Speed Bag has a long history, for bags of different material were made of animal skins and filled with water or various fluids back in ancient times. The modern version of the speed bag, as we know it, originated after the vulcanization of Rubber in the late 1830’s. The first known use of “rubber bladders” in speed bags is noted in the 1870’s. All of this is Chronicled in the amazing Documentary created by ZaZa Cast Productions, THE ART OF THE SPEED BAG: A Speed Bag Story

But here is some other interesting information that we have found. Most of the Books Below are available for online reading or .pdf download.

1895 Bag Punching by Jules Franks

Note the long “rope swivel”
Elbow Punching is shown. Elbows and Knees were always a part of “Fancy Bagging”

1904 William Duncan – Bag Punching

William Duncan, looking Dapper for the day
Elbow Striking
Vertical and Multiple Bags
Fist Rolling (called “Tatooing” in his day)


Sam C. Austin, The Art of Boxing and BAG PUNCHING with Belle Gordon Illustrations.

Book by Sam C. Austin

1904 Belle Gordon, Champion Bag Puncher

She was a leader in fitness and female advocated for woman doing strenuous exercise. She published a book
“Physical Culture for Woman” in 1904.

1913, Scientific Bag Punching by Harry Seekback, world champion bag puncher.


Today’s techniques called “Fist Rolling” were called “Tattooing” the bag during historical times. Today we call this the “Reverse Fist Roll”
The Historical “Fancy Baggers” often hit more than one bag at time.

Seriously, More than one bag at a time! (note: the trick is “easily mastered” ahh!

SIDE-WALL BAG has become known today as “Vertical Bagging” and it has made a resurgence in the last 10 years.

Today this Front Straight Punch (FSP) under the other arm is known as a “Phantom Punch” for you often can’t see it move under the other arm

1916, Young Corbett published his book “How to Punch The Bag” a part of the Spalding athletic Library, a major publisher and sports equipment company of the day.

Special Reference to Beginners
Outward Elbow Strikes
Tips for Speed Bag Competitions

Other historical pictures and new clips

The Vagges Fancy Bagging Husband and Wife, toured vaudeville and beyond for many years.