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Speed bag 2010 a tribute to Alan Kahn

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  • Speed bag 2010 a tribute to Alan Kahn

    I think that it is just wrong to promote Speed Bag 2010 without mentioning Alan Kahn. I believe that it should be called Speed Bag 2010, a tribute to Alan Kahn and The First Ever….

    Here’s why.

    I have a unique perspective because I was there the beginning—Memphis State University ’73-’75, exploring advanced bagging techniques under the watchful eyes and ears of Doc Schroeder. Doc introduced us to ways of hitting the speed bag that were as arcane as circus bears on unicycles. We’d watch and listen to Doc then try to replicate what he was doing on another platform in the room. The method of learning was “listen to this” or “watch this.” Luckily for us Doc was always encouraging us to try new things. Sometimes he’d be in another room and hear something that we could be doing differently and come in with a suggestion. Doc was an amazing guy with many interests and talents, but it was Alan who carefully analyzed the various moves so they could be explained objectively rather than by example. Then of course Alan devised his system of notation which made it possible for someone to learn these techniques on his own. If Alan had not done this the knowledge that he and I gained from Doc would probably much stayed just with us.

    After our time together, I left Memphis and went on to other things. I had no idea that the seeds planted by Doc had born fruit. A few weeks ago I thought I’d try bagging again after all these years, and while searching the Internet for a new swivel, I saw a YouTube video of some guy hitting the bag and using “our” moves. Then to my amazement I saw that it was my old friend Alan. Since then I’ve viewed his book and DVDs and see that he's made it possible for people all over the world to learn advanced bagging techniques. Then there is “punch drumming” that Alan has popularized and which people like Brian Tichy might take to new levels.

    Before the advent of YouTube, odds are that anyone doing advanced bagging had learned it either from Alan or from some one who had.

    Alan appears to have done all this with little support from the boxing equipment industry, yet they have all benefited from his efforts. In short, there would not be a bagging community had it not been for Alan. I understand that event sponsors must be accommodated and equipment reps appeased, but I think that it is just plain wrong to hold this event without properly and prominently acknowledging the guy that made it all possible—Alan Kahn.

    I have not discussed this post with Alan because I was afraid he’d go humble on me and discourage me from submitting it. But I just have to get this off my chest. I hope that I have not embarrassed or offended my old friend.

    Jim Caher
    Last edited by jimcaher; 03-18-2010, 10:57 AM.

  • #2
    Jim, you are a good friend for suggesting this, and I couldn't agree more. Without question, if it wasn't for Alan, speed bagging would still be in the "dark ages."

    Originally posted by jimcaher
    Alan appears to have done all this with little support from the boxing equipment industry, yet they have all benefited from his efforts. In short, there would not be a bagging community had it not been for Alan.
    Agree, absolutely, again.
    Originally posted by jimcaher
    I have not discussed this post with Alan because I was afraid he’d go humble on me and discourage me from submitting it.
    Jim, you know Alan, probably better than any of us. So you must know his feelings when it comes to speed bagging - it's all about the bag. He deflects any credit away from himself and onto the bag. Even though he prefers to remain out of the limelight, anyone that knows anything about speedbagging knows the contributions Alan has made to not only its popularity, but more importantly, to the art of speedbagging.

    There is not a person on the forum that does not know of Alan's contributions. No one has been more helpful. He has taken the time to analyze, critique, suggest, and often times type out the routine in SBB shorthand. He even has recorded videos to demonstrate the techniques in question. No one is more dedicated.

    I don't know if you read Alan's 200th post. This was my reply.

    I guess what I'm saying is I agree 100% with you, but I will respect the wishes of Alan if he wants to make this event about the "bag" and not himself.

    I'm all for your idea. Maybe AK will comment.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Biff View Post
      I guess what I'm saying is I agree 100% with you, but I will respect the wishes of Alan if he wants to make this event about the "bag" and not himself.

