A few weeks ago, I made another trip down to Singapore to visit Evolve MMA. During the trip, I was able to get some work in with legends like Sagetdao, Penake, Yodsanan, Petchboonchu, and Pornsanae. Every one of these trainers have been at the top of the Muay Thai game for most of their careers.

It’s a pretty cool experience being able to spar, clinch, and hit pads with guys I’ve looked up to for the past decade. They all have different fighting styles and techniques, which makes it so beneficial working with them.

One familiar face who I worked with on pads was Penake. If you haven’t already seen the video of Penake showing off his skills in sparring, you can check it out here. Penake is a good pad holder that is very active and always throwing counter strikes at you.

Hitting Pads with World Champion Penake Video:

Pad Holding Styles

Good pad holders will adjust their style of pads to their students. If a good pad holder is working with a beginner, they will slow everything down and focus on the fundamentals. Conversely, if they are working with someone more advanced, they will flow through different combinations and be more active on pads.

When pad holders throw strikes at you, it is to ensure that your defense is always ready to block. If you don’t have your guard up, you will get hit with strikes throughout the pad round. This forces you to be aware that you have to be ready to defend at all times.

It is important to work with different pad holders. Everyone has their own style of holding pads and techniques that they like to use. By working with different people, you get to pick up on new techniques and combinations that you wouldn’t learn from anyone else.

If you are just starting off your Muay Thai journey, you should stick to one trainer who can teach you their fighting style. Learning good fundamentals will ensure that you don’t have your techniques constantly being changed by different trainers.

Once you have developed a particular style, then you can start working with other people and adding new elements to your game. This is how you become a more dynamic fighter in Muay Thai.

Special thanks to Penake Sitnumnoi for working with me over at Evolve Vacation. He is one of the best fighters in the world and is an extremely nice and humble guy. He has the opposite personality of the ‘typical’ fighter stereotype.