Buying a Muay Thai bag should be an investment. Quality matters here, as you will not be returning the mat bags for many years. A lot of Muay Thai bag companies are aware that people come back to the sport again and with this, they produce high quality products. Here are some tips to consider before purchasing one:
Fuji Six foot Muay Thai Bags, traditionally known as "The King of Fighting Bags", are durable, rugged and built to last long. High quality craftsmanship and materials separate these from the ordinary ones. These are usually filled with shredded soft top grain leather, with the shins being coated with cowhide shavings from India. Each bag goes through an intense quality checking process including X-ray, injection molding and dye sublimation to ensure that no foreign objects/object are present in the bag. In addition to this, they are also finished using UV protectant to prevent fading and cracking.
This is a drill I use to check for screws and pin holes. Before purchasing a muay thai bag, always do a thorough inspection of the mounting hardware and do it at an angle. If it is mounted incorrectly, the bag may not be able to absorb impact properly. Check the screws and bolt holes using your basic power tools and try to avoid drilling until you are completely confident that the mount onto which you will hang your bag is secure.
As mentioned above, some bags have a built in support beam that can be used as a method to hang the bag on the ceiling mount. The support beam comes apart piece by piece and can be slid together to form either a horizontal or vertical piece depending upon the bag you are hanging. This is an extremely convenient way to hang your muay thai bag, but is often not recommended. A problem with this type of support beam is that it can be easily pulled down and damaged by strong winds. For this reason, many Muay Thai fighters prefer to purchase a separate support beam that they can attach directly to the ceiling.
While many people will advise you to buy a new bag rather than a used one, this may not always be the best recommendation. There are two main reasons for this recommendation: a used bag can lack the proper fit and you may find the sawdust filling leaking out. When purchasing a used muay thai bag, always inspect the sawdust filling to ensure it is not leaking. This is done by inspecting the sides of the bag and lining them up with a line drawn across them. If the sawdust becomes wet, remove it from the bag and replace it with dry sand or a lubricant; do not use water because this will cause the bag to warp.
One method many experienced Muay Thai fighters use is to fill the inside of a large trash can with dry sand or wood chips. The idea is to create as much obstruction as possible between you and your opponent so you have less options for fighting them. Because you won't be able to see the person you are fighting through the mask, you have less of a chance of landing a successful hit. It is also a good idea to add a bag of gravel or anything else you have lying around the house; it will act as extra counter projectiles to keep your opponent from seeing you.
To make your own mock drill, you can divide your Muay Thai bag into sections and drill until you have formed six equally sized piles. Place one person at each section and test run your drill with them standing still. Once you complete your test run, switch places and have each person then try to throw a strike without moving from where they are standing. Once they have done this, switch places and have them strike from either the top or bottom of the ceiling mount.
Now that you know how easy it is to make a mock hitting bag, you may want to go out and buy your own. Many sports stores sell muay thai bags that you can practice striking from. You should always have some sort of striking surface to practice from because you can easily change your bag if your hands start to fly during your training. The best bag of course will be the one that you are able to personally use; once you have bought your own muay thai bag, you will know exactly how much the sport is meant to be.