Tuesday night’s second lesson was another teacher consultancy. This time it was with one of my Danish clients, the respected and progressive head coach of Hostebro Taekwondo Klub. This session took the form of a tutorial on using the double-end (floor-to-ceiling, dodge) bag.The double-end bag is one of the best pieces of training equipment a stand-up fighter could want. Second only to the heavy bag, this bag is superb for teaching timing and fast-twitch muscle reactions.
The overall focus was on getting familiar with the equipment, developing a feel for the rhythm of the bag and allowing it to teach the lesson. As a good friend/teacher once told me: the bag never lies. If you hit it wrong then you will lose it, which is why it is a good idea to start by tapping it at close range. I expressed the importance of using the bag to time meeting punches. You hit the bag and then hit it again as it returns on the same path. Using this concept, we began with single jabs, building up to double jabs and then jab/cross. Just doing this could take up an entire training session as there is so much that the bag can help a fighter improve in their timing. Nevertheless, I was conscious of the fact that I only had my client for this lesson and I want to give him a good exposure to some helpful drills. We moved onto defence, adding on slips, parries, blocks and pull-backs whilst punching on the spot.
Next, I brought in footwork, begining with a single step forward and back, moving onto skipping steps and then the pendulum shift before I added in the hook. The hook punch brings in an entirely new element as it sends the bag off on a lateral trajectory and back rather than forward and back, where we have been trying to keep the bag. To accommodate this new direction, we are forced to bring lateral and pivot steps before returning bag back to a back and forth action. Finally, my client was given the opportunity to freestyle all this work.
Did I say finally? Well, that was the last thing we did on the double-end bag. However, there was a 10 minute piece of extra work to be done at the end. This time we brought out the heavy bag and took a Muay Thai approach. Here my client kept his toes under the bag as his starting point and was not permitted to ever give ground from this point onwards. This type of intensive bag work brings in a degree of timing, similar to the double-end bag.