Until recently, my first and only pair of thai pads were by Kwon. They were a great pair of pads, incredibly soft to kick, and great to hold as well, but after 10 years of kicking the hell out of these pads it was time for an upgrade. That being said, let me introduce you to my newest piece of training equipment and an awesome set of Thai Pads for the value, the Combat Sports Standard Thai Pad. Let me review some of the finer points of this product.
Large Padding Area
The first thing you will notice about this set of Thai pads is the extremely large target/padding area. The pads are 16″ tall and 8 ” wide, which had a dual purpose. It provides a larger target area for the person attacking to strike. Larger pads are always good for high powered workout, as your attacks can be less percise, but you can go with high energy and not worry about missing the target. From the perspective of the hold, which is usually as I use them, the extra targer area provides a lot of great protection, especially when you are holding the pads for those Thai kicks. There is less of a chance of a kick missing the pad and catching you on the elbow or face.
The other extremely important thing to point out is that these pads are 4 inches thick. This is great because the pads absorb a lot of shock and preserve your forearms. In fact they are actually built with an impact absorbing foam. From the strikers perspective they are also great to hit. I have hit plenty of Thai pads that feel like you are kicking bricks. While these are not as soft as the 10 year old Kwons (simply because they are brand new), that I owned and were completely broken in, they are one of the best pair of pads I have hit out of the box. In about 10 years, I am sure they will equaly, if not exceed my old pads.
Closures and Handles
The backs of the pads feature both the hook and loop closures as well as leather handles. Each pad has 2 hook and loop velcro closures, at the lower forearm and wrist area. The advantage of the double straps is that you can fasten them down at two locations for a nice tight fit. The downside, with dual straps from my perspective, is that in order for you to get a tight fit on the wrist loops, you usually need to have someone else tighten them down after you put them on. With that being said, I would still always prefer double straps compared to single ones.
Also, the handles on the top of each pad are made of 100% leather and are ergonomcially formed for each side. I call this “dummy proof”, because you can tell by looking at the paid whether it goes on the right or left hand. I also like the thickness of the handles. I have held pads where the handles are too thick, and it makes it difficult to hold. These pads have a good thickness, and my grip does not tire throughout the training session. Both the handles and straps have reinforced stiching, so there is little chance of either ripping off the pad.
Many Thai Pads are typically priced between $80-$140 dollars. Usually, this is one of the most expensive items you will purchase for your equipment. In fact, these exact Thai Pads are priced for $90 at other web sites. Elite MMA Currently has these Thai Pads priced for only $69.99. It is an incredible value, and definiately worth adding if you are in the market for a new pair of Thai Pads. While they don’t have a “Free Shipping” option, they do have reasonably low shipping costs. It was as little as $7 to send it to my location.
I have only owned one other pair of Thai Pads, but I have actually held plenty of pairs of various pads before. With that being said, these are amoung the top of the pads I have ever owned. They provide a good amount of protection for the holder, while providing a large, comfortable striking area for the attacker. Overall, I have am very happy with my decision to go with these Thai Pads.I would score this product at 9 out of 10.
These Thai Pads are on sale for $69.99. To purchase a pair of these Thai Pads for yourself, click the image.
On my quest to remain as sanitary as possible so I don’t contract MRSA again, I stumbled upon Athletic Body Care. The first product I used by them was their Foaming Skin Sanitizer. Since then I have tried several of their products including the Power Body Wash. Let me tell you why I feel this is one of the best body wash products on the market for both skin protection and cleanliness.
The Athletic Body Care Power Body Wash is designed to protect your skin from fungal and microbial infections. The active ingredient in the Body Wash is Benzalkonium Chloride. I did a decent amount of research of my own on this chemical compound. Benzalkonium Chloride is a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms such as bacteria, fungus, germs or infections on your skin. This ingredient is also used in the Foaming Skin Sanitizer. The difference between the two is that with the Skin Sanitizer, you wipe the Sanitizer on your body and leave it on. With the Body Wash, you scrub up, and wash it away. With that in mind, it is suggested that you leave the product on for at least 1 minute before you rinse so that the ingredient has time to take effect and kill any of those little micro-organisms.
