In the past, heavy bag training meant kicking and punching on a heavy canvas or leather horsehair stuffed bag weighting up to 100 pounds that was hung from the ceiling. As the bag aged, it became hard as a rock. The bag was usually had a large cylinder shape but sometimes it had a man shape with stuffed arms and legs. Sometimes a stuffed leather self-righting bag was used that was similar to a self-righting inflatable punching toy used by children. In modern times, the bag has a water core or inflatable chambers. Nowadays, bag training usually means kicking and punching on a self-righting water-filled WaveMaster type bag.
No matter which type of bag is used, bag training is still a primary training device for all types of kicking and punching martial arts. When used properly, heavy bag training increases strength, power, speed, and endurance and helps develop sparring skills when a sparring partner is unavailable. However, if used improperly, heavy bag training may lead to bad techniques, bad habits, or even injury.
Hitting a heavy bag is nothing like a real fight since the bag has limited movement and does not fight back, but it does help develop kicks and strikes in ways that cannot be attained any other way unless you know someone that will move around and let you kick and punch them with full power techniques for hours on end.
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