Throughout the years there have been many people and events that help shape Speedbagcentral as well as promoted speed bag training to many others during their own lives. This page will feature just a few that stand out. It is in no way comprehensive to the thousands of awesome speed bag fans around the world.
- Dr. Charles R. Schroeder, Ph.D
- Tim Platt
- Joe Saba
- Ernie Oriente Sr.
- George Kam
- John Baca, CMOH
- Donnie Blanks
- Brian Tichy
- Mr. Joe Skrycki
- Brian Demaris – Balazs boxing
Dr. Charles “Roy” Schroeder, Ph.D
Dr. Charles Roy Schroeder, hitting the speed bag.
In his younger days, Dr. Schroeder was a avid boxer and won the Marine boxing championships. After his military service his attained his PH.D in Kinesiology, writing many books on health, fitness and exercise. In his 1973 “Boxing Skills” he featured a chapter on speed bag training. His “31 striking rhythms” were the basis for the later 24 techniques described in the Speed Bag Bible training program. While Dr. Schroeder was writing this book, Alan Kahn caught him hitting the speed bag and was fascinated with the sound and fury of fists and elbows flowing non-stop from all directions. He signed the petition to start the inaugural boxing class taught at Memphis State University. For the next 3 years, they were often under a board, Doc teaching away. Besides speed bag, Doc was a master with the jump rope.
As the years past, Dr. Schroeder retired and spent his last few years sailing and scuba diving around the world. In out last meeting I was able to show him the preliminary pre-production copy of the first edition of The Speed Bag Bible. Doc was thrilled to have one of his students take his knowledge, expand it a bit and publish to teach others. To anyone now who states they do “Bible Style Bagging”…..It all started from Dr. Schroeder.
We spent a lot of time together, camping with his kids and teaching how to scuba dive, and snorkling with his daughters.
This modern resurgence of speed bag popularity is as much a cause of Tim Platt as anything or anyone else. In 2005 he created the internet site “Speedbagforums.com” and over the next few years it became THE place for hundreds of speed baggers from around the world to meet and talk about all things speed bag. As a direct result, in 2010 we held the first annual “Speed Bag Gathering” drawing speed baggers from all over the world to Real Gymm in Keyport New Jersey. Canada and Australia included. Since then we’ve had 10 annual Gatherings at at this location, along with few others at different locations around the country. Only the Covid-19 epidemic postponed the 2020 gathering but it will resume as soon as it’s safe. All of this was created and led by Tim. He and his wife organized and ran the first four gatherings.
During that time, Tim pushed his own skills well past “master” level, creating original and unique elbow combinations never seen before. Now, beside still owning and running speedbagforums.com, he has created speedbaglabs.com further discussing speed bag equipment and training tips. Tim is “a baggers bagger” and he is an awesome ambassador for the art of speed bagging.
Along with being a webmaster and I.T. Specialist, he has many talents and interests. He is particularly interest in Fitness and Health. Besides Speedbagforums, Here are just a few of his other websites.
Joe Saba, ZaZaCast Productions.
Joe Saba entered the Speed Bag World in 2011. As a new speed bagger he was anxious to learn as much as he could. And he learned fast. But his day job is a media production specialist, owner of ZaZaCast film Productions. He quickly decided the speed bag needed it’s own documentary, to herald its unique history from the late 1800’s to present. Out of his mind, and mostly his own finances, he set forth creating the amazing documentary:
The ART of the bag: A Speed Bag Story.
Through his research he uncovered a huge amount of “lost” history about the speed bag, dating back to the late 1800’s and it had a great run as Vaudeville entertainment, where “fancy baggers” put on shows all over the country. Who knew? He found footage of some of the earliest baggers, sadly before “talkies” so they are silent. This film Chronicles it’s history up to the modern day resurgence as speed bag punching, users and punching skills have skyrocketed since the publishing of The Speed Bag Bible in 1995. Since then “Fancy bagging” has become and international phenomenon and Joe features some of the best of the day during 2012-2013.
This documentary made it’s official debut was on March 11 2014 at the Rosendale Theatre, Rosendale NY.
And he has also become a true speed bag master in his own right, attending the annual gatherings and learning new combinations
As an awesome musician (bass guitar) an aspiring Banjoist, He is one of the unique personalities in the speed bag world and always a joy to be around.
And he has become an excellent Punch Drummer in his own right!
Ernie Oriente Sr.
Ernest Oriente Sr. has been using a Speed bag all his long life and has taught others all over the world. For many years he taught daily at the Evalyn Sadler Jones branch of the YMCA in Sarasota Florida, but left that post several years ago to relocate to Kansas.
In May of 2003, He organized a three day Speed Bag Seminar at his branch of the YMCA and was joined by Alan Kahn, author of The Speed Bag Bible, along with his Sons, all who are exceptional on the speed bag. We held several days of intense group and private lessons.
E.O Sr. is full certified to teach speed bag as presented in the Speed Bag Bible, and never refuses anyone who asks. And for the Record, this retired Italian Chef makes the best Pizza on the planet.
In 2008 Ernie applied to attend and was the selected to present speed bag punching at the YMCA Europe 2008 Festival, in Prague, Czech Republic. Once he arrived, He built his own 3-position speed bag rack for teaching (with the help of a few kids, none of whom spoke English. But he made it work!). He taught 6 to 8 hours every day for 7 days – August 3-9
E.O. Sr has live a remarkable life and is truly one of the most entertaining personalities you will ever meet. Well into his 80’s, he has been a world wide ambassador of the speed bag and deserves to be recognized for his efforts.
