The Fighter’s Guide to Hard-Core Heavy Bag Training

One of the most memorable scenes in the 1976 Oscar winning movie for Best Picture, “Rocky,” involves Sylvester Stallone pummeling slabs of beef hung in the meat locker where his future brother-in-law Paulie worked. Rocky knew what everyone in the fight game knows, in order to hit hard, you must train to hit hard, and the best tool for this training is the heavy bag.

Regardless of your fighting style or art, regardless of your goals for training, sport, fitness, or self-defense, training on the heavy bag will take your fighting and martial art skills to a new level while increasing your power and fitness levels. To get the maximum benefit from heavy bag training, Wim Demeere, with Loren W. Christensen, has written “The Fighter’s Guide to Hard-Core Heavy Bag Training.” This book, published by Paladin Press, is an excellent reference on how to maximize heavy bag training for increased power, speed, endurance, and explosiveness. Additionally, the drills here will enable you to perfect your form and work on timing. For one of the simplest training tools, the heavy bag produces some of the greatest gains for time spent with it training.

For the person new to training with the heavy bag, this book is a must. The guidance here will save you time, money, and wasted practice doing things wrong. It will also help you prevent injuring yourself or training partners. For the advanced martial artist, I bet you will still learn a thing or two. I’ve been using heavy bags for over 25 years and I still picked up a few great tips and drills to incorporate into my workouts.

The book contains 12 chapters, which I will briefly describe here. Chapter one covers kinetic energy and five types of impact. This is a good introductory chapter discussing a bit about speed and the ways to impact the heavy bag and how the five types of impact affect your opponent. Chapter 2 teaches the reader how to choose and take care of a heavy bag. From there, chapter 3 illustrates how to attach or hang your bag. The book covers various ways to hang your bag depending on your location. The 4th chapter titled Nuts and Bolts focuses on things like gloves, how to get started, and advanced hitting. It is a short chapter with some practical advice. Chapter 5 covers some basic and advanced training concepts for the heavy bag. Read this chapter twice and be sure to incorporate the concepts into your training routine.

Chapters 6 and 7 contain a variety of drills to perform on a heavy bag. Using these as a guide, you should then be able to expand on what Demeere illustrates through photos to vary your heavy bag workouts endlessly. Even if all you do is the workouts shown here in this book you will have many hours of varied routines. Chapter 8 focuses on partner holding. Various drills are shown that work better when you have someone holding your bag. I like that Demeere and Christensen show how to hold the bag and help your training partner. Reading this chapter will keep a few people from holding the bag wrong and getting hit or kicked. (I’ve seen it happen in the gym) In chapter 9, various ways to use the heavy bag for ground training are shown. I’ve never really used a heavy bag on the ground much, but I plan to try out a few of the drills shown here. Chapter 10 shows some drills you can do with your training partner holding the heavy bag while it is not attached or hanging from someplace. Again, there is some interesting way of using the bag shown to vary your workouts and increase your range of training. Chapter 11 is a very short chapter on using various things to make your training with the heavy bag more precise. The final chapter, 12, contains ten common errors and how you can prevent them while training.

Overall, I found this to be a very valuable book for anyone who incorporates heavy bag training into his or her workouts.

While I was impressed when I read the book, but I was blown away with the companion DVDs, “The Fighter’s Video Guide To Hard-Core Heavy Bag Training” also published by Paladin Press. Wim Demeere has put together an exceptional video training guide for anyone who uses the heavy bag for training. This DVD set will undoubtedly assist you in taking your fighting and martial art skills to a higher level. The two discs have an approximate running time of 264 minutes and contain a wealth of training advice and drills to incorporate into your own routines. I will briefly outline the contents of the two discs.

Disc 1 starts with a short introduction and then goes into common mistakes often made when training with the heavy bag such as hitting too hard, pushing not hitting, not breathing correctly, standing too stationary, sliding off the bag, and dropping your guard.

From there, Demeere goes into DVD chapters on ingraining basic techniques which he divides into: Basic Mastery – jab, range, movement; Intermediate Mastery – variations, types of impact, simple combinations, sparring with the bag; and Advanced Mastery – types of impact in combination, progressive level change, different rhythms on the bag, and countering.

Continued teaching on this disc includes developing combinations drilling basic combinations, variations of these, physical conditioning, strategic progressions, tactical progressions, biomechanical training, combining stronger and weaker techniques, and versatility. As I mentioned above, there is a tremendous wealth of information here.

The last part of disc one is titled “Working On The Hanging Heavy Bag” and it focuses on clinching, grappling, the Muhammad Ali drill, hit and stick, ground work, and finally concludes with “dancing with the bag.”

Disc 2 starts with partner training. Demeere teaches how to brace for impact, and then teaches reaction speed drills such as angled orientation, reacting to a surprise, and precision reaction. The machine gun striking, including variations such as learning arithmetic and how to use machine gun striking are great anaerobic conditioners. Drills such as the elevator, floating bag, changing levels, punch and freeze and pull back and hold are also included in this section.

The DVD just keeps on going with more drills and techniques on the freestanding heavy bag such as the metronome, sweeping techniques, grappling techniques, takedowns, footwork, throwing the bag at each other, and how to work on the bag alone. From there, Demeere takes the bag to the floor and teaches how to work with the bag on the ground. He covers hitting the bag, grappling with the bag, striking techniques, basic mount, side control, the north-south position, in his guard, in your guard, and transitioning on the ground.

When you don’t have a training partner to throw, Demeere shows how to incorporate heavy bag training into throwing and advanced techniques. He guides you with throwing, sweeping throws, pickup throws and takedowns. Nearing the end, Demeere covers some realistic training drills on the heavy bag where you can use a rope as an arm or attach a stick to aid training.

