* Prices may differ from that shown
These pads were the first piece of equipment I used when I took up ju jitsu, they are also something we use most lessons when practicing strikes. My son also uses them when he does his taekwondo classes.
Firstly about the pads....they are big and round with handles on the back. Ok That's a bit vague for dooyoo, they're actually 30cm diameter and 8cm thick and completely black (apart from the white logo)
On the back there is a strong woven flat strap (5cm wide) and a strong woven padded handle (5cm wide by 2cm thick). The idea is you put your hand under the flat strap and hold onto the padded handle. This gives you a good grip and I find it keeps my arm and hand in line and protects my wrists from been bent back, and the padded handle is soft and comfortable to hold on to.
On the front is a 7cm diameter white circle and "bytomic" in white writing. This is the "target". Your aim is for all your strikes to hit at this point.
I cannot find any information about what these pads are made out of, to me they seem like coated leather or a synthetic leather (of some kind)
Anyway back to my use of these smartie pads. As I said earlier we first used them at our training gym. We use them for practicing strikes on. I find the spot is a great target for aiming at. I know I've done a good punch if I get it on the "spot". We also use them to practice blocking when we're doing sparring training.... if you block correctly you don't get a pad across the head and a fat ear. We work in pairs and one wears their boxing gloves, the other holds the pads. For one minute you punch the pads in any way you want, this is great to put together your own patterns of strikes (punches, elbows, knife hands....) and then for 30 seconds you have to block and avoid the pads. In this time your partner tries to hit you with the pads....its good to choose older, softer pads when doing this activity (or learn to block and move away from the pads!!!). Hard work but fun and educational.
My son who is almost 5 years old also uses them in his junior taekwondo class. They use them in the usual way of punching as well as kicking (they're too small to use the big kick pads), again the spot is a great target for them to start to aim kicks and punches at a certain point. Another great use for these pads is for the children to learn to balance (though I think some of us adults may need to learn to balance too...but it's never crept up in our classes). The instructor places the pads on the floor in different patterns and they children have to balance on them, and make their way across them in certain ways. For example for them to gain their first belt they only have to walk across them in a straight line, my son has just got his 4th belt and he had to jump from one to the other without falling. They also do a cross over walk (left leg on right pad, right leg on left pad...), hopping across them and running. Its a great balancing exercise and my son excelled at his school sports day...beat children years older than him on the balancing beam.
When the pads are new I find them very much hard and solid and can hurt your hand to punch (or maybe that's just me and my weak hands/wrists???) but as you use them they soften up a bit which does help soften the blow a bit. Even the ju jitsu and taekwondo instructors say they're too hard to begin with, but after a week or 2 of the juniors doing their balancing and jumping on them they are the perfect softness/hardness to strike without hurting, but not too soft that they don't give any resistance when punching.
The strap you put your hand under is also a bit tight when new, but after a bit of use it does stretch a bit so you can fit your arm under it comfortably.
We decided that it would be useful for myself and my fiancé, as well as our son, to practice our strikes at home (a cushion is just too soft....) so we decided to invest in some pads of our own. We bought our smartie pads from our training gym and paid £25 for a pair them. They are available online for around £26 a pair (postage on top). Please note that on amazon they say they are 40cm diameter....this is wrong, I have them sat in front of me and no way are they 40cm!!! WOW my arms would ache holding up a 40cm pad at head height!
We use them mainly to get the technique correct, we don't have the room to do full sparring training, but we go through the moves slowly and talk about our techniques and how to improve it. Our children also love having their own pads. I noticed at my sons grading he had his wrist bent when punching....a few practices at home and he's corrected it. he also likes to show us what he's done at training that day. My 18 month old daughter also loves to go get the pads out, she's getting very good at punching and kicking, and she also loves to help mummy practice blocking (aka hit mummy on the head with the pads!!!)
The pads last a LONG time.... we got ours at the same time as our gym got new ones. Needless to say ours is still in better condition but they don't get a quarter of the use theirs do. Anyway after almost a year of use ours are in great condition, the straps have stretched to our arm sizes which is good and there's no signs of tears or holes. The ones at our gym have been used daily for around 4-5 classes a day (on average), they've been punched, kicked and jumped on and still going strong. They are more worn than ours, softer and the straps have stretched more but they still work very well with no burst seems or tears. I think considering the amount of abuse they get they have lasted very well.
I really don't think there is anything else I can say about these pads, other than I fully recommend them. They are good quality and last well. they are very well designed with the wrist strap and the padded handle and the target spot. I may take off one star due to them been very hard when new, other than that they're brilliant.