John Baca, CMOH on speed bag

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  • Speedbag
    Author of the Speed Bag Bible, founder of

    • Feb 2006
    • 7118

    John Baca, CMOH on speed bag


    John Baca called me at home "out of the blue" in December 2000 to tell me he had the Speed Bag Bible Book and I had some "written exercises" wrong in Chapter Nine Side Techniques. He told me two lines of exercises in the Side Double Punch section had the wrong ARM letter over the technique abbreviations. He was working as a ski lift operator at some resort on the East Coast and he was "air punching" the Side Double Punch (SDP) exercises in chapter nine and found two lines of errors and though I should know about it. (He had called Ringside Boxing and got my phone number..). First, I was pretty excited some had actually used the book text all the way to chapter 9 (!) and was actually doing it... So I got the book down and found out, much to my chagrin, HE was right - the exercises were wrong. I had indeed not made the changes indicated in the text and left the same "L" and "R" notations over the technique abbreviations. He was pretty delighted to know he had corrected me and the book. (He still is..)

    So during the discussion he asked if I ever get out to California (San Diego) to do public demonstrations and I told him "Not Really. But I was sponsoring my own booth at the 2001 SUPERSHOW sporting goods industry Trade show in Las Vegas, I think the last week of January. So he says, "That's great. I'll be in Washington DC during the Inauguration of the President (George W. Bush) on the 20th and when I fly home to San Diego I'll just stop in Las Vegas and see you." So, I'm wondering if he's a politician or insider or how is he involved with the inauguration of the president (!!!) and he says, "No. I got the Congressional Medal of Honor for something in Viet Nam, and every new president has a private ceremony to meet all the living recipients, so I'm going to meet him, then I'll come to Las Vegas." To be honest, he sounded more excited about the Las Vegas Part to meet me than the Washington part, but that's just John.

    So, I have to ask, what happened to earn the CMOH and he states "I jumped on a grenade that landed near me... so, about 9 months after that I was notified I was being awarded the Medal." So we had a long talk about issues and since the International sports industry SUPERSHOW is a "closed show" meaning it is not open to the public - only certified vendors and buyers within the sporting goods industry (ok...and the rich and famous with connections, and many top pro athletes who vendors pay to hang out in their booths..) I put John down as a member of my company and when he go there he had my vendor booth name badge waiting for him. So he comes to my Booth ( I have a picture of it somewhere.... sitting on my stationary Cycle with him,) and we meet for the first time. And so he wants to show me "what he can do".. and he starts hitting the bag - and it's an unforgettable memory for me, because up until that moment, the only person I had sit him that bag like that was ME - on video... always ME. Now it's someone else! and all the joy of watching Dr. Schroeder, my teacher, came back. I was fascinated, - Sure I know exactly what he was doing, but he was the very first I saw do it after using my SBB program. \

    So I asked him which version of the video's did he use - the single DVD or the 4-tape series - and he says "Videos?? I don't have any video's. I don't own a video player. I just did what you said in the beginning of the book- I read each page and did the exercises ... putting my fists up and air punching just like you said - and then I have a bag up where I've been staying in my buddies back yard for the last 8 or 9 months, and all I do is read books and punch the bag." He says "after I started working at the ski resort, I'd just sit there in the booth running the lift and air punching, and that's when I noticed you screwed up a few lines of the exercises...." And yes we opened a book so he could rub it in and gloat that he had found the errors... You just had to be there.

    But the moral of the Story is, I had always believed a written book of instruction, that could be used under the board as a guide, with specifically written exercises (like drum music) would make an excellent source of instruction. (remember, when I did all this (1987 - 1994) there was no internet, youtube, cellphones to open video's under the board... that was many years away. .

    SO, my core dream and belief of having a written text teaching manual for the speed bag was proven TRUE - by a true American Hero, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. He learned it ALL from the book. And yes, he corrected two lines of practice exercises in Chapter 9, Side Techniques.

    2003 San Diego Gym

    2023 San Diego home

    video, sharing, camera phone, video phone, free, upload

    The rest of the story is: In 2000 He had been living for a number of months with his "buddy ART". Art has a place with a large green house in the back, and john, needing little to get by, just lived out in the greenhouse, reading, tending the plants and put a speed bag up. No TV or video. When winter came, he got job at a local Ski Resort. His Buddy ART was with him in Viet Nam. They were next to each other when the Grenade appeared and both jumped to cover it. John Got there first and Art covered John. Four or five more followed and when it detonated they were all injured. All survived but John had covered it first with his helmet. He and Art have remained extremely close since then.

    His Speed Bag Tatoo.

    Hanging out in Speed Bag Central 2004 with my wife.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Speedbag; 04-25-2024, 08:58 PM.
    Speed Bag

    Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
    *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
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    The Art of the Bag
  • KLunker18
    • Feb 2021
    • 42

    That is an amazing piece of SpeedBag History. John Baca is a true American Hero. Thanks for sharing.

    The Bible speaks for itself!! I used the book for year before your videos as well. Its fantastic to know you reach people of all types from all over. From CMOH recipients on down, SpeedBagging finds great people!!


    • Dutchman
      Speed Bag Historian
      • Jun 2006
      • 1914

      And I lived in San Diego almost 48 years and didn't know he was there.......


      • ventanakaz
        • Jun 2011
        • 95

        Thanks for sharing your story (history) Alan

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