Before his concluding remarks, Demeere ends the program by showing a little weapons training on the heavy bag using a training knife and stick. It is enough to make the viewer thing of ways to go beyond what Demeere showed and continue training variations indefinitely.

The production quality of these DVDs is top notch, and Wim Demeere is an exceptionally talented martial artist and instructor. I wholeheartedly recommend this DVD set to anyone interested in making the most of his or her training on the heavy bag. Combine the DVDs with the book Demeere wrote with Loren Christensen and you will have the best of both worlds: written and video instruction on one of the most simple, but useful, training tools available – the heavy bag. All you’ll need is to follow these guides to take your skills, power, and conditioning to a whole new level.

How To House Train A Dog

How nice it is to own a pet dog. But taking care of them would not be as easy as it seem. Dogs should be trained accordingly so that taking care of them would not be a hassle to you or your housemates. To house train a dog, we first should know what could motivate our dog. Carefully look at your dog’s behavior and you would know exactly what makes them follow. In such time you already know what prompts your dog, you may now start house training your dog.

A four-month-old puppy is the best age to start house training a dog. Basic obedience is the primary training a puppy should learn. At first, you should also learn how to properly train your dog. Dogs are commonly motivated with toys or games and snacks. Number one motivational trick is offering snack to them. House training a dog may takes patience to you and your dog. As much as you hate getting them trained, the dogs hate it as well. Rewarding them with snacks right after doing something right will push them on doing it often. Combining rewards can enhance the dogs interest, mixing snack rewarding with games would entice them to remember and get use to doing the good deed. In that manner, dogs will always look forward on each of your training sessions.

Training time for beginners is two times per day at 15 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes. For starters, this time frame is good enough not to bore them and make them feel contained. To get all the dogs attention, seek a place where there’s no noise or any form of distraction that would divert their attention. They should focus on every aspect of the training so they would absorb the training fast. As you go along with the training, you may slowly introduce him to distractions. Unleashing the dog is necessary for house training, since mostly these dogs just wonder and roam around. Make sure before that before you let them free, see to it that the whole area is covered or fenced. And that the near end of the training you may now get train him outdoor with all the usual noise and people the dog may live around.

After training spare at least another 3 to five minutes of playing time. Letting the dog play with rubber toys, balls or any squeaky toys would reward all the attention they gave during your training. Food rewards is also good but it should only be in small amount so it would not ruin his appetite for his or her main meal. But is recommended that training sessions would before mealtime so they would treat their meal as their big reward.

Before house training a dog, be sure to at least have a collar and a leash. This will hold your dog near you. The three basic dog house training exercise is ” to come, sit and down”

To come – standing few feet away in front of the dog, still leashed, signal him the treat. As he reaches you, say, “come” and hand a treat in a joyous manner. This will show your dog that his first moves are praised. Repeat the exercise as you slowly drop-off treats. If the dog gets tired or bored, pet or reward them fast. Shouting is never valid in training a dog because it would enforce fear. Repeat the deed until the dog learns how to “come”, and then slowly introduce the command “sit”.

To sit – While standing, call the dog while with your hand holding a treat, raise hand over the dog’s head and signal to sit. The dog will responsively look up as you prompt you’re your hand up over its head. That act will force him to sit. As soon as he sits, reward him with a treat while saying, “sit”. Repeat this until he has learned how to sit. It is not necessary to always hand a treat. If the dog already understands how to sit then the exercise to “down” would be next.

To down – starting at the Sit position, place your hand on the dogs collar, hold a treat in front of his face then promptly move treat downward unto the floor. Instinctively, they will conform to your hand. Again, give him a treat once chest reaches the floor. Slowly decrease the amount of treat as you go along with the command.

Choosing Elementary School Photographers – Part I

If you look on the wall of any mother’s home you will find cherished memories framed for every year. No matter how silly the photo, school photographs are remembered for a lifetime. Like most things that have a deep rooted tradition, technology has made elementary school pictures much more exciting. Many schools go with the traditional school pose for their fall program. But did you know a lot of schools use spring pictures as a fundraiser and have fun doing it?

Things to Consider when Choosing an Elementary School Photographer

Before you can think about how school photography can be a great fundraiser, you first have to choose the right photographer. For school photographers in San Diego, most decisions are made by the administrative staff, while others are left to the PTO or PTA. However, with school staffs being spread so thin these days, many schools are leaving the decision to the PTO.

There are so many school photographers available today that the decision to choose a school photographer can be a difficult one. A school photographer in San Diego is going to have a different program than a local company in a small town.

Listen to word of mouth. Good school photographers will have people talking about them. They will also have a good selection of experienced, professional school photographers to run your school picture day. It is always good to take a look at the company’s website to see their overall philosophy.

Something else to consider when choosing a photographer is who is actually taking the school pictures. You might want to ask for sample pictures taken by the actual photographers who will be at your school picture day. Many schools ask to meet the photographers who will be working at their school, which isn’t a bad idea. You want a photographer who will allow the kids to relax, because when kids are relaxed they take better pictures. This in turn leads to parents who are satisfied with their school pictures.

Another consideration when selecting a photography company is how much work will be required of the school. Many companies provide all the staff needed for picture day and require no volunteers from the school. When a company takes most of the work off of the school they are well valued.

Other photographers prefer teacher and parent volunteer involvement on picture day. There is a rational explanation for this, that the parents and staff know the students better. However, if your photographer is experienced in taking elementary school pictures, the kids will warm up to them very quickly. Plus, parents are not experienced in running a school picture day, that should be the job of the school photographer.