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"Working the Low Kick
on the Top & Bottom Bag"

by Kip Brockett

             I like to give credit where credit is due, so I’d like to acknowledge the inspiration for these drills. The suggestion to kick low, as in these drills, came from a discussion with former Bruce Lee student - Steve Golden. I don’t know if Mr. Golden originated this idea, but he’s the one who put it in my head. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Top & Bottom Bag, it’s the old-time boxer’s speed bag with a cord at the top, attached to the ceiling, and a cord at the bottom, attached to the floor.

Although the focus of my eBook, "The JKD Lead Punch: 101 Ways to Mastery", is on the JKD Straight Lead, I do briefly mention this kicking method. There is also a neat way to make a Top & Bottom Bag in the Bonus Manual, "Easily Constructed Training Equipment" that you get when you purchase the eBook.
        I suggest that you first kick the bottom cord with a Lead Hook Kick a few times, to get the feel of it. (For those not familiar with JKD terminology, the Lead Hook Kick travels the same path as a Lead Hook Punch in boxing. Many styles call this a Round Kick.)

        You don't get any positive feedback when kicking the cord. Most Top & Bottom Bags use an elastic cord, so it's a very springy feel. Kicking it a few times will get you used to it. You don't need to blast through it! That's not the point of these drills.



        You'll start with the bag stationary.

        Begin with a Lead Hook Kick to the cord using a Shuffle footwork.

        Set straight down after the kick, punching the bag before your foot hits the floor. (This will ensure that your bodyweight & power are transferred into the bag and not the floor!)

        * BE CAREFUL! The bag will return quickly depending on how tightly the cords are strung. You may have to use a Rear Parry or Slap to the bag to prevent it from hitting you.

        A variation of this would be to use a slight Pendulum Step as you strike the bag with the Straight Lead. This should put you out of range of the swingback of the bag.




        This one's a little more advanced.

        I don't use the Oblique Kick that much, but I know many of you do, so I thought I'd add it in.

        (For those not familiar with the Oblique Kick, it's a kick off the rear leg, usually in tight with the opponent. Without turning the hip, the rear foot crosses past the front foot to strike the opponent's leg/shin with the instep. I've seen this kick used in a stomping fashion as well as straight to the target.)

        Start the bag swinging to & fro by grabbing the lower cord and pulling toward you. Let go of it so the bag swings towards and away from you. Time the bag swinging towards you to enter with a Jab / Cross combination. When the bag swings back toward you after the Cross, stick your rear forearm out horizontally to block the bag's swinging.

        Do your Oblique Kick to the cord.

        Now grab the bag with both hands, simulating a Muay Thai or Neck & Elbow clinch.

        Elbow strike with your lead elbow.

        You can have some real fun with this one!

        Mix it up by adding a Head Butt after the clinch.

        You can also keep one hand on the bag and do Uppercuts & Hooks - ala... Dirty Boxing.

        Another idea is, after the Head Butt, simulate thumb gouges to both eyes, then Elbow Strike.

        When working on the bag like this, use your imagination. Work your angles. Circle the bag between each set. Mix it up. The important thing is to treat it like an opponent. Don’t let your guard down.

        Now if you’re having trouble with simply hitting the bag, then take your time. Work for technical proficiency first. Then gradually mix it up.

        Hope this helps or at least gives you some different ideas for your training!

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