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  • Mentality While Bagging

    Hey baggers! I’m getting into less of a technical aspect of boxing and just enjoying it. I find they the conscious effort to think of the form, rhythm and sound to be helpful while learning, but I feel like a part of me is expecting more from the speed bag experience. Sometimes I’ll find myself flailing aimlessly at the bag in hopes of some miraculous experience, more often than not I just laugh quietly to myself and shrug it off. Which brings me to ask...

    What mindset do you find yourself in when you decide to start bagging as well as once your done? Also, do you get moments of feeling “in the zone” or “unconscious” (so to say) while on the bag? If so, what would you say allows you to have that sense of comfort in your ability other than familiarity with the bag?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Newbegginer View Post
    Hey baggers! I’m getting into less of a technical aspect of boxing and just enjoying it. I find they the conscious effort to think of the form, rhythm and sound to be helpful while learning, but I feel like a part of me is expecting more from the speed bag experience. Sometimes I’ll find myself flailing aimlessly at the bag in hopes of some miraculous experience, more often than not I just laugh quietly to myself and shrug it off.
    That's great insight and speaks to the "personal experience of speed bagging". I believe that is different for everybody. You are exactly right in this statement. I believe the "focused effort" of skills practice, actively working on form, swing movement, sound etc. has a purposeful intent (for learning) but it is not in itself fulfilling, or a intrinsically rewarding experience. There has to be more than form and function. I believe there is, and that higher level of "More from the experience" can only come from your success at learning the specific skills (with conscious effort) to the point that you can now do them with "unconscious effort". For me, the real joy of speed bagging is when you can do everything you know how to do "without conscious effort" probably better understood as "NO MIND" a term popularized in martial arts, but basically means you react without thought. You are totally in the moment, free from specific concentration on any detail and you are just "doing it" automatically. For me, at the point you become "entrained" to the bag (https://www.bewell.com/blog/what-is-entrainment/), where your movements, skills and speed just flow, and your mind can go off on any other topic. It's very much like the Runners High, where you pace, breathing rate, arm and leg movements become "one" and you go without consciously thinking of any of that for miles. When you change your pace, breathing or arm-leg movements to speed up or slow down you lose that "high" for now you are aware of your "doing" it. That awareness of you conscious effort pulls you back into concentrating on the details of the movements which kills the "high". For me on the speed bag that comes at about 3/4 speed, just hitting with what I've done thousands of times and can do without effort or conscious thought. IF I "Try" to punch at full speed... I'm aware of minding my movements, concentrating on "going fast" and I am no longer entrained. In the old days (psychology major, sorry) we called it Self-Actualization..being totally engrossed in the moment, unaware of anything.

    ( https://selfactual.com/what-is-self-...on-definition/) the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities,


    Originally posted by Newbegginer View Post
    ...What mindset do you find yourself in when you decide to start bagging as well as once your done? Also, do you get moments of feeling “in the zone” or “unconscious” (so to say) while on the bag? If so, what would you say allows you to have that sense of comfort in your ability other than familiarity with the bag?
    More good questions. As for mindset when I "decide to start bagging" I'm assuming you mean before each session? For me that depends on my purpose of the day. Sometimes I am consciously working on a new skill, usually some god-awful complex but amazing combination someone did and "I gotta learn that." Then I will work at practice speed with the purposeful intent of learning those movements. Personally I can find "enlightenment" in that because I probably know all of the movements required very well, now I have to remix them in the new order. (that is what happens in advanced bagging: people throw out original mixes of known techniques but in a different way.) When that practice is DONE I will either be satisfied that I (1) understand it and (2) can do it - or not. I will do that for maybe 20-30 minutes and then perhaps go to this next mindset.

    My second mindset is when I'm just going to "hit because I love it" and for me that probably means punch drumming (hitting to music). So I'll pick the music I want to hit with, and start punching. IN a short time I can become "entrained".... without conscious thought to "bagging technique". It's just my movements, the bag beat and the song sort of "become one." my breathing rate and effort just flows. For me this is what I mean when I tell some one (joking ..but not really) "BE THE BAG".

