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Self Defense/How can I improve? (No punching bag)



I'm currently taking Krav Maga. I'm supposed to test in December, and I've been taking it for about 8 months (from February to today, in October) but I don't feel well about testing. My biggest problems are that I burn out quickly during stress drills, and during stress drills my technique falls apart.

I don't think I can handle the 2 hour test, because 2 minutes of stress drills is enough to deteriorate the quality of my strikes. I also notice that during stress drills my technique is not right. I tend to wind up, and I find that I don't pivot on my hips like I'm supposed to when I dry drill. How can I improve, without a punching bag? (I don't have one).


Thanks for reaching out.  Your problem is very common.  So, take heed and understand that a little preparation on your part will carry you far.  Even without a punching bag you can air-punch/strike to great effect.  If you want an object to contact then construct an area to strike/punch such as elevating a couch cushion or something similar.  I would suggest stuffing a long sleeve shirt and pair of pants (jeans) with heavier materials such as paper and cardboard.  Tie the shirt and pants together and cuff the sleeve and legs by tying them tight.  Stand this figure and secure it against a tree in your yard or chair in your home and start striking it.  The goal is to build up your aerobic capacity so that you can go well beyond two minutes of stress/striking drills.  It simply comes down to conditioning.  Please consider power-walling or running to improve your capacity.  By continually practicing flexing your hips and striking the dummy or cushion you will see improvement.  Remember to focus on the technique and not the power.  With all of the techniques you have learned and will learn in the future please focus on getting the technique(s) correct before you being placing the power behind it.  This will improve your pivoting and strike techniques.  I cannot stress that factor enough.  Perfect practice makes perfect.  Focus on the correct strikes and techniques and then practice, practice, practice!  

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Jeffrey Hauck


I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions regarding mixed martial arts (MMA) styles and traditional aspects of Karate, Tae Kwon-Do, and Self-Defense.


Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL. Defensive & control tactics instructor training LEO's, private citizens, and corporations since 1997. Shodan rank (1st Dan) in Karate(1st Degree Black Belt).

Serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Martial Arts Scholars with Dr. John Landry:

Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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