Exfoliation And Cleanliness
One of the things that I like about the Athletic Body Care Power Body Wash, is that it contains Jojoba Beads, which help you scrub and exfoliate your skin. Jojoba Beads come from the Jojoba plant which is native to South Western USA. This is a feature you tend to find in a lot of retail products geared towards women, but it has a very pratical purpose. As far as I know, Athletic Body Care is the only Antimicrobial Wash on the market that has this feature. The benefit is that the beads work well to scrub away bacteria, dirt and sweat as well as exfoliate dead skin.
What I also like about the product is that it does not take a lot of the body wash to work up a nice lather. The bottle that I purchased is an 8 oz. size, and I have had it for about 4 months now. I shower/bathe pretty regularly as well, but with the ABC Body Wash you can be conservative with the amount you use and still be effective in your skin care and prevention goals.
Scent and Fragrance
The Power Body Wash has a soapy smell with little to no after scent. Some of the other products I have tried have an after scent that is a little pungent, or at least not too pleasing to me. The ABC product on the other hand just leaves you smelling “clean”.
Hands down I would recommend this product. I have tried almost all of the Athletic Body Care products including the Hand Sanitizer, Body Wash, Recovery Cream and Bath Salts. Although I will be reviewing them all separately, I will say that I recommend them all. This product will you from skin infections and other skin abnormalities such as Athlete’s Foot and Jock Itch. The product comes in an 8 oz. size and can be bought individually, or in bulk for a big discount. The 8 oz. Power Body Wash sells for $9.99 a bottle, but you can also purchase it as part of a value pack along with the Body Lotion and Foaming Sanitizer for only $14.99, or you can buy a bulk 12 pack for $49.99 which ends up being only $4.17 per bottle.
The first pair of shin guards I ever owned were by Kwon, and they were pretty much like wearing a piece of paper on my shin. After plenty of sparring sessions resulting in pretty bruised and painful shins, I decided to buy a pair that was much thicker and had more padding. I ended up going with a pair of Combat Sports shin pads. They offered plenty of protection, but the down side was they were too bulky and heavy. This prompted me to continue my search for a quality pair of shin pads. I ended up settling on the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. This product gave me a nice combination of Protection and Flexibility. Let me tell you the highlights of this product, and also what I felt could be improved.
A major concern for my shin guards is having enough protection to protect my shins from extensive swelling or bruising. At this point, my shins are actually pretty well conditioned after plenty of sparring and bag work, but you can never be too safe when training. The Everlast Kickboxing Shin Guards have a dual layered foam padding on the shin area. What this means is that in addition to the initial layer of foam there is a raised second layer over the core of the shin. This provides additional protection and shock absorption. The shins also wrap around the entire shin to make sure the entire kicking area is protected from injury. Overall, I have been very happy with amount of protection that the shin guards provide.
The problem I have had with other shin guards is that once you have additional protection and padding, you tend to lose flexibility or the pads become too heavy. Having a lightweight shin guard gives you a lot of flexibility however you sacrifice protection. I was able to maintain flexibility without sacrificing protection with the Everlast Shin Guards. The shin guards come up to just under the knee, which do not prevent
me from utilizing my knees during sparring sessions. Also, instead of being one continuous piece of leather, the shin section and the instep guard are actually too different pieces, which are sewn together. This allows for a larger range of motion at the instep.
As with most of the new Everlast products, the Everlast Shin Guards are lined with the EverDri lining, which provides Anti-Microbial protection. This wicks away the sweat from the inside of the pad which provides odor control and aids in the prevention of skin infections. This is always a concern with me because of my previous bout with MRSA. I typically seek out products that offer this in some capacity, as you can never be too safe when it comes to skin infections.
Hook And Loop Straps
The Hook and Loop Straps are a new feature that I have not seen on any shin guards previously. Typically, most shin guards have velcro straps that attach in the back of the calf. Basically, you step into the elastic band at the instep, and then pull the strap through the hook on the other end, pull tight and fasten. The straps allow for quick adjustment and a secure and tight fit. Removing them is easy as well, simply release the velcro and pull the shin guards forward and they slip right off.