    So, for a beginner, I would say spend time learning new techniques from around the bag, the technical stuff, and then don't worry about what you "can't do" at the moment. (there is always something new). Then, just on to hitting with the techniques you know, at a "comfortable speed". Do not concentrate on "speed" or how fast you are going. Just let your mind and bag beat find that "comfortable speed." Forget about concentrating on "how your hitting the bag" let your mind go off to another issue of interest. Most runners don't run 5 miles thinking about their "running". AT this point you may find a higher meaning or enjoyment to the bag. But you cannot purposely make that happen of get into "the zone". That will find you...usually when you least expect it. But hitting with your totally learned skills at a comfortable speed will set up the possibility for it to happen. By the way, with practice you will find your "comfortable speed" getting faster and faster as your movements become more automatic. Never concentrate on speed. it will find you. And keep it fun. Your speed bag experience should not be "work" or make you miserable.

    If it does, blame it on the swivel!
    Last edited by Speedbag; 11-21-2019, 12:48 AM.
    Speed Bag

    Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
    *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
    The Quest Continues...
    Onward to SpeedB.A.G. X! Summer 2019

    THE 10th Year Reunion!

    sigpic

    The Art of the Bag

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Newbegginer View Post
      Hey baggers! I’m getting into less of a technical aspect of boxing and just enjoying it. I find they the conscious effort to think of the form, rhythm and sound to be helpful while learning, but I feel like a part of me is expecting more from the speed bag experience. Sometimes I’ll find myself flailing aimlessly at the bag in hopes of some miraculous experience, more often than not I just laugh quietly to myself and shrug it off. Which brings me to ask...

      What mindset do you find yourself in when you decide to start bagging as well as once your done? Also, do you get moments of feeling “in the zone” or “unconscious” (so to say) while on the bag? If so, what would you say allows you to have that sense of comfort in your ability other than familiarity with the bag?
      Im fairly new myself and at first it did feel foreign and a bit like work. Right now you can get in ‘the Zone’ you speak of doing maybe a few basic rhythms? This is nice, but remember the more techniques and combos you learn, the longer and deeper you can stay in ‘the Zone’. It can be frustrating at first because almost every time you start something new it feels like you are starting back over again. But have no fear, you will learn faster and faster as you go. Just keep adding on. Notice how much you improve on whatever you are learning after a good nights sleep. As you add new techniques and combinations they will become ‘automatic’, just like the triplet feels now. Eventually you will be seamlessly transitioning between combos and techniques allowing you to stay in ‘the zone’ until your arms give out.

      When I am in the slow learning phase of something new with a larger bag I am consciously thinking about my movements and strikes. Many times I have a dry erase board with whatever I am learning written out for reference. I film it and rewatch to analyze my positions. The learning curve is different for everyone and every technique or combo, it’s not a race. I prefer to stay on a large (7x10 or so) bag until I feel like it’s ‘automatic’. At this point I am no longer consciously thinking about what I’m doing.....‘the Zone’.

      I’m also glad you’ve already realized the meditative state (the Zone, reacting in instinct...without thinking) bagging can get you in. I’d like to hear more people talk about the obvious brain benefits of bagging. Once you get a little older and most of the sports are gone, you get busy with careers and such. How many things get you in ‘the Zone’ as quickly and efficiently as bagging? Not many.

      Keep at it NewBegginer, stay in that Zone!

      J
      Last edited by LouisvilleBagr; 11-21-2019, 05:36 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LouisvilleBagr View Post

        Im fairly new myself and at first it did feel foreign and a bit like work. Right now you can get in ‘the Zone’ you speak of doing maybe a few basic rhythms? This is nice, but remember the more techniques and combos you learn, the longer and deeper you can stay in ‘the Zone’. It can be frustrating at first because almost every time you start something new it feels like you are starting back over again. But have no fear, you will learn faster and faster as you go. Just keep adding on. Notice how much you improve on whatever you are learning after a good nights sleep. As you add new techniques and combinations they will become ‘automatic’, just like the triplet feels now. Eventually you will be seamlessly transitioning between combos and techniques allowing you to stay in ‘the zone’ until your arms give out.

