T Nation

Free Standing Punchbag

I wrote this post last week but it got deleted for some reason.
I want to buy a free standing punchbag for home use just to improve my self defense skills. I’m not able to use a traditional punch bag as I can’t drill any holes in the wall or hang it from the ceiling.
Which free standing bag would you guys reccomend?
I’ve seen a bag called the Wavemaster which is a standard shaped bag.
There’s also the slam man, which is shaped like a man, but this has limited areas for punching.
Theres a bag called the Body opponent bag, which is in the shape of the top half of a human torso, it is really life like and to me seems like the best option as it will give me better practice for hitting a real as I’ll learn how to position my fists when punching a real person.
I’d like your opinions though, especially anyone who has used iether of these bags or is into boxing or martial arts - i.e. Mike Mahler if your reading I’d be grateful for your opinion.
thanks
Jay

The one thing i dislike about all the free standing bags I have had the oppurtunity to lay into is that they ‘walk’ on me. You smack the helll out of one, and it rocks. you whomp it with a flury and it proceeds to walk across the room and you have to chase it. It may be more realistic since it is a moving target, but the last time i got punched in the gut it didnt move me back a foot. That and it tends to tear the floor up and piss off the gym owner…

I have seen bags with framed supports, but have no idea how much they cost.

I have and use the WaveMaster. I would definitely recommend it; I’m an FMA enthusiast, so when I can beat the crap out of a bag with a pair of escrima sticks and it doesn’t fall apart, I’m pretty impressed.

The key to bag-walking is to circle the bag. Don’t stand in one place and hit the bag over and over, walk around the bag as you attack it from multiple angles; this keeps the bag in the same general vicinity, because you’re constantly knocking it back where it was. If you really want to keep it in one place, you can easily build a frame – just make a V on one end of a sheet of plywood with a pair of two by fours, set the bag into the center of it, and stand on the other end while you hit it. When you’re done, the bag can be shoved up against the wall, and you can stick the frame behind it.

I have studied Muay Thai and boxing and I had a wavemaster free standing bag. I busted the crap out of it in a month. If you are above 150 lbs. or are a hard puncher or kicker I wouldn’t recommend it. Nearly every time I threw a round kick or a hard hook the the stupid thing would fall down (and after a month it cracked in half on a round kick). If you don’t have the option of working on a hanging bag buy some focus mitts or Thai pads and get buddy to hold them for you and work on your striking that way. Your best bet though is to just join a decent Muay Thai or boxing gym. If money is an issue, there is a good, cheap boxing gym within a half hour drive of just about any city in the U.S.

I own a dojo and I have 12 WaveMasters and one Body Opponent Bag. Personally I have had no problem with the Wavemaster, it will walk on you and yes you can tip it over but that shouldn’t be a huge problem. Most of the times that it tips over is from slide up side kicks,jumping/spinning kicks or rear leg power kicks, and all you have to do is position it close to a wall.

I wouldn’t get the Body Opponent Bag if I were you, I really don’t like the one I have even though it is life like. Century martial arts does make a XXL bag that may be less prone to tipping over (but I don’t know, I’ve never used one) and you can throw lower kicks into it as it has like 5’ of padded bag area.

Personally I would get the Original Wavemaster.

FatSensei

[quote]natrondaninja wrote:
Nearly every time I threw a round kick or a hard hook the the stupid thing would fall down
[/quote]

I have only ever seen WaveMasters knocked over by people who were trying to knock them over. As far as splitting, I’ve been beating the crap out of mine for almost three years, and I don’t have a single tear in the shell. My dojo has four or five of them that are beaten regularly by over two hundred students of all skill levels, both unarmed and with sticks, and they’re all in good shape. So I can personally guarantee that hundreds of people are perfectly happy with the WaveMaster and don’t have these problems. That doesn’t mean NOBODY has these problems, but the average person is certainly not likely to have them.

It is interesting, though. Would you say that these problems came up because the WaveMaster is bad for Muay Thai in general, or just for your own personal style?

[quote]CDarklock wrote:
I have and use the WaveMaster. I would definitely recommend it; I’m an FMA enthusiast, so when I can beat the crap out of a bag with a pair of escrima sticks and it doesn’t fall apart, I’m pretty impressed.

The key to bag-walking is to circle the bag. Don’t stand in one place and hit the bag over and over, walk around the bag as you attack it from multiple angles; this keeps the bag in the same general vicinity, because you’re constantly knocking it back where it was. If you really want to keep it in one place, you can easily build a frame – just make a V on one end of a sheet of plywood with a pair of two by fours, set the bag into the center of it, and stand on the other end while you hit it. When you’re done, the bag can be shoved up against the wall, and you can stick the frame behind it.[/quote]

I do circle, but more than 2 punches and it is across the room. Unless each punch is of the same force and in the same area, its walking on you- and the ones I have used tend to tear a nice trail across the floor if it is anything but carpet. I think the ones I have used are the light versions, so not much wt in them, but even my little 210 lb ass knocks them across the room, especially with something like a side kick or back kick. Say goodnight with a skip side, I broke one off its base with a skip side…

Cdarklock-

I think that the Wavemaster is bad for Muay Thai in general. However, a lot of people must have the positive experiences you are having because they seem to sell like crazy. I suppose the one I got could have been damaged prior to my getting the chance to use it, but I never noticed it if it was.

I still think the best bet is buying some focus mitts or Thai pads to work on. They are a heck of a lot cheaper option too. All you need is a friend who can learn how to hold them.