Paos in Muay Thai are part of the essential material to train any martial art, be it kick boxing, Muay Thai, MMA ... They are similar to boxing mitts (but larger) and they can be punched and kicked. at full power, to work both technique and strength and endurance. It is an excellent exercise both for the one who hits it and for the one who holds them.
The paos are larger than the hitting area so that it absorbs the force of the impact and is distributed over its entire surface. Thus, whoever holds the paos will be really protected.
Types of Muay Thai paos
Depending on the area in which the cloth is placed, different types of it appear. The most used are:
Shield: they are the traditional taos, large and on which kicks are usually practiced. Although the most typical shape is rectangular, it can also be found circular. Whoever wears it will be able to do it right in front of their body or on a specific shoulder and hip, on one side.
Wall: they are paos similar to the previous ones, in terms of shape, but they remain attached to the wall. Thus, they can be used without the help of another partner or coach. In this case, the blows made will be on the arms. They are what I take out in boxing, but in this case Muay Thai always opts for paos.
Arm: the assistant will fix the paos on his arm, holding it with tapes and his hand, so that blows and kicks are practiced. It will be a more precise training than the previous ones since they have a smaller size.
There are many more types of protectors that can be used for training like the typical boxing pads or sticks, which are not so specific for Muay Thai, but will also be useful.
Within these types, we will also find the variant of the surface, which can be straight or curved. The first steps with paos are indicated to be with flat surfaces, but little by little it will be passed to the curved ones since they produce more important improvements than the others.
Characteristics of paos
The quality paos are made of leather, a perfect material for both those who impact and those who protect themselves. Other types of materials will wear much faster and will not have as much quality.
The clamp must have optimal characteristics. The quality paos have straps that hold perfectly, allowing adjustment according to the wearer. This feature is really important when it comes to safety, escaping a paos can cause an accident by direct hitting on the assistant.
These grips must have some breathability so that comfort is also an advantage of the paos. If not, the wearer will barely take a few minutes holding the cloth.
As for its use, each paos is indicated for a specific training. It should not be used for other cases, otherwise it will end up being an impediment in practice rather than a help.