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Free Standing Heavy-Bag Stands
Sam Finlay and James Discuss Training

I got a heavy bag recently and have started in on it. The thing is currently hanging from a stand, so I can't go full tilt, but I suppose it's better than nothing. I also started looking into a European-based martial arts school that teaches sword training. Seems neat so far, but we'll see. Whenever I see you, I'll have to bother you for pointers.

Thanks for sending me the link to the site where you post your other writing. I hope your travels are treating you well. Can't wait to read about them.

Watch your top-knot out there, James,



First, Sam, culture aside, western swordsmanship instruction, in a context where you actually spar and duel with steel, is excellent. The arts may seem dated, but the understanding of defense is far greater than in the Asian-based weapons traditions that usually treat with the sword. A sword generalizes to a lot of potential weapons: bats, two-by-fours, guitars, shovels—the fire-hardened Douglas Fir branch I picked up on the trail today...

I do not like free-standing platforms for a hanging heavy bag. You can weight the base with sacks of this or that, but there is both obstruction of footwork and power training. Understanding that you can't hang a bag in most apartments, I prefer to hang a double-ended bag from this and get a free-standing bag from ringside or another boxing supplier that utilizes a steel disk platform, a spring steel shaft core and sand or cat litter filled weight rings for the base. If you can buy one of these weight rings separately, perhaps you can use that to weight the stand you have.

To make a double-ended bag, get a roll of paper towels, a short bungie cord, 2 mid-length bungie cords, and a long bungie cord, a role of duct tape, and put it together. Anchor a chord inside the roll and tape it all together as a unit. Then use your other cords to anchor the top to the platform at about face level and the bottom to an S-hook sack or stacked weight plate arrangement and go to it.

Good luck with your training, Sam.

Breakfast with the Dirt Cult Paperback – October 12, 2012

American Fist: A Fighter’s View of Boxing

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