The Story of the Krav Maga Tombstone Pad

The Tombstone Pad is where it all began. Founder of Revgear, Paul Reavlin, recounts the story of the Tombstone and how Revgear first started

In 1994, Paul was training with Darren Levine at Krav Maga Worldwide and felt that the equipment available to them wasn’t fit for the purpose. As a street self defense system, Krav Maga employs a wide range of strikes that the Thai pads are not able to fully serve.

Paul was an accountant and martial arts hobbyist at the time, but was looking for a new path. He went to Darren who helped him design what would become a worldwide phenomenon: the Tombstone Pad.

The revolutionary Tombstone Pad was designed to have three angles on the front to allow for all ranges of motion utilised in Krav Maga. As it developed, handles were added that allowed it to be held outward, held like a Thai pad or held at the leg like a suitcase pad.

As Paul was looking to build a durable product, several iterations of the Tombstone were made by a local seamstress that he coopted into producing the pad. With different stuffing in each version, the pad was rigorously tested. Paul had the instructors at Krav Maga Worldwide beat up the pads as hard as they could, destroying several prototypes until the final product was born.

The pad immediately began to be called the Tombstone Pad, despite Paul’s best efforts to have it called the punch shield. After 15 years of listing the product as the punch shield, Paul finally relented and used the name that everyone in Krav Maga around the world was using. The Tombstone Pad was official.

Made in the USA since 1994, the Tombstone Pad is the final word in Krav Maga pads. Often copied, never equalled, the Tombstone is built to take abuse and to give safe natural striking angles. Along with the Kick Shield, it launched Revgear and has remained an icon to this day.

Tom Billinge Tom is the Editor of Revgear Sports and the founder of WarYoga. He is a 10th Planet purple belt and a Muay Thai Kru having spent over two decades in the sport in Thailand and around the world. Tom has trained Lethwei in Myanmar, Kushti wrestling in India, Zurkhaneh sports in Iran, boxing throughout Europe, and catch wrestling in the USA. Tom also resurrected the ancient techniques of traditional British bareknuckle pugilism from archaic manuals.