        When I am in the slow learning phase of something new with a larger bag I am consciously thinking about my movements and strikes. Many times I have a dry erase board with whatever I am learning written out for reference. I film it and rewatch to analyze my positions. The learning curve is different for everyone and every technique or combo, it’s not a race. I prefer to stay on a large (7x10 or so) bag until I feel like it’s ‘automatic’. At this point I am no longer consciously thinking about what I’m doing.....‘the Zone’.

        I’m also glad you’ve already realized the meditative state (the Zone, reacting in instinct...without thinking) bagging can get you in. I’d like to hear more people talk about the obvious brain benefits of bagging. Once you get a little older and most of the sports are gone, you get busy with careers and such. How many things get you in ‘the Zone’ as quickly and efficiently as bagging? Not many.

        Keep at it NewBegginer, stay in that Zone!

        J
        Well said!! Exactly right. "The more you know, the deeper you can go" and that's more true (for me) when I'm freestyling without music. Once the music starts and takes the lead I can get into it and "zone out" with much less speed bagging variety if the song doesn't require it. Sure, I may spend spend some conscious intent of more fancy baggin' to a song, just to work out some new or more complex beat sounds. For instance I do a lot of double bumping of Front Double Punches (FDP) to create a certain cool beat pattern and now I've discovered that pattern can be closely replicated with a Phantom punching combo, which is much harder and more technical to pull off... but its great fun when it works. So I may work on that with different songs. It is not a part of my "normal" speed bagging set YET ...and I have to think about it to do it. I call it my training zone because I can get lost in it for a period of time.
        Speed Bag

        Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
        *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
        The Quest Continues...
        Onward to SpeedB.A.G. X! Summer 2019

        THE 10th Year Reunion!

        sigpic

        The Art of the Bag

        Comment


        • #5
          I can go into a session with the goal being working on newer less comfortable techniques, thinking about my movements..... But the "zone" reels me in everytime. In turn, it seems to take me longer to learn new stuff but that is because I enjoy the zone so much. I love thinking about what sound a tree falling in a forest makes when no one is there to hear it. The stresses of the day melt away while flowing in the zone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the great responses! I’m hoping to get past the struggles of learning new techniques, as well as improving upon transitioning from the ones I know to the ones I’m trying to learn, just so I can make use of bagging as an art form (martial art?) and experience it more fluidly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cazbag View Post
              I can go into a session with the goal being working on newer less comfortable techniques, thinking about my movements..... But the "zone" reels me in everytime. In turn, it seems to take me longer to learn new stuff but that is because I enjoy the zone so much. I love thinking about what sound a tree falling in a forest makes when no one is there to hear it. The stresses of the day melt away while flowing in the zone.
              Caz, throughout my own career I hit "doldrums" and didn't seem to move forward, and then I would have the "avalanche" of insight and understanding...almost like an epiphany..and it would suddenly make sense, or that combo would "work" and I could envision multitudes of variations...All hitting at the same time. I live for those nights, or moments. Most of that happened "by myself" wailing away alone and then..WAM. I got it. AND...because my skill was already "pretty good" I could expand on that new bit way faster. YOU (cazbag) are in that "skill zone" where you have great control of movements all around the bag, so the move forward may seem slower because you already have a huge arsenal, but - and trust me on this....you more you know, the more you Can know. The impossible will become possible and you will suddenly know why... and probably wonder what took you so long. I have personally found the "improving MY skill and understanding" was greatly enhanced by "The forum" AND the gatherings. It is possible to move your own skill needle forward with a unique video demonstration - seeing something you never saw before....and run to the bag and try to do it or figure it out.....But it's much more fun (and easier) to stand under the board with the guy doing it and let HIM/HER show you. Some of my best lessons were standing next to G-Town, Juxt, Matthew, Tim, SpeedbagSkunk..Brad, Deano, Dee Pooler...and listen to THEM teach how the do some combo or variations of techniques. I'm learning by listening to them teach it. I have also found that to fully understand the speed bag it helps to teach it, because as you find ways to teach different people it also increases your own understanding. Throughout the now 10 gatherings you never saw a lot of footage of ME hitting the speed bag. I spend as much time as possible watching the ones with moves "I want" and don't have. I have reams of private footage of all of these baggers doing and teaching amazing stuff, and that is MY library, ready to open my mind yet again. I don't try to digest their wisdom immediately. I come home, watch it, usually "WRITE IT DOWN" in speed bag bible nomenclature, which makes perfect sense to me, and then I can analyze it without having to "just watch the video".

              and you are correct in that many stresses of many days were lost in the speed zone. For years, when I was confused, perplexed, indecisive or just pissed off about something...I'd take it to the bag. Best therapist I ever had, and a very good listener. Glad to see you've grown to love the sound of her voice also.!


