In many martial arts, striking plays an important part as it is one of the main and immediate ways to defend yourself and subdue an opponent. Whilst I enjoy a bit of boxing, I absolutely love to practice kicks. I’ll put my hands up and say that my kicks aren’t the best and need work which is why I’ve been practicing with the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad, aka kick paddle, a piece of training equipment often used by students of the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. Roundhouse kicks I can do ’til the cows come home but spinning kicks and the like are something which I’ve yet to master and practicing kicks using purely thai pads isn’t always the best way which is where the Bat Type Target comes into its own…
In red and decorated with the white Blitz print logo, the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad is shaped like a letter P with the long, slim section used as the handle to hold the paddle. It has a super stretchy black material loop on the end for the wearer to wrap around their wrist in order to help keep a sturdy grip on the paddle’s handle and to prevent it from falling on the floor should the hand grip slip. The rounded section of the paddle is the target in which to aim for and strike. This section is split into two parts connected with a short length of lace, the rest of which has been used to lace up the edge of the paddle. When hit, these two pieces clap together to make a fantastic snap sound which helps you recognise you’ve hit the pad on target.
In the video below, you’ll see Sensei Keith Casey of Leigh Ju-Jitsu practising various kicking techniques.
As you can see from the video above, the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad is a perfect strike shield to help practice kicks on where you want to drive through the opponent rather than stop dead. With thai pads, you have no real option but to stop due to the pad holder’s forearms blocking the way but with the design of this bat paddle, you can kick right through with it and the pad holder is safely out of harms way thanks to the ability to hold the pad at arm’s length distance.
Using the Bat Type Target Pad, I’ve been able to improve my spinning kicks having been unable to properly practice them before hand without the paddle. The clap of the paddle when hit gives a feeling of success or achievement, audibly knowing you’ve hit your mark. The shape and design of the paddle means it can be held at many different angles and heights to suit the practitioner and often with ease due to the 5.5″ handle. This means that I can hold it for taller training partners without issue or for those looking to aim for head kicks or higher. The paddle also comes in useful during our kids class when the children perform flying kicks onto the crash mat. Normally we’d hold a focus mitt or thai pad for the children to aim for and kick but with the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad we’re able to encourage accuracy with the paddle being a smaller target. The instructor can also safely hold the paddle at arms length at varying heights to suit each child without risk of injuring the arm or jerking the shoulder back when hit, especially when the adults decide to join in and kick the pad!
Measuring 16.5 inches overall with a target diameter of approximately 8 inches, the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad is a fantastic piece of equipment that I recommend to be used by any gym or martial arts club where striking is involved. You can of course punch and elbow these targets too but I personally see them as more suited for kicking, from basic roundhouse kicks to the more advanced, complex kicks. Made from vinyl with compact foam filling, the target pad has proven to be durable and able to withstand powerful kicks time and time again without causing injury to the pad holder – a win/win for both parties.
Ideal for spicing up your training session and improving your striking ability, the Blitz Bat Type Target Pad is an absolute must-have in the dojo.
The Blitz Bat Type Target Pad is available from Blitz Sport.