Wall Bag Training for Wing Chun

Why use accessories in Wing Chun?

Wing Chun is a practice in which accessories can really improve your fighting skills. To perfect your wing chin technique you need to train your body, mind, and soul, but you can improve your skills further by using proper equipment.

Even the legends of this ancient martial art used tools alongside rigorous practice and daily repetition to solidify their technique. There are many accessories on the market and we think that the wing chun wall bag is one of the best.

Why use a Wall Bag?

The Wallbag is a canvas or leather bag which is mounted on the wall and usually filled with rice or sand. It is used to practice the Wing Tsun punch, as well as many open hand strikes and the Wing Tsun kicks.

Regular practice with the wall bag conditions the hands and wrists and improves the strength of the stance, thereby increasing power.

Without a doubt wall bag training will ultimately develop power and conditioning for your basic Wing Chun strikes. Akin to the traditional form of ‘Iron Palm’ training practiced by many Chinese martial arts, wall bag training conditions your hands effectively for self defense. You will hit harder and with a better structure if you train correctly on the Wing Chun Wall Bag.punching wall bag

What Type of Wall Bag should You Choose?

There are hundreds of different wall bags on the market, with different teachers and fighters recommending different products. Some have three sections others have only one.

Three-section bags allow you to train a full range of strikes and kicks. At a school it allows students of different heights to work out at the same station – and/or at home, it allows you to punch at different heights in order to better train your punch (Typically the head, mid-chest, and bladder areas).

The bottom section of a three section wall bag can be used to train kicking. Most wall bags are made of either leather or canvas but other materials are suitable

Canvas wall bags are often more durable than leather ones especially for kicking however the canvas can cause abrasion on the knuckles when striking, This problem will become very acute if the punches don’t land straight. Any sideways or downwards motion at the point of impact will cause serious abrasion to the hands on a canvas bag (and to a lesser extent on a leather bag).

A common flaw when beginners are chain punching is to drop the punch before impact if this is done on a wall bag it can cause damage to the hand and it takes a large amount of the power out of a punch.

How to Fill Your Wall Bag

Assuming you are just starting to play with the wall bag, go with the rice or beans, give your skin and bones to have time to adjust and toughing up before going up to the harder stuff. If you cover the bags with leather, vinyl or other smooth material will help to ease your hands into using the bag because the canvas bags bite back. Massage hands before and after striking the bag and don’t overdo it.

We would suggest you mount the bag at the correct level to train your techniques and body structures. Most fighters place the center of the top bag at eye level, aka punch to the face/head area

Wall Bag Training

The first point of training is usually the wall bag. This piece of training equipment essentially represents the strongest, most grounded opponent you will ever meet.

In Wing Chun we learn to drive all our body power into the wall Bag, which soaks up the impact force without yielding, this in turn puts stress on the joints of the body and over time strengthens them, it also conditions the striking surface of the hands.

From extensive wall bag training, the Wing Chun practitioner develops very strong punching power and body structure.

The secret of a quick improvement in Wing Chun is self practice. Regardless of the number of classes you take in the gym, you will see a greater improvement by developing the muscle memory for this style of martial art. Hence, the quicker you can apply the movements of Wing Chun when required.

Basic training involves standing in front of the bag at a distance that lets you hit it comfortably without stretching. The punch should hit the bag before the arm is locked out straight. Striking is done with the bottom three knuckles.

Knowing that the bag is fixed to a solid wall, the student should remember that a great deal of the force of the strike will return into their body and so the bag should not be hit with full force regularly especially for beginners.

The fist should be thrown relaxed and tension should occur just before impact. Mastering this use of last second energy will dramatically increase the practitioners striking power. Another way to train this is to try hitting the bag hard but only from a couple of inches away.

Wall Bag Training Plan

One of the most effective yet simplest tools for developing power is the wall bag. With a variety of different configurations, let’s go over some of them and how they are a mainstay to Wing Chun training.

Generally, you should practice closed fist punches (centre line, turning punch, high and low rolling punch) at various distances away from the bag for at least 10 minutes.

This could be followed by training the various open hand strikes (palm, standard, and inverted chops) for a further 10 minutes, and finally a combination of both for a 10 minute duration. Please follow the angles and instructions on the UKWCKFA designed wall bags hung on our gym walls.