              Last edited by Speedbag; 11-21-2019, 09:14 PM.
              Speed Bag

              Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
              *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
              The Quest Continues...
              Onward to SpeedB.A.G. X! Summer 2019

              THE 10th Year Reunion!

              sigpic

              The Art of the Bag

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cazbag View Post
                I can go into a session with the goal being working on newer less comfortable techniques, thinking about my movements..... But the "zone" reels me in everytime. In turn, it seems to take me longer to learn new stuff but that is because I enjoy the zone so much. I love thinking about what sound a tree falling in a forest makes when no one is there to hear it. The stresses of the day melt away while flowing in the zone.
                I know this zone you talk about . It’s like for me when you are playing baseball and you are really seeing the ball good that day. What I like to do during my sessions is go into it with a plan. First for about half hour I work on a specific technique that I want to learn . I to will use a bigger bag7-10 to work on the technique. Going back and forth watching speedbagbible to try to get it right. Then I will go into my part of the exercise of hitting all the techniques that I am comfortable with.Then the speed increases and I get into this zone.I can’t wait till my zone gets longer and more precise with the different techniques.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome responses, gives a lot to think about and try for sure

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Speedbag View Post

                    Caz, throughout my own career I hit "doldrums" and didn't seem to move forward, and then I would have the "avalanche" of insight and understanding...almost like an epiphany..and it would suddenly make sense, or that combo would "work" and I could envision multitudes of variations...All hitting at the same time. I live for those nights, or moments. Most of that happened "by myself" wailing away alone and then..WAM. I got it. AND...because my skill was already "pretty good" I could expand on that new bit way faster. YOU (cazbag) are in that "skill zone" where you have great control of movements all around the bag, so the move forward may seem slower because you already have a huge arsenal, but - and trust me on this....you more you know, the more you Can know. The impossible will become possible and you will suddenly know why... and probably wonder what took you so long. I have personally found the "improving MY skill and understanding" was greatly enhanced by "The forum" AND the gatherings. It is possible to move your own skill needle forward with a unique video demonstration - seeing something you never saw before....and run to the bag and try to do it or figure it out.....But it's much more fun (and easier) to stand under the board with the guy doing it and let HIM/HER show you. Some of my best lessons were standing next to G-Town, Juxt, Matthew, Tim, SpeedbagSkunk..Brad, Deano, Dee Pooler...and listen to THEM teach how the do some combo or variations of techniques. I'm learning by listening to them teach it. I have also found that to fully understand the speed bag it helps to teach it, because as you find ways to teach different people it also increases your own understanding. Throughout the now 10 gatherings you never saw a lot of footage of ME hitting the speed bag. I spend as much time as possible watching the ones with moves "I want" and don't have. I have reams of private footage of all of these baggers doing and teaching amazing stuff, and that is MY library, ready to open my mind yet again. I don't try to digest their wisdom immediately. I come home, watch it, usually "WRITE IT DOWN" in speed bag bible nomenclature, which makes perfect sense to me, and then I can analyze it without having to "just watch the video".

                    and you are correct in that many stresses of many days were lost in the speed zone. For years, when I was confused, perplexed, indecisive or just pissed off about something...I'd take it to the bag. Best therapist I ever had, and a very good listener. Glad to see you've grown to love the sound of her voice also.!

                    Thanks Alan for your insight.I follow a lot of what you say. You put things into words so everyone can understand.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Term "the zone" really comes to mind here. My problem is that I'm usually working on new stuff and NOT doing sets! I'll maybe do a few sets a week of two or three minutes but this habit can rob said bagger from getting into the damn zone on a regular basis. Sometimes I manage to find myself in a great set where I'm killin' it but as soon as I realize that I'm blowing my own mind I'll mess things up and cuss my arse off. And do ya think I'd be filming my great moments? Nooooope.

