So I recently got myself a BOB, a body opponent bag from Century, one of the biggest names in martial arts equipment. What I want to cover is relatively in depth, so if you haven’t watched the review video, I think you should.
To begin, there are three models of this punching dummy: BOB, BOB XL and Bobby Bully. Which one makes the most sense for you depends on a few factors, but mostly it comes down to size and age and how much kicking you plan to do.
Since I prefer the standard BOB model, I’ll start with that. By the way, the headings and pictures are links to take you to the good stuff.
Might not be a bad idea to turn up your sound. I did this video on my phone, so it’s not very loud. Plus, I think I mentioned my mat tile floor, which I thought you could see but I was wrong. You can’t see it at all… Oops! 🙂
Yes, BOB is a great supplement to practicing with an actual human being. I have never been one to use heavy bags, not because I don’t think they’re necessary, but they are more for endurance workouts than they are for really training martial techniques. The best thing about Body Opponent Bag is the “Body” part. He is designed specifically to emulate a person so you can get a feel for hitting someone instead of something.
The Century BOB is made from incredibly durable plastisol, filled with a high-density urethane foam to mimic the feel of a human being. The standard version is simply a manly, muscular torso with a head. The body screws onto a plastic sleeve that fits over the post that extends up from the base. That said, with use, the screws do become a little loose, so it’s probably not a bad idea to keep a flat head screwdriver in the general vicinity.
Another great thing about BOB is that due to his being a human form, you are able to focus on things like soft spots and pressure points. You can choke, poke, chop, claw, grab, or anything else you can imagine that doesn’t require extremities, except throw. You can’t throw him… 🙂
He is tough to move. He’s 270 lbs (122.5 kg) and stands from 60-78″ (~1.5-2 m). I’m not sure that’s completely right, but that’s what the specs say. I have a 9 year old who stands as tall as BOB on his lowest setting, and Lorenzo isn’t 5 feet tall at 9. Anyway, once filled, obviously he’s very bottom-heavy, so you’ll have to drag or roll him if you want to relocate him. I filled mine with water, but I’ve heard others say they prefer sand since it doesn’t slosh around inside and can be heavier (I guess that depends on how fine the sand is, but I haven’t tried it and can’t speak to it from experience). Either way is up to you.
I will say this, though – I filled mine upstairs in my loft above the garage and ended up overfilling it as I was running back downstairs to turn off the spigot. I came back to a mess to clean, so it’s probably not a bad idea to get someone to help out if you’re going to run a hose up the stairs. Just a thought.
Last point on BOB to consider: you might want to wrap your hands or wear gloves. The plastisol is not rough, but it is rubbery. That said, if you’re going to do a lot of punching, you do run the risk of leaving some skin behind if you don’t protect your hands in some way. Personally, I don’t like wearing gloves unless I’m sparring. They tend to get in my way, and I’ll never wear even MMA gloves in a real fight, so I prefer to just wrap. Besides, it trains a better punch if you don’t have padding to mask poor form.
So the biggest drawback of the regular BOB model is that he isn’t made for kicking really, unless you do a bunch of body and head kicks. I don’t, so he doesn’t really serve that purpose for me. Most of the kicks I do are to the lower legs, knees, or torso unless I have my opponent bent over. Over the years, I have found high, flashy kicks to be inefficient, slow, and obvious. I’m more of a knees and elbows kinda guy.
Anyway, that just means that for me, I get my kicking practice in at ninjutsu class, where I spend about 5 hours a week, which is plenty. Of course, there are many folks who completely disagree with me and practice martial arts that focus on kicks. The XL version is freaking great for kickboxers and taekwondo peoples.
He has legs that go down to what would be probably mid-thigh if they weren’t covered with shorts. This does give you some extra body to work with, but it’s really best for kicking. BOB’s being shirtless lets you see things like pressure points and soft areas that you can’t see on the legs because they are covered.
Also, BOB XL completely wraps around his sleeve, so there are points on the back that are usable, as well. He’s definitely more substantial than the original BOB.
Bobby Bully is a waste of money. Don’t buy it.
If you have kids, they will grow up and get stronger. Get a regular BOB. My 9 year old works out with him just fine, and as he grows, he would totally outgrow Bobby Bully.
The Body Opponent Bag can accessorize! Now you can do even more stuff!
Yep, BOB is even more awesome now than before! He’s got arms and special Strike Skin that is designed to train your accuracy even further.
You can get BOB, BOB XL, and Strike Skin at Amazon, but not his arms. Those have to come directly from Century, where you can’t get the strike skin. Go figure… 🙂
I’ve got all the links you need right here in the article, and clicking any of the pictures will take you where you need to go to get whatever it is you’re looking at.
If you haven’t watched the video, watch the video. I show you my BOB and give you my thoughts. There really is no martial arts training equipment that’s quite like the Century Body Opponent Bag, so check him out!