In our Atemi Ju-Jitsu classes, striking is a big part of our training. It’s important to practice those punches, knees and kicks and drill combinations so that we’re confident, relaxed and fluid in our technique should we ever have to call upon it in a competition or in the street. As we rarely use gloves and prepare to strike bare-fisted, a pair of good thai pads are needed to both protect the striker and to ensure the pads take most of the force so the pad holder doesn’t become injured or hurt in any way.
Blitz Sport have recently launched the Firepower Curved Thai Pads and I’ll be taking a look at them in detail in this review.
Design of Blitz Firepower Angled Thai Pads
The Blitz Firepower Angled Thai Pads are sold in pairs in black with white outline print of a dragon on the front and small Bliz text logo underneath. Each pad measures 7.25 inches in width and 14 inches in length with a depth of 3 inches. The bottom half of the thai pad is straight before taking a 20 degree angle curve inwards for the top half, or if you look at it from the middle as both ends curve inwards, it’s 10 degrees bend for each. It all depends on how you look at it. I can’t quite decide which one it is but overall the curve adds up to 20 degrees from straight.
The pads are made from 95% buffalo leather (love the smell of leather!) and backed with premium PU for comfort. The pads have a 3.5 inch padded strip running all the way down the middle of the back of the pad to cushion the pad holder’s arm when taking blows when holding the pads. Each pad features two chunky 2.75 inches width arm straps with 2.15 inches width velcro fasteners that are threaded through a metal buckle whilst a chunky, cushioned leather handle is at the top of the pad for the holder to firmly grip onto. The handle is doubble pinned and stitched on either side. The velcro straps are padded and backed with white leather and the part which velcro fastens is decorated with white Blitz logo text print.
The edges of the pad are incredibly smooth, not harsh or sharp, which is better for the striker when kicking the pads. The edges are hemmed at the back and are laced together like traditional Thai pads and you can see through the laced holes that the filling of the pads is yellow sponge. The sponge feels firm and durable but with a softness to it that it wouldn’t hurt to punch.
Using the Blitz Firepower Angled Thai Pads
As I’m interested in many martial arts, I like to train both bare-fisted and with gloves, depending on what I’m doing. If I intend on doing a really intense training session with power and training punches with hooks and uppercuts over a long period of time, I’ll opt for a pair of boxing gloves to strike with otherwise I’m quite content to train barefisted providing the Thai pads I use are adequate.
First impressions are that the Blitz Firepower Angled Thai Pads are softer than the tough-as-nails Sandee Thai Pads I own which are pads that I adore but aren’t as forgiving if you’ve not trained intensely for a while and also require the use of boxing gloves. Though these Firepower Curved Thai Pads may be softer and more suitable for bare-fisted striking, they are tough enough to take punishment from roundhouse kicks and strikes from even the strongest of punchers held by lightest of pad holders.
As one of the smallest adults at my club, I’ve held the pads for the strongest and tallest of my fellow Ju-Jitsu practitioners, one of whom has experience in Karate too and really knows how to deliver roundhouse kicks and headkicks. When I use the club’s own pads, which have seen better days, I’m flung into the wall with the impact of the kicks and often feel the effects of such powerful strikes. With these Firepower pads, I can stand my ground without being sent flying whilst the pads absorb the kicks with the cushioned strip on the back of the pads offering some good protection and comfort too.
Being on the other side of the pads and striking them for myself, I really like firmness they offer. Much like Goldilocks and the Three Bear’s bed, the Curved Thai Pads are not too hard and not too soft – just the right firmness to allow me to strike with power without the need for handwraps or gloves. The soft edges of the pads are ideal too for when roundhouse kicking the pads as they don’t hurt my leg when it connects with the pad. The thickness of the pad seems to be spot on too and feels great when punching and kicking, giving me the right amount of feedback for each strike. The curved shape of the pad works well for knees, kicks and uppercuts in particular.
It’s always good to get other people’s opinions on equipment and I was eager to give my fellow students experience holding and striking with the Blitz Firepower Curved Thai Pads to see what they thought. Punching barefisted straights, crosses and hooks with knees, front kicks and roundhouse kicks, everyone had nothing but good things to say about them. Everyone approved the “feel” of the pads, that they weren’t too soft, like some old tired pads we have at the gym, and could take a solid punch without hurting the striker’s hands. A few also commented on the curved nature of the pads and that they preferred them over the standard straight pads and felt they were better for receiving kicks with. There was no negative feedback whatsoever and many of their opinions confirmed my own thoughts and experience with the pads.
I really like the construction of these Thai pads. The two velcro straps allow a tighter fit against my dainty forearms whilst the thick handle is perfect to grip. This combination allows me to keep the Thai pads in the right place for my training partner without them swivelling around my arms. I can move the pads quicker and easier to change positions for kicks, knees, hooks, uppercuts, jabs and crosses. The shape of the pads themselves seem to have an advantage over the straight design with the curves ideal for capturing knees, kicks and punches for both the striker and pad holder.
With a simple black and white design and made from durable leather, Blitz seem to have found a winning product in the design of these pads. Everything is just right about them and the fact they can be used without wearing gloves without hurting the striker means they’re ideal for the padwork training we do in Ju-Jitsu as well as being used with both boxing gloves and MMA gloves for kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA training. I look forward to continue using these brilliant, premium quality made Thai pads.