There were too concers I encoutered with the Everlast Elite Kickboxing Shin Guards. The first was regarding the Hook and Loop Straps. Although I like the conveinence of this feature, I had to pull them really tight to provide a secure, snug fit. What would happen is that the end of the strap hangs over beyond the shin guard. Depending on which way I wore the shin guards either the straps would rub the inside of my other leg, or they would protrude on the outside and be an annoyance when I was shin blocking or kicking. This could probably be solved by extending the soft side of the velcro further along the strap. I’d like to see Everlast make this adjustment on future models.
The second concern is a minor one. I mentioned above that the shin guard and instep guard are seperate pieces that are sewn together. I love this feature, but my concern is that there appears to only be one row of stitching holding the two together. A second row of stiching on the inside on the top of the instep guard would be ideal.
Although I have not tried every pair of shin guards on the market I would definitely recommend these shin guards for Muay Thai or Kickboxing. They are lightweight and flexible while also providing a lot of protection. The product also has some cool features such as the EverDri lining and the Hook and Loop straps. If you are seeking guards for a lot of Grappling this is not the best option as the guards will move around too much during the ground training, but that is what these guards are made for or marketed towards. Overall, I have been happy with my decision to go with these guards, although I did have a few concerns which I mentioned above. I would score this product at 7.5 out of 10.
These shin guards are priced at $69.99. To purchase a pair of these shin guards for yourself, click the image
Get Rung Puzzle Mats www.getrung.com
About a month ago I was looking around for floor mats to outfit my home gym with. After looking at several vendors with different styles such as roll outs, sectionals and puzzle mats, I decided to go with Get Rung Puzzle Mats. There were a couple reasons I choose Get Rung over other vendors and even more reasons that I was happy with my decision. Here are some of the features that you may want to consider if you are looking around at Puzzle Mats for your home, gym or martial arts school.
Reasons I Purchased
One of the first things that helped my decision to go with Get Rung was the combination of low price with no minimum order quanity. The Get Rung mats range between $2.35 to $2.45 per sq. ft. depending on what area of the country you live in, and they go lower with each set you buy. As I was shopping around for either Puzzle Mats or Sectionals, I found that many of the mat companies that I came acrosss were either priced a lot higher per square foot, or the ones that were priced within the same range as Get Rung, had minimum purchase requirements which were at least double of what I needed. What good is getting a cheaper price per mat, if I have to buy twice as many Mats as I need, right?
Get Rung sells their Mats per box, with 100 sq. ft. per box. and the price per box starts at $235. Each box comes with 9 puzzle mats, and all the necessary end/corner pieces to make a square mat section. If you purchase multiple boxes (should you need more) you get a discount. Actually the price drops immediately with each pack of 100 ft you buy. For example, the West Coast price on 2 boxes is $450 or $225 a box, and if you should order 3 boxes it’s $600 which drops it to $200 a box.
In addition, Get Rung often offers promotional discounts. The guys over at Get Rung were even cool enough to give me my own personal promotional code to share with my readers. You can use the code DMT5 to receive a 5% discount on your total purchase. Important note, this discount code is only good on the 1″
puzzle mats which are reviewed in this article.
My second reason for going with Get Rung was the color options and the tatami finish. The Get Rung Puzzle Mats are available in 3 colors: Blue, Black and Red. The mats also have a tatami finish. This is more advantegous for grappling than the mats you could get at your local sporting goods store. The reason is that you end up getting mat burn on those standard puzzle mats, partially due to the finish, and also due to the materials that the mats are composed of (which I will cover shortly). With the tatami finish on the Get Rung mats, it is difficult to get mat burn. I have had many really intense grappling sessions and have not had any instances of mat burn.
Of course both pricing and color options were my primary reasons for purchasing the mats, however it was the features that I noticed after I started using the mats which made me satisfied with my purchase. One of the things I was concerned about was if the mats would be good for takedowns and intense grappling sessions. At the time I purchased the mats I was doing mostly standup, but I knew that the option of me doing more grappling at my home gym was something that I was planning for in the future. I was concerned that the Get Rung mats would not be soft enough to absorb the impact of rough takedowns or hard grappling sessions. I soon found that my concerns were unjustified. The Get Rung Puzzle Mats are not rubber based,instead they are composed of an EVA Foam. The foam has a hardness of 40-45, which makes it soft enough for takedowns, but also hard enough to move around for a lot of stand up sparring and pad work drills. To give you guys some perspective concrete has a hardness rating of 100, so 40-45 is definitely soft enough to absorb some major impact. The only thing I would probably be hesitant about is doing serious Judo throws on that mats. For that, you may want to go with a 4 cm Judo Throwing Mat.
