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Training Martial Arts 03/08/2021: Free Feeding Striking Pads

I was curious as to what would pop up if I googled , Free feeding, Free Feeding Pads, or Free Feeding Striking Pads. A lot of links came up for free feeding dogs, or animals. Then a great deal popped up with sites that sell striking pads, Muay Thai pads, MMA pads, Taekwondo pads, etc.

Nothing, not one thing came up about free feeding. I don’t think it is just a Muay Thai thing. I could be wrong, However, it looks like in some older western boxing training videos that they do something similar. Just without all of our kicking, elbowing and kneeing. Maybe it is called something else and I just don’t know what to look for but it occurs to me that maybe I should write about it.

Why write about it? Well because it is something I am currently working on in Muay Thai.

What is free feeding pads?

This is a good place to start. What the heck is it? If you take any striking classes, or train in any striking classes. You know there are drills that are designed for you to learn how to strike, what the form is supposed to look like, how to transfer power or produce power in to your strikes, and it drills body mechanics. Because no mater how you fight it the laws of physics are all around us and really does affect us. Often time it is easier to work with them, say like gravity, then fight them. See… dumping your opponent because you changed his center of gravity and just moved his/her body in a way to make them tip/fall over.

When you hold pads for your training partner to hit during a drills. You are holding them in a known set of drills. This is a skill in of itself. Learning how to hold the pads while a person is hitting them requires some knowledge of what the drill is, and the strikes themselves. You have to meet the strikes with usually reciprocal force and you have to move your body with the pads. But I digress…

Free feeding pads is feeding the pads like above, however it is also the following:

  1. Feeding the pad for a strike, with no particular drill, but understanding strike flow (e.g. after a cross is thrown you want to feed a strike on the lead side of your training partners, like a lead elbow, or lead knee, maybe a lead knee if you give them room)
  2. You are returning strikes, kicks, punches, knees.
  3. You are training your training partner on distance management.
  4. You are pushing your training partner. This means you are watching them strike, and in those seconds evaluating their form, power, strikes, and giving feedback verbally and adjusting the feeding.
  5. Free feeding is a training tool for the feeder: it is training me to, see openings for atack, work on my feed, see and anticipate my training partners strikes, and evaluate and react in a split second

Training progression for us looks a little like this: (Note: this is how we start, but we are constantly working on and improving each of these skills not matter how long we have studied Muay Thai.)

Tier 1

  1. Learn form, how to stand, footwork, how to guard your face, how to throw a kick, how to throw a punch, elbow, knee… etc.
  2. Learn drills (strings of kicks, punches, elbows, knees)
  3. Learn combinations of strikes. (e.g. Jab, hook = 1, 3 – Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross = 1, 2, 3, 2 these are standard combos that are used all the time.)
  4. Learn blocking, shielding. (e.g. you want to try to keep from being hit)
  5. Learn basic pad holding for your partner

    Tier 2
  6. Learn about distance management. (e.g. a kick or teep is a long range strike, punch is mid range, elbows and knees are short range. How to get into the pocket, and out of the pocket. Or in and out of range of your opponent.)
  7. Learn blocking then counter strikes ( you want to be able to hit back after you blocked an incoming strike)

    Tier 3
  8. Learn to spar (getting into the ring blocking, counter striking, striking, movement against a live opponent, and using what you learned even when the adrenaline drops)
  9. Learn free feeding pads ( This is different from regular pad holding as it can be unstructured, and just flow. This is far more difficult than drill pad holding.)
  10. Learn to see openings in your opponents, and see their strikes coming.

Free feeding pads well leaves me feeling a little stressed, and a little stupid. I am stressed and worried because I don’t want to mess up my training partners training. But I have great training partners and Kru (instructor) that will work with me through my learning. I feel stupid because I hate to make mistakes. I know, I know it is part of learning, but… I want to learn it all now.

Week 3 of 3 week mini cut update:
(skip to my training below if you are uninterested in my minicut info)

So it looks like I was hit my Fat macro dead on. I was under on protein again (which is a thing for me, I always have a hard time getting protein in.) And I was just slightly over on my Carb macro. I do love me some carbs. I have added pre packaged nuts to my diet, to help me get that protein in. You can see my results below in the table.

