of an offset eagle gripping a crucifix. The side of the pad is white with black Badbreed script at one end and the fleur-de-lis at the other. The back of the focus pad is black with a white mitt attached decorated with a red fleur-de-lis and black Twisted Intentions 1348 script. An extra white panel is attached over the top of the mitt decorated with a red blood-type stripe with gothic logos and black Badbreed ‘Chronicles of a Fighter‘ script at the base. Attached on either side is a panel of black soft mesh. The pads are laced at the bottom half to secure the foam padding inside the pad.
The Badbreed Twisted Intentions Deluxe Focus Pads join the market of focus mitts with their curved construction – a shape which has become familiar with martial arts equipment brands in the recent years. The curved shape of the focus pad is a better fit for the trainer, fitting in with the natural curves of the hand. The curved pads are also preferred over flat focus pads due to the accessibility to perform angled strikes. Rather than skim off the edge of the pad, the curved design catches the punch and makes it an ideal choice for those looking to train various strikes such as uppercuts.
Many focus pads come in a variety of sizes. Smaller pads, known as mini focus mitts, are more suited to those boxers or martial arts practitioners yearning to improve precision, with the smaller target area leaving less room for inaccuracy. These particular Badbreed focus mitts are the standard size focus pads and measure 7.5 inches (19cm) in width and 10 inches (25.4cm) in height, with a padding depth of 1.75 inches (4.4cm). The striking area allows for inaccuracies but still requires the striker to keep control and hit relatively on target.
The Badbreed focus pads are lightweight at 250 grams per focus pad, making them easy to hold up for the training partner for long periods of time. The pads are constructed from smooth yet durable buffalo leather which sits tightly against the curved foam padding inside. The mitt section is double stitched onto the back of the pad to ensure it stays fixed and secure to the pad under use. This is the main stress point of the glove and Badbreed have made sure to focus extra stitching around this part of the pads. When the user slides their hand inside the mitt, it tightens towards the end, grabbing the fingers into separate finger slots to help keep the focus pad secure on the hand when being struck. The wrist section of the focus mitt feels spongy with a tiny bit of light foam added in to support the wrist, it would seem. The mitts themselves have air holes to help keep the hands cooler when using the focus pads, whilst black mesh securing the panel which covers the fingers also allows the hands to breathe and to keep down the temperature during use.
The Badbreed Twisted Intentions Deluxe Focus Pads are possibly the lightest I’ve come across. The foam used inside to absorb the strikes is pretty solid though not uncomfortable, which is useful if you decide to strike the pads using your bare fists as well as boxing gloves. The curved shape of the focus pads seem to handle my hooks and uppercuts better than the standard flat focus mitts, catching them at all angles. I even used the pads to practice spinning back kicks with and they did the job nicely.
Holding the Badbreed Focus Pads for my training partner, they were nice and light to hold up for an extended period of time. The pads absorbed the punches well, including elbows and spinning kicks, allowing me to keep full control of the pads at impact. The mitt in which your hand sits inside gets rather sweaty during use, with the underside of the mitt’s leather feeling quite damp against the skin. Despite air holes in the mitt, it doesn’t seem to breathe completely. I’d have liked to have seen the leather mitt backed inside with leather again, rather than it left with its nubuck-style soft-brushed underbelly. With my hands starting to sweat, it left the mitt a touch slippy inside. Despite the tightness of the mitt, my hands did slide out a little, but that’s something I’ve also found with other focus pads. My small hands seem to be prone to slipping out of focus mitts so I tend to put some talcum powder on them to prevent my hands from getting too sweaty and slippery when holding pads.
As far as focus mitts go, the Badbreed Twisted Intentions Deluxe Focus Pads are quite a neat pair for the money. The focus pads scream quality, with such thought and passion gone into the design and creation of them. They are quite a durable pair of focus mitts that stand up to the job that is required of them and particularly useful if you like to train barefist punches like we do in Ju-Jitsu. As far as fit goes, I think those with larger hands rather than my dainty ones would find a better fit with them and find that they don’t slip as much.