Once this training scheme becomes too easy increase the number of chain punches, for example, go up to sets of eight or twelve instead of stopping at sets of six. Also the number of repetitions can be increased . Also for an alternate style of training replace every punch with a vertical palm strike. Track your progress and see how quickly you improve but remember to keep your technique good.

Kicking

WingChun kicks aren’t well known, and that’s too bad. Although it doesn’t use fancy Capoeira or high-flying Taekwondo kicks, a well-trained WingChun artist uses kicks effectively.

Borrowing from its Southern Shaolin Kung Fu style, WingChun kicks are aimed low.

Typically to the floating ribs and below.When kicking the bottom section of a 3 section bag the heel of the foot should be driven straight from the floor into the bag in one fluid motion rather than chambering the kick which uses the two motions of up and then out.

Practice kicking off of both legs and also from the leg forwards or backwards when in a stance. Your front leg is trained for a quick kick and your back leg for a slower but more powerful kick.

Palm-Striking

The palm strike can be applied much like a punch, and the idea is to generate significant power to really rock the brain (reboot the computer!), possibly causing a knockout.

There are some variations in application. When I first began researching it, I was not entirely sure everyone was talking about the same technique, as different camps also call it different things:

  • palm heel strike,
  • tiger’s claw,
  • face smash,
  • jab or cross with a “claw hand”,
  • etc.

This is not an exhaustive list, for sure. We practiced several palm strikes in Wing Chun with yet other names.

Weaknesses

Wing Chun is a bit different from all other martial arts, at least in my opinion. This is the reason for the extremely different reputations it has. I used to do it, and I could guarantee a win against over 80% of first degree black belts (likely a higher percentage) in any other style when I was one year into it with a yellow sash.

When practiced correctly, with a good teacher and an almost excessive focus on sparring correctly you will be nearly unbeatable against all but the best practical fighters out there. As for multiple opponents, you can drop most opponents in about 3 seconds, just go one at a time.

Those of us who understand Wing Chun, know, without hesitation the limitless nature in which it fits in all “ranges” of combat. Again, at any or all times, the human body must be in those ranges of combat.

Elbow Strikes

Training elbows is always an awkward one. The solid bone in the kinetic chain means that there isn’t enough yield to practice on the wall bag without jolting yourself to pieces. Focus mitts are okay but you need a partner to hold them and there isn’t always one about when you want to train

Dit Da Jow

Dit Da Jows have many uses, depending on the formula. Mostly they are used for healing. Good Jows are not miracle cures, but help promote your own body’s healing methods.

They are great for bruises, sprains, pulled tendons or muscles, bone bruises, and other uses. They are also perfect for toughening the striking surfaces of the body, hardening bones and Iron Palm training.

If you are a serious Wing Chun practitioner, train Iron Palm, or train your body hard, then using Dit Da Jow is a must!

Nutrition

Martial arts nutrition deals with diet and nutrition to positively affect a practitioner’s performance. By focusing on the quality and quantity and balanced consumption of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, vitamins and supplements, a practitioner hopes to enhance his or her performance.

Successful martial arts nutrition can lead to improved body chemistry for balance, explosive power, better mobility, greater speed and strength, increased energy for intense workouts, higher endurance for sport and self-defense situations, speedier recovery times, strengthened immune systems and maintenance of a healthy body weight.

The main supplement that you will want to take, if you cannot get enough of it in your food, is calcium which is essential in maintaining good bone density and for repairing damaged bones.

Injuries

Since we always retain one standing leg, the impact we enact in WingChun is primarily arm collision. We train resistance in the lower body by bearing our own and, during interactive training, the weight of our partner.

The mobilization of weapons in Escrima adds weight resistance in the upper body. Hence, practicing both armed and unarmed Self-Defense in the IAW gives you a thorough system of skeletal development and maintenance.

Elbow injuries are also common. The problem with elbow injuries in general are the results of “unintentional” improper instruction and training method.

Often people will ignore the impact on elbows and you need to be careful not to lock out you elbow joints when punching, especially when putting lots of power behind it.

It’s like flicking a knife blade, the stopping of the blade create stress on the pivot point, the elbow has nothing to stop the travel except the joint itself.

We wish you the best of luck with your training, enjoy!