A focus paddle is great to practice the timing, distance and accuracy of kicks. The top of the focus paddle is shaped like a tennis racket and this is the part that is kicked. The bottom is a handle which can be held firmly by the holder of the focus paddle. In case the kick is forceful then the paddle can be knocked out of the holder’s hand, and to prevent this from happening, a long string loop made of cotton or elastic is provided, through which the holder can slide the hand before holding the handle. The string loop can also help to hang the paddle when it is not in use.
Types of focus paddles
Focus paddles come in two varieties, namely single focus paddle and double focus paddle. In a single focus paddle, there is only one top attached to one handle; whereas in a double focus paddle, there are two tops attached to one handle. The double focus paddle provides more shock absorption and also provides a louder slapping sound, that can motivate the kicker to kick more.
Holding the focus paddle
A partner holds the paddle by the handle, while another partner kicks it. Various types of kicks can be practiced. The paddle can be held at different heights to practice various types of kicks. The heights of low, middle or high depends upon the height of the practitioner and the person holding the paddle; however, usually the paddle is held at the waist height for low kicks, at the chest height for middle kicks, and at the head height or above for high kicks. The paddle is always held away from the holder’s body, so that the holder does not get accidentally hit. For most common kicks, like roundhouse and turning kicks, the paddle is held at an angle, while for axe kicks, generally the paddle is held upside down, so that the handle is above and the top is underneath.
Initially, the focus paddle should be held stationary so that the practitioner can correctly judge the distance and height. This can be done with different heights and different distances. Thereafter, multiple paddles can be used for improving timing, accuracy and correct judgement of distances. For example, multiple holders can hold the focus paddles stationary at different heights at different distances. This enables the practitioner to execute different kinds of kicks without stopping.
The practitioner may practice a single kick several times by repeating it. The holder of the paddle can count the number of kicks executed. Generally, in one minute about 90 front snap kicks, or about 85 axe kicks, or about 40 spinning heel kicks, can be executed by an intermediate student. It is important that both the legs should be practiced so that both legs can become proficient in executing kicks.
The holder can call pre-determined commands to the practitioner to kick the paddle. At an advanced level, the holder can randomly call the commands to further improve the ability of the practitioner.
Moving a focus paddle
Once the practitioner becomes proficient at hitting stationary paddles, then the holder can move the paddle at different heights in a pre-determined sequence. For example, the paddle can be held low, then middle, and then high, so that the practitioner can execute a low, middle and a high kick in a continuous motion. Advanced practitioners can practice front or side kicks at all the heights without keeping the foot down. This may be practiced repetitively for a pre-determined number of times, with both the legs.
A focus paddle should last long
A focus paddle is hit thousands and thousands of times; hence, it has to be durable. Pacific Sports focus paddles are made from high quality tough vinyl material that will last a very long time. It also has a firm center that allows the kicker to feel the impact of the kick. It is extremely useful for students practicing board breaking skills. The target area is a of a good size of about 22 x 22 cms.
Pacific Sports quality
All products sold at Pacific Sports undergo rigorous testing. Numerous gyms and martial arts schools of Australia and the world, rely on the Pacific Sports quality for tough and long-lasting products, which includes uniforms, jackets, pants, belts, shoes, rash guards, compression wear, protective wear and training gear. Additionally, products offered on sale carry this same high quality but with drastically reduced prices. Moreover, if the monthly newsletter is subscribed, then an additional 10% discount is also offered.