For a fighter, there is no better feeling than tenderizing human flesh with your fist.
There are many different types of bags designed to help fighters train for their respective sports. Whether it’s for boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Karate, or various other combat sports, almost every fighter implements some form of bag work into their training regimen. For the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to train using boxing bags, Muay Thai bags, double-ended bags, speed bags, teardrop bags, and wrecking balls, all serving a specific purpose in helping me further my skills as a martial artist. Some bags are designed to withstand powerful strikes, while others are meant for developing speed and hand-eye coordination. But what most bags have in common is that they are designed to some way mimic the human body or the human head. Without a sparring partner, this is the most common way to simulate a moving target.
Eddie Rivera, CEO of H2O Boxing Equipment, Ltd. gave SciFighting the opportunity to have a look at one of their latest products before it hit the shelves. Enter the Aqua Punching Bag. Once I was aware of the opportunity, I couldn’t resist giving it a try. Over the course of this article, I will review the feel, purpose, and overall performance of this unique bag.
This 21” spherical bag provides a unique feel no other bag can offer. As the human body is composed of roughly 60% water, this water-filled bag with its thin vinyl skin makes every punch feel as if it were connecting with human flesh. While the bag indented about two inches every time I landed a punch, I could feel the water in the bag start to surround my fist and within a split second, I could feel the rebound of my fist as the water reformed to the bag. It was truly a remarkable feeling. Because most punching bags are shaped like a cylinder, it is hard to mimic the jaw-shattering feel of landing a solid uppercut. But that is not a problem with this bag. In fact, this spherical bag is ideal for practicing uppercuts and hooks alike. So much so that I incorporated uppercuts into every combination I threw at this thing. I was able to drive my punches straight up into the bottom of the bag as if I was connecting my fist right underneath my opponents chin.
I don’t think anything short of hitting a slab of dead meat (think Rocky) can come as close as the Aqua Bag can to mimicking what its like to have your fist solidly connect with human flesh. Plus it’s spherical design is uppercut friendly.
This bag is meant for punching. I tried to throw a kick at it, but as my conditioned shin connected with the bag, the pain was unbearable. It felt as if I kicked a brick wall, for the bag hardly moved. Because of this reason alone, I would recommend sticking to punches. Weighing well over 100lbs when filled with water (we honestly had trouble getting an exact measurement but rest assured it was nearly impossible to even lift the bag when full from the ground), this bag offers little movement when hit and isn’t ideal for practicing footwork or body movement in reaction to the movement of the bag. But this is also a reason I loved training on this bag. I was able to throw a plethora of circular power punches such as overhand crosses, uppercuts, and hooks without the bag moving all over the place. When punching an opponent, it is unlikely they are going to stagger back two or three feet as other 80lb bags do when being punched. This lack of movement allows you to utilize power-punching combinations while staying in the pocket (within striking range) without having to chase the bag.
The inability to kick, knee, and elbow this bag is the reason I didn’t give it a higher rating. Although from a boxing perspective, I am extremely impressed by this bag’s ability to provide similar recoil effect to actually striking a training partner or opponent in the ring. For anyone looking to increase his or her punching power and technique while fighting in the pocket there are few better alternatives.
The Aqua Bag should be in every martial arts gym. Having a vinyl skin means this durable bag can take a barrage of beatings without fear of it ripping or tearing. I threw everything I had at it (including the kitchen sink) and didn’t put so much as a scratch on it. There is no doubt that it will stand the test of time. It’s a training tool that provides a feeling no other bag can provide. So far it is a hidden secret in the world of boxing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing professional boxers incorporating this bag into their workout routines sometime in the near future. If you are looking to increase your punching power or just looking to get a good workout in while feeling what it would be like to hit another human being, then this is the bag for you.
Overall Rating: 8/10
When it comes to boxing, bags like this are the future. Although a traditional punching bag provides a vast array of uses for any martial artist, the Aqua bag is clearly meant for developing knockout power while improving punching technique. I believe any serious boxer or martial artist that wants to work on their stand up striking should definitely give this bag a try. It is without a doubt the closest feeling to striking real flesh you will ever (legally) come by, outside the ring.
This bag as well as it’s smaller sibling (at 17 inches) can be purchased directly from Stage One Fighter.
Stay Tuned: More photos and video of the Aqua Bag in use are on the way!