      I'm all for your idea. Maybe AK will comment.
      Hey Jim. I totally hear you! Alan took this to a higher level and without him we wouldn't have the Bible. Enough said. Nobody can come close to the level of teaching and bag analysis that Alan has dedicated. I mean, Skunk was baggin' it up and then went to the next levels and beyond after he was shown an Alan Kahn vid.

      Alan takes it extremely serious, and I think his participation and knowledge legitimizes everything about the speed bag. He is the guy you need in your corner when defending the art of the speed bag!!
      We should acknowledge him one way or another, without a doubt. But... I wasn't going to write any of this right yet until I read what Bif wrote....and I agree...
      "I will respect the wishes of Alan if he wants to make this event about the "bag" and not himself."
      That is how he seems to be. But also, with that said, I can't speak for him and wouldn't ever. Though we should take a bit of time to explain/give cred to/ put on a pedestal/ throw roses at/ holler, cheer and chant his name at some point during the convention!
      Maybe t-shirts should be made up too! Skunk and Scissor have there's, I think Alan needs his!
      I'm all for whatever in whatever capacity.... because Alan is nothing short of a kind, caring, helpful, generous, talented man. I can't imagine another person being the head spokesperson for all things speed bag!!!!!

      "Ahhhhhh! That's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I BAG IT, uh huh, uh huh!"

      Comment


      • #4
        The event would not be honoriing Alan because he is a great performer- that would be about the person not the Bag. Going all the way to the days of vaudeville there have always been remarkable hitters. There will always be guys and gals with faster hands and more flexible shoulders.

        No. Alan would be memorialized for his place in the history of the bag. By his analysis and system of notation he has made it possible for baggers world-wide to share techniques and speed bag insight, allowing an actual speed bag community to develop. His system of notation will continue to be enormously important notwithstanding videos and YouTube because it forces folks isolate the various techniques and combinations and actually think about what they are doing. It then provides a way to record the results in ways that no video can.

        By creating his system of notation-- something no one has ever done in the centuries long history of the bag-- Alan has established a way to communicate with the Bag and share this communication with others. This, to me, is about the bag, not about the hitter.

        Jim Caher

        Comment


        • #5
          Jim, I couldn't agree more. I certainly didn't know any of the possibilities of the speed bag until I saw the bible. This site certainly wouldn't be here, who knew there are so many speed bag maniacs out there ???

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tim View Post
            Jim, I couldn't agree more. I certainly didn't know any of the possibilities of the speed bag until I saw the bible. This site certainly wouldn't be here, who knew there are so many speed bag maniacs out there ???
            More maniacs are on the way. I believe the golden age of the bag is yet to come.

            Comment


            • #7
              who knows,with a little media attention,and plenty of maniacs punching,this event could start a craze ,like the skateboard or yo-yo.how good would that be.
              the world needs a new craze and it might as well be the bag.deano

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jimcaher View Post
                I think that it is just wrong to promote Speed Bag 2010 without mentioning Alan Kahn. I believe that it should be called Speed Bag 2010, a tribute to Alan Kahn and The First Ever….

                Here’s why.

                I have a unique perspective because I was there the beginning—Memphis State University ’73-’75, exploring advanced bagging techniques under the watchful eyes and ears of Doc Schroeder. Doc introduced us to ways of hitting the speed bag that were as arcane as circus bears on unicycles. We’d watch and listen to Doc then try to replicate what he was doing on another platform in the room. The method of learning was “listen to this” or “watch this.” Luckily for us Doc was always encouraging us to try new things. Sometimes he’d be in another room and hear something that we could be doing differently and come in with a suggestion. Doc was an amazing guy with many interests and talents, but it was Alan who carefully analyzed the various moves so they could be explained objectively rather than by example. Then of course Alan devised his system of notation which made it possible for someone to learn these techniques on his own. If Alan had not done this the knowledge that he and I gained from Doc would probably much stayed just with us.

