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What is purpose of a speed bag?

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  • What is purpose of a speed bag?

    My coach always said it was to improve hand eye coordination, but I always found the floor to ceiling bag to do this much more effectively.

    I found it similar to skipping and getting into a rhythm, but at least skipping improves footwork and keeps you on your toes. What does the speedbag do to improve your technique in the ring?

  • #2
    There are multiple techniques used in speed bag training. When I started the speed bag in January of 2020, just a couple of months ago, i only knew of one style of speed bag training. Which is what I call the Rocky training. Hitting the bag repeatedly over and over and as fast and as long as you can, then after 28 sessions of training I stumbled across Zach Ruffo's "Mystery Man" video on YouTube and was instantly blown away. He didn't hit the ball like a traditional boxer, he was hitting it from every side and angle. He made what I thought were really fast guys on the speed bag suddenly look slow. Zach learned what is called "Art of the Bag" and "Bible style". "The Speed Bag Bible" is a book that was written by Alan Kahn. He breaks down all the methods of hitting the speed bag. Trust me, if you are asking what is the purpose you must not have ever run across their videos. I personally don't think it helps hand eye coordination. From my experience, this helps in knowing exactly where your hand is, in a very specific 3 dimensional amount of space, that has a ball in it, that when hit correctly - will return to a very predictable location. Then, learning how to make them connect at the same time. If you think you are going to look at a speed bag and make your hand hit it off of what your brain just digested you are gonna be late to the party, I mean bag. Guys like Dee Pooler are martial arts trainers and show all the many different techniques and combinations. Then guys like GTOWN that have reverse fist rolls that spin so fast that they almost create a Black Hole. Look these legends up, if you got 6 minutes watch Tommy on Speed Bag IV melt your mind as he moves from every possible fist and elbow combination while carrying on a conversation with the camera. Seriously go look those videos up and prepare to find a world you had no idea was hanging right in front of your face.

    So to answer your question:
    A. Traditional Boxing speed bag training
    1. Timing,
    2. Endurance, the higher you have to reach for the bag the harder your arms have to work
    3. Meditation, a good speed baller will lose their train of thought and let their hands and arms do all the thinking

    4. Gets boring doing the same thing over and over,

    B. Art of the Bag or Bible style control ball training (you don’t always have to go fast to make it beautiful)
    1. Everything that traditional boxing does

    2. Expanding hitting combos
    3. Creativity
    4. Community, guys who do Bible style seek each other out and help each other with everything from technique to equipment.
    5. It doesn’t get boring
    6. Constantly a new trick or challenge to learn.

    And to think, I just scratched the surface. Gotta go do some yard work.
    Happy Memorial Weekend From South Texas!!!


    • #3
      Very well said Jeff Thrasher, I can only add if like having FUN being constantly CALLENGED Bible style is the way to go.


      • #4
        Bible style speed bagging is not fighter training In my opinion it's like a separate sport not part of training to
        do something else If you are training to be a fighter do what your coach says If boxing is a hobby you might
        like spending some extra time with the speed bag Expanding your horizons is a good thing


        • #5
          Originally posted by pinzpirate View Post
          Bible style speed bagging is not fighter training In my opinion it's like a separate sport not part of training to
          do something else If you are training to be a fighter do what your coach says If boxing is a hobby you might
          like spending some extra time with the speed bag Expanding your horizons is a good thing

          I did not write the Speed Bag Bible as "a boxing workout". In fact I only mention "boxing" a couple of times in the book, and have a section on "Boxer training tips" in Chapter 12, Special Training & Martial Arts, pages 207-208. that's pretty much it. There is a picture on that page of Me and the late Kenny Weldon, boxing trainer/coach We were together at the Ringside Silver Gloves championship 1997 in Kansas City. He was training the new boxing coaches how to coach boxing and I was doing speed bag demonstrations. True to form he said what I was doing (bible style) was amazing but totally useless for a competitive boxer. I could not agree more for all of the elbow strikes are illegal in the ring, and reverse punching "back at your face" is a stupid move in the ring, particularly in the 7-8th round when your exhausted. In the coaching Q&A with a ton of boxing coaches, many new to coaching, Kenny mentioned he actually hated the speed bag in it's present form, hung on a wall with a fighter standing square, feet parallel, punching in up and down circles. "You never assume that position in the ring when fighting!" (quote). So one of the coaches ask me why would someone spend time learning to do what "i" do. I told them straight up what I do is not necessarily for competitive Boxers, and the sport of boxing has it's own very tradition way to hit the speed bag - However, a person will spend very little of their life as a "competitive boxer" following rules of the ring and actually competing. When a boxers competitive days are over, he can certainly expand his speed bag work out to more than the rather simple and limited boxing workout. That is a very small part of what the speed bag can actually do. And I never competed a day in my life in a boxing ring. (..and yet I wrote what seems to be the definitive program on speed bag training....Ha! go figure.)

          But your word "fighter" is wrong, and should actually be "boxer". Fighting includes martial arts,and within the martial art techniques there are MANY uses for all kinds of strikes, elbows, knife hands, ridge hands..etc. Many of those can be trained very effectively on a speed bag. Especially within the "non-traditional" schools that are fixed in concrete about training in the methods of their feudal lords in 200 BC China, Korea or Japan. the non-tradition schools have expanded their minds to include more modern equipment and techniques. I spent 10 years in Martial arts training, and NONE of any schools I saw had a speed bag. So, I wrote chapter 12 to teach open minded martial artists how to use the speed bag for many of their techniques. And it's great for the home.

          One of the most innovative training systems is Jeet Kune Do. Demonstrated here by Sifu George Hajnasr

          I think he demonstrates the usefulness of it very well - especially for self defense. But of course, useless in a "Competitive Boxing Ring"

          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!


          The Art of the Bag


          • #6
            Thank you Alan!! That was a fantastic quick breakdown, everyday i am learning more and more about how much I didn't know yesterday. I cant get enough of this style of expression.


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