As I continue to edit all the interviews and great speed bagging footage…and wait for some more footage to come in, I’ve really started to work on the “History” section of the film. To me, this is one of the most interesting parts. The deeper I dig, the more I uncover and the deeper my understanding is of just how popular the speed bag used to be ‘back in the day’.
In the late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s it seemed to be everywhere. Men & women alike were into the bag. There were ‘Champion Bag Punchers’ and Vaudeville acts featuring ‘Fancy Punching’. Many of the physical fitness books of the time included the speed bag as part, if not the focus, of the workout!
Doris DeGreen, Champion Bag Puncher
(screen captures of 1940 footage)
Then, it just kind of dropped-off? It became strickly a boxer’s exercise and all the ‘fancy punching’ seemed to disappear? I found this strange, why did stop? Wasn’t anyone passing the skills down anymore? Was interest just lost? Then, in 1976…there was the movie “Rocky”! The speed bag started popping up again…and little did we know that Alan Kahn was discovering the bag and realizing the possibilities that might have been lost in history.
So… the story continues and hopefully the “Art of the Bag” will thrive once again.
All this research made me curious to see what it might have been like to hit the speed bag ‘Retro Style’…just using a simple eye-bolt and shoelace…like Doris did!