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How to Do Heavy Bag Training for Self-Defense

It isn't just heavy bag training or shadowboxing. You're pretending to get jumped and surprise the enemy, so try a couple routines to make the reflex automatic in the actual circumstance.


  • Step 1: Push the heavy bag and let it swing back toward you, simulating a charging assailant. Pretend to be doing something else, and attack before it makes contact.
  • Step 2: Reposition and find other angles of retaliation. Develop your aggression and footwork to fend off multiple opponents.
  • Step 3: Train with a partner holding a kicking shield or a focus pad, flanking you. The partner picks their moment and attacks when your attention seems most drawn to the bag. React in self-defense as the partner comes on, striking your partner's target. Bring it on!
  • FACT: Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis defeated all 25 of his opponents from 1937 to 1949.
  • Step 4: Preserve your self-defense strategies by changing up the combinations, like the jab-cross-hook, to keep the perceived opponent off balance. Deliver two or three hits followed by a quick reassessment and alter strategy on the fly.
  • Step 5: Explode into the bag as if defending yourself but this time, don't stop attacking. Stay focused and keep on the attack, ferociously and relentlessly, until exhausted.
  • Step 6: Put on hand wraps and gloves. Assume a natural stance as if having a conversation with the bag -- or the person you imagine you will soon have to battle. Suddenly launch the attack from that relaxed position.
  • TIP: Condition and toughen up your hands before attempting to strike the bag without boxing gloves.
  • Step 7: Throw light punches at the heavy bag, training with progressively harder and quicker rhythms, mixing in elbows, knees, kicks, and palm strikes. Work on your flow and stamina.
  • : Always ask a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.

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