Training with Equipment – the heavy bag

7 Sep

Training advice with David Ross of NY San Da

The heavy bag is the most basic piece of training equipment. Its primary use is to allow the student to practice their striking and kicking techniques at full power and to become accustomed to the impact. However, when properly utilized, the bag can also be used to teach distance, timing and footwork.

bag work

The following points should be kept in mind when practicing;

 Don’t stand square in front of the heavy bag. Use your fighting stance, keeping one shoulder in front of the other.

 Don’t stand in place in front of the heavy bag. Move in both directions around the bag.

 Since you do not have to worry about injuring a partner, use full speed and power.

 Picture the heavy bag as an actual opponent with arms and legs. Identify actual anatomical targets on the bag.

 The most effective fighters visualize oncoming attacks and defend as well as launching attacks.


The jab and cross combination provides a good example of how the heavy bag can be used to teach distance, focus, power and impact. The jab is used to establish correct distance. The cross must be thrown straight and must focus upon a specific target. The cross should be a powerful blow, capable of knocking your opponent out if it lands cleanly. The student must become accustomed to the impact of a solid hand strike.


The heavy bag is also an excellent tool for the repetition of basic combinations. In the case of the jab, and rear leg round kick combination there is also the issue of timing. The combination must be smooth and uninterrupted. DO NOT withdraw back into your fighting stance after throwing the jab. The hips are already turning and the kick should be thrown smoothly and immediately. Finally, the heavy bag can be used to teach hand positioning during the kick. The rear hand must be positioned between the face and the heavy bag, preventing a counter punch.

foot jab to round kick

David Ross
Head instructor NYSANDA


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