George Kam Speed Bag instructor, Nuuanu YMCA, Honolulu Hawaii.
Mr. Kam has been a avid speed bag fan all of his life and has endlessly dedicated his time and talents to teach others. For many years, he had
“George’s speed bag club” at the Nuuana YMCA in Honolulu. Train with him and you WILL learn speed bag, by George!
One of George’s students, Genie Joseph, right, hosted a local Television talk show and one episode featured George and his speed bag training. He was also interviewed numerous times throughout his long teaching career.
John Baca, CMOH
Many of those mentioned here deserve a medal for their work and dedication. However There is one honorary member of Speedbagcentral that earned his medal the old fashion way – On the field of battle.
John Baca was award the medal of honor for valor in action during the Vietnam war. He is also a genuine speed bag expert. But that pale’s in comparison to the price he paid for our freedom. We’re just glad he’s alive and proud to call him friend. Read about his actions on the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website
After his injury in Viet Nam, John spent almost a year in the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and has always maintained a close connection with the facility. For a few years he had set up the John Baca Speed Bag training area for injured veterans begin treated. Several days a week he would go and teach and vet that wanted to learn, and one of proudest achievements was having a veteran with a New Prosthetic Arm to do a Front Fist Roll.
Donnie Blanks, owner of Real Gymm in Keyport New Jersey. during 2009 The many speed baggers on SpeedBagForums.com were planning to hold a “Gathering”, or giant meet-up of the members. A location would be needed that could hold 50+ people and either have a few speed bag or allow for a ‘speed bag cage” to be erected, to hold 6-8 speed bags. And it also would have to allow for the noise…because punching speed bags can get loud.
The location also had to be relatively inexpensive to rent, and hopefully close to affordable motel/hotels. A major airport close by would also be helpful, if not necessary. Some of the obvious choices were considered (Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, etc) but costs were prohibitive. That’s when Donnie raised his hand and said “I’ll do it at my place. For Free! come to Real Gymm in Keyport NJ” This turned out to be a blessing, for many of the baggers at that time lived on the East Coast. There are major airports close by with easy access to trains or other ground transportation. He had several speed bags of his own with room to construction a large “speed bag cage” with 8 stations. Turned out, this location was just what was needed, owned by the man to make it happen.
At the Gatherings our fellowship goes long into the night and meals together. Donnie is a key member of the Keyport downtown community and always seems to get us tables to talk and tell tales. And Donnie somehow picks up many a tab. No speed bagger ever went hungry at the Gatherings. And a few that couldn’t afford a room have crashed in the gym.
Every year, Donnie closes out the gathering with a Cake and closing ceremony. Just to thank all the speed baggers for coming to support the event. The 10th annual in July 2019 was a bit special and he gave a very touching speech about what this event has done for him, his gym members and his family, who always attend.
Donnie is a man of many means and has dabbled in several occupations. He started out in music as part of the “East Coast Crew” in the early days of rap before getting into fitness and personal training. He has worked his way up to one of the most highly recommended personal coaches for the top level collegiate athletes as well as several pro football and basketball players. He is also a youth football coach and sponsors his “Youth Crew” fitness programs for kids in his area.
In spite of all that, He is most proud of being “a Father First” and his kids are never far away.
Donnie has made a huge impact on the modern speed bag movement.
Brian Tichy “BT” is a musical powerhouse and Legendary Rock Drummer. He has played with many of the biggest names, including Billy Idol, Ozzy, Foreigner, Whitesnake and The Moby Dicks.
Late in 2008 while on tour with Foreigner he got the speed bag bug and had found video’s of Alan Kahn punch drumming on youtube. As a drummer he was fascinated and BT put up a speed bag in the gear truck of the band.
Over the next two years Brian’s Passion for Speed Bagging grew, along with his skill, and BT was always gracious to invite local bagger members of Speedbagforums.com to attend a foreigner concert and spend some time with him inside the now infamous “Foreigner Speed Bag Truck.” The “Truck” toured all over America and BT had versions of it in other countries also, so he could get in some speed bagging at every tour stop.
Brian attend the First Annual Speed Bag gathering and put on an amazing demonstration of Drumming and Vertical Speed Bag.
BT eventually incorporated a Speed Bag into his drum kit for performances and Debut this on That Metal Show, on April 14, 2012 with Eddie Trunk on VH-1 network.
Mr. Joe Skrycki
“Mr. Joe” was a Friend and coach to hundreds of kids in Grand Rapids, Mi. He was a Police Officer for 35 years, and coached at the Seidman Youth center for 9 years During which his boxers won a combined 140 state, regional and national titles. R.I.P. Joe. You were loved by all.
Brian Demaris is the owner of Balazs Boxing. He has been a huge supporter of many events through the years that featured the speed bag, From donating numerous bags, boards and hand wraps to events like the Speed Bag gatherings, to Sponsoring several speed baggers making personal appearances to demonstrate the speed bag. He was instrumental in assisting the early Speed Bag Gatherings to get up and going.
Thanks to Brian, the Balazs UBS-1 free standing frame has made many a speed bag appearance possible.