There are many padwork drill videos on the Internet. You see lightning fast techniques performed by male, female and children alike. Most of these originate from modern martial arts. The layperson would be impressed by the speed of these drills. I am all for pad drills, but most of these techniques, sadly, are fundamentally flawed.

The problem lies in the pad holder. The task of being a pad holder is an important one. A bad pad holder can actually cause injuries if they take their role lightly. In the case of these viral videos, a bad pad holder is one who meets the puncher/kicker halfway through his technique. It is a trick employed by many schools to make the puncher/kicker appear faster and stronger by cutting the distance by half (sometimes even more). It is unrealistic, when have you ever seen an opponent rushing forward to meet your fist with his face when you are in the midst of punching to his head? This bad practice cultivates bad habit, as it stops the technique short and the fighter develops the bad habit of not following through. The natural instinct when a person is to move away or evade, not to rush forward and meet your momentum.

So do not be fooled by these videos. That’s just what they are, gimmicks. A person can be the fastest and strongest pad kicker in the world and yet lose in the ring as the padwork drills do not reflect actual kumite.

Remember, boards don’t hit back.

This is a very good article on not compromising on the fundamentals in padwork.