                      But those zones are good! They are the ones when you're relaxed and one with the bag.
                      Last edited by BagBoy; 11-25-2019, 02:59 AM. Reason: Bee sting

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BagBoy View Post
                        The Term "the zone" really comes to mind here. My problem is that I'm usually working on new stuff and NOT doing sets! I'll maybe do a few sets a week of two or three minutes but this habit can rob said bagger from getting into the damn zone on a regular basis. Sometimes I manage to find myself in a great set where I'm killin' it but as soon as I realize that I'm blowing my own mind I'll mess things up and cuss my arse off. And do ya think I'd be filming my great moments? Nooooope.

                        But those zones are good! They are the ones when you're relaxed and one with the bag.
                        I know the feeling exactly. As for filming great moments.., I also experienced that, "turn on camera - can't do it!!" SO..the answer was FILM EVERYTHING. I had the camera(s) already set up (I have video camera's, not phone based) and decided to "FILM EVERYTHING. Whether a larger S-VHS camcorder of the mid-80's to the High-8 versions of the 90's, to the Hi-Def digital's of the last few years...I have always kept a Camera and video light(s) on the ready. Got tons of useless, repetitive footage that I just taped over again and again... to the many digital files that are much easier to delete. I've rarely hit a bag at home without a having a camera running. I hit to a song, or whatever, then hit pause, cue up the same, or different song, and do it again. Usually I do an opening such as song title or whatever (take number...some talking - or with my larger S-VHS camera's I actually used a video slate with Song, date, shutter speed etc) to see during fast forward - But the point is there has almost always been a camera, so after a while you don't get "scared" by being on camera. Of course, many a great take was lost because after the last pause and music reset, I forgot to hit the pause-or-record button. AHH... I've smoked a few awesome takes of fast music, just to find the camera had turned off from being in "pause" too long. After 20+ years of filming my own punching I have at least 40 2-hour S-VHS tapes FULL, Probably 20 or so 8mm and Hi-8 video's and hundreds of digital video files of hitting, practicing or talking about the speed bag. Just to me, no audience. Well, maybe a dog or cat in the room...but the moral is: FILM EVERYTHING! (...and hit the record button after pause..)
                        Last edited by Speedbag; 11-25-2019, 09:59 PM.
                        Speed Bag

                        Put a little Rhythm in YOUR workout!
                        *attendee: Every SB gathering so far!
                        The Quest Continues...
                        Onward to SpeedB.A.G. X! Summer 2019

                        THE 10th Year Reunion!

                        sigpic

                        The Art of the Bag

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Speedbag View Post

                          I know the feeling exactly. As for filming great moments.., I also experienced that, "turn on camera - can't do it!!" SO..the answer was FILM EVERYTHING. I had the camera(s) already set up (I have video camera's, not phone based) and decided to "FILM EVERYTHING. Whether a larger S-VHS camcorder of the mid-80's to the High-8 versions of the 90's, to the Hi-Def digital's of the last few years...I have always kept a Camera and video light(s) on the ready. Got tons of useless, repetitive footage that I just taped over again and again... to the many digital files that are much easier to delete. I've rarely hit a bag at home without a having a camera running. I hit to a song, or whatever, then hit pause, cue up the same, or different song, and do it again. Usually I do an opening such as song title or whatever (take number...some talking - or with my larger S-VHS camera's I actually used a video slate with Song, date, shutter speed etc) to see during fast forward - But the point is there has almost always been a camera, so after a while you don't get "scared" by being on camera. Of course, many a great take was lost because after the last pause and music reset, I forgot to hit the pause-or-record button. AHH... I've smoked a few awesome takes of fast music, just to find the camera had turned off from being in "pause" too long. After 20+ years of filming my own punching I have at least 40 2-hour S-VHS tapes FULL, Probably 20 or so 8mm and Hi-8 video's and hundreds of digital video files of hitting, practicing or talking about the speed bag. Just to me, no audience. Well, maybe a dog or cat in the room...but the moral is: FILM EVERYTHING! (...and hit the record button after pause..)
                          Film Everything! I guess that's the best and only way to be sure one captures everything on video. Alan, I always wanted to ask you what your approach was with videotaping. all that footage. You just gave a piece of history right there. Very much appreciated.

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