In my last trip to Singapore I had the opportunity to train at Evolve MMA and work with some of their Muay Thai champions. For someone who is a big Muay Thai fan, you can imagine this was my perfect vacation. Anytime you get a chance to train with some of the best fighters in the world and have a vacation at the same time, you take it.
On my first day at Evolve MMA I got a chance to hit pads with Kru Yod, who was one of the most popular trainers at the gym. Yod became famous after he was featured in a UFC episode as George St. Pierre’s Muay Thai coach. He has trained all over the world and worked with a huge list of champions from a number of sports. Needless to say, when it comes to Pad holders Yod is at the top of most people’s list.
After working with Yod, I can see why he is extremely popular. I have worked with countless pad holders over the years and Yod definitely stands out as a great pad holder. Something that I liked about Yod was his fluid transitions from one strike to the next. He doesn’t just sit back and tell you kick over and over. He is active and makes you work on all aspects of your game.
Good pad work emulates exactly how you fight. Instead of calling out 5-6 strike combinations that you will never use in a fight, every strike you throw is something you would use in the ring. When you watch the video below you can see how the pad round emulates exactly how you would strike in the ring.
Pad Work with Yod at Evolve MMA
Not All Pad Holders are Created Equal
Something that most people don’t realize is that just because your pad holder is Thai doesn’t mean he is good. I have worked with some Thai trainers in Thailand who were absolutely terrible at holding pads. From the positioning of the kicks, to the punches and knees, pad holding is a skill in itself.
What makes a good pad holder is their ability to push you to your limit. A good pad holder should be able to help you reach your potential when you hit pads by pushing you to do more than you normally would.
It is important to know that there are many different styles of pad holders and one is not necessarily better than the other. I personally like the pad holders like Yod who give off more energy and create a very fluid environment of pads that make it comfortable and easy to work with.
Some pad holders are cardio machines and mainly focus on tiring you out with hundreds of kicks and punches. This is good for conditioning, but you won’t improve your technique working with pad holders who only focus on volume. That being said, if you have a fight coming up you should expect your pad holder to increase your work load on pads.
In my short week in Singapore, Yod stood out as one of my favorite pad holders. Not only was he a good pad holder, he is also a friendly trainer who doesn’t have an ego. I’ve met some fighters in the past who gain international popularity can develop a bit of an attitude to them, especially when they start gaining a following around the world.
If you ever visit Singapore, I recommend you book a private with Yod over at Evolve Vacations. Well worth it.