By Kevin Nevels
Today I’m reviewing the Cloth Elbow Pads from Century Martial Arts. This particular elbow pad is machine washable and made with knitted elastic and flexible foam padding. It’s not designed to go all-out in sparring, but is great for adding an extra layer of coverage during light training, which is just as critical!
As a school owner, I’m always looking for safety gear that is high quality and low cost. It is important to keep my students safe, and to make sure that our families are receiving maximum value in every item that they purchase from our pro shop.
I have used cloth elbow pads since the formation of my school 10 years ago. Since I’ve been using this product, Century relaunched their Cloth Elbow Pads with expanded sizing. That has been very helpful in making sure that we get everyone sized properly for maximum safety.
Occasionally when free sparring, students will block an incoming kick with the tip of the elbow. That does not feel good on the ankle or shin. This is where the Cloth Elbow Pad really shines. The soft but sturdy foam insert provides generous padding to protect your partner’s ankles and shins from damage so they can keep training longer.
Another use of the elbow pads comes in when its time for board breaking. Sometimes our younger students need a confidence booster, or are afraid of getting hurt. The Cloth Elbow Pads are great to help them overcome their fear of hitting boards while they are in the beginner stages of elbow strike breaking.
Cleaning the elbow pads are easy as throwing them in the wash with like colors (the pads come in both black and white). The cloth and elastic construction is super durable and will hold up to hundreds of washes while providing long lasting protection. I would recommend throwing them in the wash at least once a month, depending on how frequently and heavily you use them, to prevent odors and stains from developing.
One note of caution: I would make sure to order a test pair to verify sizing. The Child size is good for our youngest students who have just begun sparring. Adult Small is going to fit older elementary-age kids best. Adult M/L is going to be good for middle school and early high school students. Adult XL will fit most older teens and adults. The pads are supposed to fit tightly, as you do not want them shifting around.
In closing, if you are looking for reliable protection from elbows while sparring or as a useful training aid for elbow striking with breaking these Cloth Elbow Pads should be considered by all martial arts school owners in their pro shop. Great build quality, easy to put on, easy to clean, and low price point make this a great option for all students to carry in their gear bag!
Note: Kevin Nevels' school doesn't use our other cloth gear, so obviously it wouldn't work to ask him to review it! But if this lightweight gear sounds good to you, be sure to check out our Cloth Shin Pads, Shin Instep Pads, Hand Pads, and Hand/Forearm Pads!