Focus pads offer a greater number of options in training rather than a speed bag or heavy bag which are only stationary apparatus and thus cannot simulate the dynamic nature of combat. Whereas a skilled pad feeder can move and hit you back. Exercise drills you can do with pads are many: ranging from perfection of a pre selected combo, sharp-shooting with a specific punch, or going free style to work reflex by reacting to the pad feeder with evasions, blocks, or parrying his attacking pad and countering by blasting back at his target pad at full force. This manner of pad sparring allows you to close up gaps in defence, execute proper and precise techniques under pressure, and attack without worry about injuring your training partner as you are hitting the pads and not the person.
Other drills you can perform could be focused on cardio by going all out on the pads in a set amount of time leading to increased endurance and stamina. Or instead of the usual hand dance you can liven up a form/kata by having the pad feeder move with you to provide striking areas. You may also do a multi opponent scenario by having two or more feeders attacking you to simulate surprise-ambush situations and really test your skills.
Overall the versatility of focus pads and mitts are a great way to hone all your natural weapons from your hands, elbows, knees, legs, head butts, and shoulder checks. Through imagination, ingenuity and creativity, you and your training partners can expand your training with unique, realistic and challenging pad drills and scenarios. This will enhance and improve your martial arts abilities by leaps and bounds; making focus pads a valuable and important staple in pragmatic training!
Best of the seasons greetings to all, keep safe, and train hard.