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Will Using a Punching Bag Help in Self Defense?

On the fence of buying one for mostly fitness-related reasons. Does it really have much carry over into actual fighting if needed done? I’m not asking if it’ll turn me into an MMA fighter or the like anyway, mostly considering it for indoor cardio during these cold months. I’d like to eventually go to some kind of class and maybe practice with another person but due to financial and time constraints it’s not really feasible at the moment. Just curious of actual Fighters opinions if it’s even worth it for an average guy to use

Given that actual fighters use heavy bags and speed bags I would say it’s safe to assume they are effective training tools.

Does the bag punch back?

There are some things that you can’t replicate just by yourself when you are training for martial arts.

Also, how solid is your punching and striking techniques? IMO it’s best to go to a few classes (preferably a few months+) to learn some basics that you can than replicate at home on the bag.


He could hold it in front like a shield, so I guess it would help with self defence


I love having a punching bag as a cardio tool. As for actual self defence it could be beneficial. If you can’t go to an actual coach to help you I would recommend researching proper training techniques. But the reality is if you want to be better at combat your going to need to have some fights…

Punching a bag for conditioning and technique can’t hurt you (most likely) and won’t hurt your “fitness” level (most likely).

But punching a bag won’t help much your self defence. Taking on combat sports or self defence classes won’t help much either unless you’re really bent on spending a lot of time and effort on them, even if it’s better than nothing.
Just don’t assume you can defend yourself just cause you’ve sparred a couple times or attended a few lessons where another guy has no real intent to harm you while you perform a few moves.
That’s my 0.02, at least

They are helpful in a way that you can do reps when developing technique,ie.: Left foot forward then 20 left hooks, 20 right hooks, 20 jabs, elbows, knees, kicks, headbutts, etc, then right foot forward, same thing, then on to combinations and footwork.
If you buy one, get a tall one (Thai bag) so you can do low kicks. Heavy bags last forever and don’t cost much.

He doesn’t want to be better at combat, whatever that even means in this context, but work on self-defense.

I’ve done MMA, self defence and worked bar where I’ve had to eject people weekly.

A punch bag for self defence is like playing mario kart for driving lessons. Playful Simulation vs real.
I mean honestly 99.99999% of self defence goes on before the punching and kicking. Best thing to do is read “watch my back” by Geoff Thompson.
Unless you get accustomed to and learn to control your three f’s (fight, flight and freeze) you’re always gonna come unstuck!


If punching and kicking and elbows and knees are important skills for self-defense then a bag is an effective tool to help develop those skills.

I just used “combat” as a general word for any kind of physical confrontation. And let’s be real he’s asking if it will make him in any way a better fighter. If he was serious about self defence the best techniques don’t involve any punching…

Nope - they give people with no idea false confidence that gets them hurt.

I’ll explain:
Your new found “skills” will inspire you to stay in a situation that was clearly going down hill. It goes violent, you’re out of your depth, you get very badly hurt. I’ve seen this countless times.

People are either born with the ability to be violent or must spend much time and effort to learn it. And some can’t. You’ve got to be a certain type of animal to get any use from one with out training. And if you dont already have a punch bag - it’s 99.999999% not you.

For fitness great tool though.


Lmao tell that to rousey

Absolutely a heavy bag will help for self defense . learn combos and get to where your right cross sends a 100lbs bag flying then you got something there . sure its not techniques, but if you land that one on his chin: goodnight bad guy! Lots of guys think bjj is best for defense (besides getting away )and I would probably agree except I live in west Texas and most fights around here happen on or around oil rigs or oilfield sites, cactus and big ass rocks all over Im not about to roll around on that stuff. Just my opinion.

I’d argue those sort of surfaces/environments give an even bigger edge to the person who knows how to grapple and work takedowns. The BJJ I train doesn’t require that you put yourself in dumb positions, like pulling guard on top of a cactus.

As to the original question, becoming a better puncher certainly won’t hurt, but I wouldn’t consider bag work to be effective for self defense on its own.

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[quote=“twojarslave, post:16, topic:238578”]
d argue those sort of surfaces/environments give an even bigger edge to the person who knows how to grapple and work takedowns. The BJJ I train doesn’t require that you put yourself in dumb positions, like pulling guard on top of a cactus.
[/quote] Im sure you bjj guys are more qualified with that. no arguement there. My backround is fight club style Boxing (wore out gloves, uneven matching ,and no rings) so I stand corrected . Thats why in my other post I wanted to learn a style to compliment my training ,I guess thats another reason bjj would benefit me. But still building a strong right cross is good if you can land it. No experience required. Edit most a-holes that start fights are untrained .

A comprehensive approach to self-defense avoids those pitfalls. No one is saying a bag is the only thing you need but it can be an effective tool within a comprehensive program.


not what he asked.

Is it worth it for an average guy to use

Not really. Unless you want a cardio work out.

That depends I think do you want to be a weak puncher and inexperienced fighter or inexperienced and have a devastating blow?

Why isn’t it worth it? Practicing striking skills has no value?

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