Installation and Cleaning
The Puzzle Mats come in a pack of 9, which end up equallying 100 sq. ft. As I stated above, they come with all the end and corner pieces to make a perfect square with the mats. Putting them together is pretty simple, you can pretty much simple, as you can just through them down on the ground fit them together and you are good to go. If you are a little more detail oriented as I am, you may want to lay them out first so you get the pattern all going in the same direction. This will also help out when you come to mopping the mats.
As far as cleaning goes, it’s pretty simple, you can use any type of household cleaner on the mats, diluted in water. Get Rung recommends against bleech as it can cause the mat color to fad. I actually use
a non chemcial natural cleaner which has tea tree oil as the active ingredient. Tea Tree Oil is believe to prevent against MRSA and other fungal and microbiral agents. What I end up doing is sweep and then mop the mats, and then I put a fan on the mats to help them dry quickly. It’s probably a good idea to pick up the mats and clean and dry them upright about once a month if they are used for a home gym, and once a week if they are used for a martial arts school. A bonus feature for the mats is that they have the finish on both sides, so you can reverse them and use the other side when you lay them down.
The most obvious use of the Get Rung Puzzle Mats is on the floor for either stand up or grappling arts. However I did find another good use for these mats. I took about 4 of the mats and fastened them into one of my walls that my mats but up against. Using it this way, you can also practice grappling or takedowns against a wall (to simulate a cage) safely without risking injury.
Speaking of cages or rings, the puzzle mats are also pretty easy to cut if you need to fit them in a specific space such as in a corner, the sides of an ocatagon or around a pole. In fact that is the exact reason I had to cut one of mine, to fit it on the floor around a pole. A simple box cutter was all I needed to make the proper cuts.
I thinks it’s fairly safe to say that I would recommend this product. In fact I give them 2 thumbs up. The Get Rung Puzzle Mats are the perfect solution for outfitting your home gym or your martial arts school for both flooring and walls. You can purchase the mats starting at $2.35 a sq. ft and you receive discounts for bulk purchases. The mats come in boxes of 9 mats (100 sq. ft.). As I stated previously, you can use the promotional code DMT5 to receive a 5% discount just for having read this article. For more information or to purhase some mats for yourself, visit www.getrung.com
Not too long ago, I picked up a pair of the Jaco Fight Shorts and did a review on them. At the time, I also got one of the Bamboo Couture T Shirts. To be honest, I picked up the shirt because I saw the word “Couture” and assumed that Randy was affiliated this company and that this was his clothing line. It turns out that this is not Randy’s line of clothing, but the Bamboo line is pretty kick ass none the less.
So what’s the deal with this Bamboo clothing? That’s probably what you are asking yourself. I asked myself the same question. I figured out what the deal was when I got the shirt. It’s extremely soft. It feels almost like cashmere or velour. You notice it as soon as you touch or put the clothing on you. It’s soft as a babies bottom. Additionally, the shirt has a stretchy feel to it, almost as if there were some spandex in it. This is because when bamboo is turned into fabric, it has a natural stretch to it, which makes the shirt great to wear either casually or for working out/rolling.
As with most of the products that Jaco puts out, the Bamboo fabric also provides many technical advantages.
Now, on to the fashion side of the product. The shirt itself that I purchased is sleek all black, as with most MMA style shirts. One the front, it has the small Jaco logo over the right shoulder. I also like shirts that have images in unconventional locations as opposed to in the center of the chest, or on the left breast pocket, so I thought this location was pretty cool.
The back of the shirt is even better. In an upside down triangular pattern, the shirt has the Japanesecharacters for “Jiu Jitsu” On the back of the neck area (or the base of the upside down triangle) the Jaco logo appears again. The shirt is all black as stated earlier, and the writing/images appear in all white. The shirt also comes in an all white with grey/silver lettering, and an all brown with the white lettering.
The shirt retails for $50 USD. To purchase this or other Jaco Clothing items, please visit www.jacoclothing.com