BOB punching bag - The closest thing to a real opponent
What is a BOB?
The stand alone punching bag, we all know as BOB is not actually a name, short for Robert, but BOB are the initials for Body Opponent Bag. It is a 3 piece stand alone punching "bag" used for martial arts practice, as well as any other self defense learning purposes. Many are also sold to businesses, which have nothing to do with martial arts, but use the BOB for stress relief.
What to use a BOB for?
Well, you can use a BOB for many different things. Martial artist are the most common users of the product, but they are by far not the only users. The BOB is the "guy" that gets beat on the most in any gym, and always keeps his mouth shut. He does not complain and never asks you to go slow. Every martial artist dreams of having such a sparring partner.
When fighters prepare for fights, they usually don`t wish to get injured prior to the fight and therefore do a lot of training on the BOB, if they have one of course. The BOB is very lifelike and the outside layer even feels like human skin, although a bit rubbery. There are plastic variations ( usually red ) but these models are frankly just bad copies and should therefore be ignored.
You can use the BOB for kicks, punches, shoving, pressure point fighting as well as weapons training (stick fighting etc.). It all depends on the type of BOB you get. Some have ripped abs and a grim facial expression, other don`t even have faces or pecks. The more detail a BOB has the better. This is especially true with pressure point fighting, where a person is very precise with his or hers kicks and punches to specific points.
What is the BOB punching bag made of?
The BOB punching bag is made primarily of plastic. The base and the pillar holding the torso part are made from high quality plastic. The plastic is sturdy and very strong. Some BOB/s also come with shock absorbing padding on this parts as well. The torso part, which is of course the main parts of the BOB, is made from rubber. As discussed previously, I urge you not to look for plastic ones, because injuries will occur, as well as the fact that they are not as detailed as the rubber ones.
The torso part ( pecks and abs ) is usually harder than the face, which tends to invert at strong impact. It`s meant to be as realistic and as lifelike as possible. It will last you a long long time, if you don`t overdo it with weapons or half shredded sticks of some sort.
The cool feature of the bag is that it can be lifted and dropped to the desired height. Lets say you are 6"6 like myself, you probably won`t go unleashing your wrath on a 4"8 guy, but you will set it up at your own height ( if it can go that high ). If you are training children on the other hand, you will lower it down, so they are not hitting the hard plastic pillar instead.
The BOB at the office?
Yes. Hundreds of companies keep a BOB in the office. Why? Because there is always a lot of stress involved with almost any job, people have different ways of dealing with it. The common similarity with any normal human is the tendency to hit something. Some pound their computer screen, other hit the table, some throw their mouse across the room (even though it is NOT cordless) etc etc. The companies that buy the BOB for their employees, encourage the employees to use the BOB and "give it hell" in order to let all frustration ( be it business or personal ) go on the BOB, so that it does not interfere with their working process.
If it is possible, you should place the BOB in a separate more private place, so the customers (if you are dealing with customers of course) will not see it.
Things to watch out for with the BOB
When buying a BOB punching bag, you should know that they tend to be quite expensive , and could set you back a lot more than a conventional punching bag. But do not skimp on a couple of $ in order to get the plastic ones.
When practicing always set it up correctly, so that it is attached properly and will not fall down from 6"6 to 4" and you will miss you target and injure yourself. You should also keep the base filled with sand or water, and lots of it. You do not want the BOB punching bag to be jumping around , or God forbid topple over and break something or someone.
If you are letting children use the BOB, keep in minds that the base is quite big (2"+) and its not meant for very small children, because they would only hit the base part and not the torso, therefore injuries would occur.
Always use protective gear, unless you are already very proficient in the punching aspect and have strengthened wrists and joints. Otherwise use hand wraps and boxing gloves (or heavy bag gloves).
Train hard and stay safe.