Day 1– 1710 calories in, 2,294 calories burnt
Day 2– 2312 calories in, 2158 calories burnt
Day 3– 3016 calories in, 3500 calories burnt
Day 4– 1901 calories in, 3175 calories burnt
Day 5– 2443 calories in, 3490 calories burnt
Day 6– 1785 calories in, 2126 calories burnt
Day 7– 2061 calories in, 3423 calories burnt

MACRO AVERAGES
 Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7AverageGoalDifference
Protein107123186117157919412517348
Carbs161257298158285182176216.714286201-15.71428571
Fat728812089757710990900
           
Calories17202312301619012443178520612176.857142306129.1428571
Week 3 of 3 week cut.

After this three week mini cut, I have lost a total of 4 lbs. So that is great. I am now going into a maintenance phase. That is supposed to go for 1 to 2 weeks. I have not decided how long I want to do this phase for.


Monday 3/08/2021: 1 hour – 1.2 mile run, 20 minute HIIT row, 15 minute plyometric HIIT, and some calisthenics

Yay got it done. I started off my week with a great workout.

I will say the HIIT on the rowing machine is just not as taxing for me. I work a small sweat up, but it is more just a consistent working of the full body.

So I added the 15 minutes of plyometric HIIT to get the heart rate up and get a harder HIIT in.

Then I did calisthenics core, and some upper body weights. Reverse sit ups are hard! Ouch!

Workout:
1.2 mile run

20 min Rowing HIIT info: intervals from stroke rate to stroke rate (SR), 4x 1 minute all out sprints.

Interval 1
2 min @ SR 16
1 min @ SR 24
2 min @ SR 16

Interval 2
2 min @ SR 18
1 min @ SR 26
2 min @ SR 18

Interval 3
2 min @ SR 20
1 min @ SR 28
2 min @ SR 20

Interval 4
2 min @ SR 22
1 min @ SR 30
2 min @ SR 22

15 minute Plyometric HIIT:
35 seconds on 110% then 30 second rest
3 minute warm up

1) squat to high jump, skiers, 4 x 180 turn jumps, skiers, 4 x 180 turn jumps, 4 x jacks, 4 x star jumps, 4 x jacks, 4 x star jumps
2) repeat above
3) repeat above

4 ) run in place, 2 x jacks, side lunge tap the floor, 2 x jacks, side lunge tap the floor, 2 x side lunge tap floor, 2 x standing lunge crunch, 2 x side tap the floor, 2 x standing lunge crunch, 8 x jump lunges
5) repeat above set
6) repeat above set

7) run in place, 2 x jack, 2 x high jump, 7 x wide jack, high knee jack, 4 x jack to high jump
8 )repeat above set
9) repeat above set

2 min cool down

Calisthenics and weights:
1) 50 push-ups
2) 30 weighted sit-ups + press at top
3) 30 reverse sit-ups
4) 30 tricep extensions

Tuesday 3/09/2021: Training: 1 hour of Muay Thai practice

We worked on distance training. Accordion-ing in and out of range to set yourself up for your strikes.

We worked the Thai 15 and I am happy to say I did not forget it. Yay! 😂 it was nice to work the 15 count again. The teep transition is much easier this tome around.

Training:

1) jump rope
2) jab, catch, jab drill
3) feed the jab, catch, jab

4) Catch, leg kick, hook, cross, left kick
5) feed the pads for H

6) Parry cross, cover hook, lead horizontal elbow, rear downward diagonal elbow, rear long knee, lead kick.
7) feed the pads

8 ) jab, cross, rear knee, rear kick
9) feed the pads

10) Parry cross, cover hook, lead horizontal elbow, rear downward diagonal elbow, rear long knee, lead kick, jab, cross, rear knee, rear kick
11) feed the pads

12) Teep to counter the incoming cross, slip the incoming cross, hook, cross, rear kick
13) held pads for H

Thank you Khun Kru Krysta for a great class!

