Much like any gym owner that wants to make his name known and respected, I have filled it with the necessary equipment to ensure a full training routine. As anyone could guess, the Dojo accommodates quite a few punching bags, chosen for specific parts of the training and for fighters with different experience levels. Many people ask me why I felt the need to invest in low-level equipment if I already had heavy bags for higher levels, but I they don’t understand that there’s a certain amount of trust and self-belief an instructor must help build for his beginner students. Therefore, anybody can come and try his/her talents without being overwhelmed with how big and heavy everything is around them.
The first punching bag I got was a Century Wavemaster XXL, a free-standing bag, that reeks of sturdiness and force. The high stability is ensured by a low base that I filled with sand (others prefer water, but I don’t feel that confident about having any kind of slippery surface accident in my gym). What I like about this base is that it allows me to move it across the room and place it wherever I need it to be, without complicated uninstalling procedures. It’s covered in a good-quality vinyl that has resisted over the course of many power training sessions, and the filling is a high-density foam that absorbs energy just right. This combination, together with its 69-inches height make it very versatile, both regarding different styles of training, and the physical power of the trainees. However, at almost 250 pounds, I found it to be intimidating for the 9-year olds, so I had to vary the models a bit.
After the Century, I went for something lightweight, to make the children feel more comfortable. I asked around and did my research on dedicated websites and chose the Everlast MMA Polycanvas heavy bag, which weighs only 70 pounds, and is filled with a mixture of synthetic and natural fibers, making it very durable. While it is the cheapest punching bag I own, it was worth every penny and more. The kids are having lot of fun working on it, and even my older trainees are taking it up for workout from time to time.
Of course, in the end, I went on and got a mannequin that helps the students a lot with learning their basic fight anatomy, and works great for Brazilian Capoeira. I bought a Century BOB XL, and even though it cost me a little, I feel like it’s the best investment I have yet made. It’s in the form of a free standing bag, but, of course, it has the appearance of a person, more precisely, of the upper torso of a person. It is elastic enough to make the strike feel as if they were against a real person, but at the same time, the BOB is strong and enduring.
Finally, I also have a few speed punching bags hanging around, and a wall mounted pad system, but my main teaching instruments are the ones mentioned above, and they are a big part of my Dojo.