Focus Mitt Drill

So last night I came up with this little focus mitt drill and I thought you might enjoy it too.

The drill is designed to work reaction speed for reverse punch and roundhouse kicks, both front and rear legs.

You’ll need to have students pair up and you’ll also need 2 focus mitts for each group.

The target will hold one focus mitt against their belly and the other one against their back.

(Tip: Target can put the front focus mitt on backwards and place their hand just above their belt. It’s easier that way.)

Now the attacker will stand at middle to long distance from the target and will either make chudan gyaku zuki (reverse punch to the mid section) or chudan mawashi geri (roundhouse kick to the midsection) depending on what targets are presented.

I broke this drill into three one minute rounds where the attacker must continuously either be punching or kicking as the targets are presented. The animated diagram below will help illustrate how it works.

karate focus mitt drill

Note the attacker doesn’t have to throw both kicks when the target is facing sideways. They may choose to throw front leg, or rear leg, or both if the target stays in that position for a long enough time. Or the attacker might choose to double up on their front roundhouse if they like before switching kicks, or if the target moves then they would throw their reverse punch.

It’s a great drill for kumite or for developing fast reactions for basic technique. Give it a shot and let me know how it works for you, and of course please LIKE, SHARE and add your comments…

14 thoughts on “Focus Mitt Drill”

    • Hi Martin… Yes, it doesn’t really matter the age of the student, so long as they’re capable of throwing reverse punch and roundhouse kick. It’s a good one to keep students of all ages sharp… and as you say, they love it.

  1. I do this drill with my kids and adults adding the person holding the targets is moving around and in an out to help teach distance recognition . My students like doing this drill before tournaments. It gets them excited and pumped up.

  2. Love is Jason! I think the more pad work we put into the classes, it nor alone raises the reaction and basics but also the fitness of the class raises as well.

    Thanks as always,


    • Thanks Brendan… you bring up a good point. You could do this drill as a warm-up (say 3 rounds of 30 seconds each) or as an endurance drill (say 3 rounds of 2 minutes each toward the end of class).


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