1. #1
    SuperGuido's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Plasticville, CA

    The Human Punching Bag Concept

    This is part rant, part question.

    After 4 years of Shaolin Kempo as a teenager, I had a go at taking kempo again a year or so ago. It didn't work out, but it did remind me of a concept that infuriated me to no extent.

    The Human Punching Bag

    Anyone with a days worth of ke?po experience knows exactly what I mean. For those who hit the "New Posts" button, let me briefly explain.

    In nearly all forms of ke?po (and lots of other styles), you learn a variety of techniques used against static attacks. These get more and more complicated as you progress.

    i.e. I lunge punch, you block and counter, etc...

    This is pretty standard, and nearly all systems I can think of use "cooperative methods" as an aid to learning a new technique.

    Where ke?po drastically changes this, though, is that an emphasis on hitting your stationary "cooperative" partner with increasing force is applied almost universally. The partner is typically supposed to stand there and take every shot without defending...even, in some "hard core" styles, groin/face/joint strikes.

    Were this sparring, or a "moving drill", I can see the point of that. My brief experience with boxing showed me a number of "Aggressor/Defender" drills where the level of contact greatly increased with experience. In BJJ, we frequently do the same type of drill, where one person attacks for subs while the other ONLY defends...

    ...however, in both scenarios, one person is ALLOWED to defend!

    I understand Kyokushin style ab training.

    I understand Muay Thai thigh conditioning.

    I understand Iron Palm hand conditioning.

    Yet, is there a connection between aggressively conditioning a target surface (i.e. thigh) or striking surface (i.e. shin/hand) and letting someone pound on vulnerable body parts while you stand there doing nothing?

    Am I learning anything by acting like an unmoving corpse as someone pummels me in "non-standard target areas"? I remember being told, "Now, after your taken down, lay down flat and cover your face with your hands" and "Good partners don't reflexively guard themselves while the other is doing a technique."

    What the hell is that?

    Can anyone shed some light on the use of "Human Punching Bag" training?

  2. #2
    Locu5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    the beeg
    Yup. It's crap.

    That will be $12.50. I accept Paypal, or credit cards through Paypal.
    combat sports hobbyist

  3. #3
    Northeast Anti-Silliness Department Inc. supporting member
    Ke?poFist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Long Island, NY
    Kaju, BJJ, Judo, Kempo
    The comparison to the Karate style ab-training I think is where it's at, at least with the ones that train with a purpose beyond making the head instructor look like a badass.

    Personally, I refuse to ever train a day again with someone who think I am going to stand there and take a compliant beating. You want to hit me? You gotta earn it. End of story.
    Knowing is not enough, you must apply...
    ...Willing is not enough you must do
    ~Bruce Lee

  4. #4
    thorthe power's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Not sure anymore
    Kyukoshin does it...though I think I agree with you kempoFist. I did this kind of training today and I feel like I've been in a train wreck.

    -Edit to clarify-

    I did thigh, ab, and forearm conditioning....and shins. It sucked. ouch!!
    Last edited by thorthe power; 1/17/2008 9:57am at .


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