Catching a Punch

The Art of Catching a Punch

If you’ve been to boxing classes before, you’ll know the ability of the pad holder can make or break a good session. The holding of focus pads and catching of punches can be considered an art within itself and requires just as much practice as punching to develop timing, fluidity, comfort and safety. Ensuring safety through correct technique is as important to the pad holder as it is to the boxer.

Three important points to consider when you’re holding the pads next time:

Things to consider are the boxer’s reach (length of arms), height and range of motion. The positioning of your pads affects the accuracy of the punch. It will also influence their technique; if the pads are held out of position, the boxer must deviate from proper form in order to make contact and therefore risk injury.

Newton’s third law of motion outlining action/reaction can be applied here. The force applied to the punch by the pad holder must be increased or decreased in accordance with the power of the punches being delivered.

The timing of the catch is of paramount importance and perhaps the hardest to master. The pad holder should be completely relaxed and simply let his hand fall towards the oncoming punch. At the last moment before impact, accelerate the pad toward the punch with the required force. The best explanation is the ‘one third, two third rule’. The puncher covers two thirds of the punching distance while the pad holder covers the remaining third.

Apply and practice these components of pad holding and both you and your boxing partner will have a safe and effective workout!!


After deciding to follow his passion for health and fitness into a career, Matt completed his Gym Instructor, Group Instructor and Personal Trainer qualifications. In 2008 he decided to take the next step and open his own Personal Training business that aligned with his high standard of client service. Book Matt for a session today!