                After our time together, I left Memphis and went on to other things. I had no idea that the seeds planted by Doc had born fruit. A few weeks ago I thought I’d try bagging again after all these years, and while searching the Internet for a new swivel, I saw a YouTube video of some guy hitting the bag and using “our” moves. Then to my amazement I saw that it was my old friend Alan. Since then I’ve viewed his book and DVDs and see that he's made it possible for people all over the world to learn advanced bagging techniques. Then there is “punch drumming” that Alan has popularized and which people like Brian Tichy might take to new levels.

                Before the advent of YouTube, odds are that anyone doing advanced bagging had learned it either from Alan or from some one who had.

                Alan appears to have done all this with little support from the boxing equipment industry, yet they have all benefited from his efforts. In short, there would not be a bagging community had it not been for Alan. I understand that event sponsors must be accommodated and equipment reps appeased, but I think that it is just plain wrong to hold this event without properly and prominently acknowledging the guy that made it all possible—Alan Kahn.

                I have not discussed this post with Alan because I was afraid he’d go humble on me and discourage me from submitting it. But I just have to get this off my chest. I hope that I have not embarrassed or offended my old friend.

                Jim Caher
                Not too worry my friend, I am not offended by your post or the intent of it. However I agree with some parts of the posts in this topic and disagree with some also. Jim was there with me from the very beginning, so he knows our shared history. Watching and listening to the amazing sight and sounds of Doc Schroeder working the speed bag, we both listened to every word, analyzed every movement and would mimic every sound trying learn. The we would spar Doc, gloves and headgear, and we never laid a glove on him. Not once, in all that time (several years for me), did he ever give a word of praise or promotion about himself. He gave all glory to boxing, the sport, the training and the discipline. He did love the speed bag, but I think not as we do. He loved it all. His work was an attempt to bring some order to the chaos of the training and the speed bag. It worked for Jim and I, as we were there to see and hear it every day. I simply tried to refine or advance his system, making it easier for others that would never see or hear me do it. It works for music (drums), why not the speed bag.

                I am aware that the system I created, (the Speed Bag Bible) works. I am sure it has helped many learn and understand the bag, and I accept the fact that I have perhaps brought a lot more order to the chaos of speed bag punching and learning it. And I do thank you all, and others that write privately, for that recognition, but in all honesty - that is NOT why we are all here. The reason we are here, the glue that holds us all together as a community IS "the bag". Pure and simple. That is the tie that binds. The second reason we are here is simply: the internet. Without that, none of this would exist, at least not in an organized or visible manner. Sites like Youtube are probably to blame for really letting the genie out of the bottle. The fact that some hit more advanced than others is not the point. That is only a matter of personal preference and skills.

                The real history of teaching the speed bag, the "first" speed bag community - took place UNDER the board. Mano-e-Baggo. One man teaches another. That was going on LONG before Jim and myself squeezed under Doc's board. Long before the internet. And that is how many still "get it". In Florida, Ernie Oriente teaches daily, In Hawaii, George Kam still teaches, both men in their 80's, giving personal lessons. That sweat equity in teaching the speed bag deserves NO less credit than my work. In years past I have spent many hours teaching personally. I only starting writing it down when one of my students (Greg Bashara, Saxophonist in Waco Texas) kept bugging me to "write this stuff down" because he could not remember all I showed him without me being there to repeat it over and over. I tried to use Doc's method at first, and the pages from his book, but it lacked too many specifics. At the time I didn't have specific technique names for the movements or a reproduceable way to write all the various combinations - so I set to work creating a more specific method of representing the chaos of speed bag in text.

                but most of you know that. And I understand the context of what you say, but I will repectfully request that any speed bag gathering be about the BAG without specific references to me, for that would be a slight to the many teachers such as Doc, Ernie, George, Showtime Johnny Powell in his day, along with others unamed that have carried this torch for long before my work appeared. There are those among us that are taking the skills of bagging beyond what I do, and they to shall be surpassed.

                So if you want to have somehow honor those who have been important in the progression of speed bag training, teaching and skills, AND those who create forums for such (), fine. But I'd rather not have any named references in the title.
                Speed Bag

                Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
                *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
                The Quest Continues...
                Hoping for another Gathering...


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