Wednesday 3/10/2021: Training/workout: 1 hour, mile run, battle ropes weight lifting

Went for a mile run. Then because it was not freezing cold out I cleaned the garage from extra Amazon boxes that piled up there over the coldest months. To acces my weight lifting gym. Yay!

I am new to battle ropes. The battle ropes are kicking my behind. Whew! What a great upper body workout today. I did a Tabata style workout with them.

I did my weight training with my Olympic barbell and dumbbell outside/in the open garage. It was glorious.

Training:
1 mile run

Tabata Battle Ropes– 20 seconds on 10 seconds off
4x through

1) double whip
2) single whip
3) side to side

Weight Lifting– 3x through
1) tripod tricep row – 3x sets of 13
2) goblet squats – 3x sets of 10
3) RDL (Romanian Dead Lifts) – 3x sets of 6
4) Bulgarian split squats- 3x sets of 15 each side

When I was finished I felt muscle tired and like I got a great workout in. Yay!

Thursday 3/11/2021: Training: 1 hour of Muay Thai

I had a great day of training. We worked on the same drills from Tuesday. We were working on our distance management, and foot work.

I had fun training, and then took a picture of my butt. Lol

Training:

1) jump rope
2) jab, catch, jab drill
3) feed the jab, catch, jab

4) Catch, leg kick, hook, cross, left kick
5) feed the pads for H

6) Parry cross, cover hook, lead horizontal elbow, rear downward diagonal elbow, rear long knee, lead kick.
7) feed the pads

8 ) jab, cross, rear knee, rear kick
9) feed the pads

10) Parry cross, cover hook, lead horizontal elbow, rear downward diagonal elbow, rear long knee, lead kick, jab, cross, rear knee, rear kick
11) feed the pads

12) Teep to counter the incoming cross, slip the incoming cross, hook, cross, rear kick
13) held pads for H

Thank you Khun Kru Krysta for a great class!

Saturday 3/13/2021: Training: 2 hours and 20 minutes, Muay Thai, Kali, and a Run at the end

Today was a great day of training. Even when the brain was being mean.

Muay Thai:
In Muay Thai we worked on, distance management, fencing, to puta kapala, with knee on belly, to a bar or punchy the face of opponent that you just threw down.

Then we did a combo punch, knee, elbow, fence, to a trip your opponent not reap because that is illegal in Muay Thai fight.

Kali:
we worked staff and single stick. I focused on making my whitics more like our Millay thai side in elbow emotion. Thanks to Sifu Cory for the tip. I got to work with a brand new fresh out of the package Kali student today. So interesting to see, and I love helping the new students.

Run:
Then I went for a run. Not quite a mile because some dude ( It was H) picked me up on the side of the road. Something about him being super hungry let’s go. Lol

Thank you for awesome classes Khun Kru Krysta!

Sunday 3/14/2021: Training/sparring: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Today we trained with just our training pod. It’s just 4 of us that social distance to the extreme. Where we try to take no chances. This is the only contact we have. Much like your immediate family in your house.

We are all level 1 or above our school, level two or above in the WTBA (World Thai Boxing Association). So we work the pads for about an hour, then spar for an hour.

I focused on making my free feeding better. It is a skill just like drill feeding, striking, and blocking is. I find it hard right now because you feed the pads and the fighter responds to your feed. You are often trying to push the fighter. You are striking them, making them manage distance, and counter striking and having them respond right away. All the while feeding the pads so that they can strike.

It’s a higher level of pad holding and I am still learning.

But I love it. ❤️

I am showered, fed, and dead tired. Freaking daylight savings time.


Have you heard of free feeding? Do you call it something else?

If you free feed pads for your fellow training partners how do you do it?

Thank all of you for reading my blog. If you liked this post please let me know and hit the like button. If you want to see more please subscribe, and if you are feeling chatty please feel free to comment. There are some interesting opportunities for me coming down the line, and I am amazed that you are all reading my blog. Stay tuned for more adventures, and please tell me what you think.

If you want to see day to day stuff, and sometimes my food, I put that on my instagram account @sharpcupcake . Don’t forget: Don’t photo edit, just go get it.

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