Punching bags can take many forms, but when you have a specific workout or practice need, you need specific tools to accommodate them.
Punching bags are great for hitting and cardio work, but grappling and takedowns? Not so much.
Based on decades of manufacturing experience in the martial arts industry, Century has designed the Versys line to meet those challenges.
The only sticking point is that there are four different models from which to choose. The ideal one for you will depend on your discipline, the moves you want to strengthen, and your size and age.
Our detailed Century Versys review will guide you through the similarities and differences in the series and get you set up with the ideal selection.
Versys Features, Specs, and Overview
Bottom line? Here is a quick look at who and what each bag is best for.
- VS.1 – If you are into takedowns, throws, ground n pound, plus other moves, the VS.1 could be the perfect match for you. It is a freestanding punching bag, prefilled to 110 lbs., and will enable a vast range of training techniques in martial arts, self-defense, and general fitness.
- VS.2 and VS.3 – Both models are good for intensive combat training that combines legwork with punching and arm strikes. With tripod bases, they allow inside and outside kicks, and groin strikes. Straps enable clinch work and jabs. The VS.2 is lighter, however, better for smaller practitioners, while the VS.3 provides an oversized and heavy canvas on which to practice a wide variety of MMA, self-defense, and combat training moves.
- BOB – Like the original Century BOB line, the VS.BOB is hands-down the best choice for feeling like you are fighting a realistic partner. Use it to practice those eye, neck, and throat strikes. Trust it to simulate a real torso under that vinyl, giving you the feeling of landing punches and jabs on an actual human body. The arms will respond, allowing for excellent simulation of a sparring partner – all without hurting a person.
Key Features & Training Benefits of the Versys Series
According to Century Martial Arts, the VS.1 is a “revolutionary fight simulator.” While it is modeled off the basic freestanding bag concept, it is much more than that. Yes, it’s round with a weighted base to keep it upright, but its other attributes are what set it apart. The heavier base allows it to rebound easily, giving you practice on tracking the movements of an opponent.
Moving around the bag while delivering kicks and punches, elbow strikes, and knee shots, you can get the same kind of responsiveness as you would from a sparring partner, without worrying about injuring someone in the process.
Any move you can use in an MMA fight, you can use here. Throws, takedowns, ground and pound, all are simple with the simulated fighting of the VS.1. Once you practice movements farther away, you can move in and use the top handles to practice clinches, elbow strikes, and knee strikes. From there, you can throw it down and practice groundwork.
Martial artists report that this is one of the best and most realistic fight simulators on the market, but you do not have to do MMA or any specific martial art to enjoy its benefits. The straps on the bottom enable fitness enthusiasts of any kind to do sit-ups, bag drags, or standing rows.
At 5 and a half feet tall with a diameter of more than a foot, and with a weight of 110 pounds (all pre-filled before purchase), it is a very realistic fighting “partner.” Assembly is simple, requiring only that you put it in place and begin!
If you are in a grappling discipline, the VS.2 is quite simply the only one for you. Its robust shape, arms, and tripod legs enable you to practice every move you can produce.
This includes takedowns as well as crotch lifts, arm drags, leg weeps, underhooks, level changes, and throws. Now you can practice hand, foot, knee, and elbow combinations with reckless abandon, all without the potential of harming a person.
As with the VS.BOB, the tripod leg helps the VS.2 stay upright throughout your training session. So, if you want to practice throwing, takedowns, and ground and pound, you can do that – and you can trust the VS.2 to make you work hard for it. It’s a fantastic tool for mixed martial arts as well as BJJ, judo, wrestling, and grappling.
One of the best things about the VS.2 is how light it is – only 50 pounds, which is 40 percent lighter than others in its class – making it easy to put together, move around and store when you are done with it. If you have a small space in a house or apartment, this is a valuable tool to keep in a closet. It is 60” and requires minimal assembly upon purchase. These factors also make it a great option for novices and the younger crowd.
The VS.3 is much like the VS.2, with a sturdy tripod base and thick foam core. It is missing the arms, however, and at 100 lbs. is double the weight. It is described by the website as a realistic and oversized fight simulator.
While it has the basic shape of a human, it lacks the arms and head of the VS.BOB and the VS.2, instead of providing a larger size on which to practice strikes of all kinds.
Among the most popular uses of the VS.3 are inside leg and ground kicks, both of which are impossible with traditional freestanding punching bags. The tall shape and spread legs also make it ideal for training in knee strikes, clinch moves, spinning back and heel kicks.
If you need a piece of equipment that will enable combat training, self-defense, mixed martial arts, boxing, Muay Thai, or any other type of individual or group training, this will fit the bill.
It is quite large, with a diameter of 18” and a height of 69” (though again, slightly diminished due to the spread nature of the tripod legs). Some assembly is required after purchase.
All items in the Versys line have some characteristics in common with one another. The tripod base, for instance, is shared by all but the VS.1, while VS.BOB’s arms are available in the VS.2, though in a different shape.
The VS.BOB is the only model to have a human face, though. Based on the Original Century BOB, it has even more features to simulate a real, live opponent. It was created in response to continued demands by the public for an option that was like BOB but had arms to increase the realistic feel of a training session – all without injuring an actual opponent. Hence the VS.BOB was born.
It combines the top features of both the Versys line and the BOB lines. It is versatile, with realistic human eyes, throat, arms, torso, and legs. This makes it one of the best tools on the market for practicing self-defense moves. You can throw punches and kicks, of course, but you can also practice throat and neck strikes, eye-gouging, and torso strikes. The arms rebound realistically, giving you the opportunity to practice dodging and parrying, trapping, and bobbing and weaving.
Its tripod base also enables a full range of practice. Because the “legs” stand spread out, you can practice both inside and outside kicks as well as groin strikes. This makes it an excellent choice for self-defense. It also works very well for tactical arts. Practitioners of Krav Maga and Jeet Kune do, for instance, will find it particularly useful.
VS.BOB is not easy to take down, moreover. The tripod base connects each of the legs with a weighted bag of sand between them, each weighing more than 36 pounds. The total weight is 110 pounds, meaning you must work hard to knock VS.BOB down. The total height is 69”, though as some of that comes from the angled tripod legs, the VS.BOB is slightly shorter than that. Overall, it is a great tool for beginners and experts alike.
Is the VS.1 Better Than Everlast Axis?
If you are looking to do some comparison shopping before purchasing one of the Versys series, the most similar product on the market today is the Everlast Axis freestanding punching bag.
With a weighted base, handles for gripping and a tall, cylindrical shape, the Everlast Axis is most like the Versys VS.1.
Like the VS.1, it has enough movement to simulate an opponent, but enough weight to keep it in place so it does not move around excessively.
Handles around the base and top allow for easy relocation of the bag, just like the VS.1. Also, like the VS.1, it works well for trained MMA fighters and young novices alike.
The main distinguishing characteristic between the two bags is the cost, and expectation of quality. Century is an industry leader, setting a high standard.
While Everlast also has a good name based on more than a hundred years in the industry, the Axis is the more affordable option.
Therefore, the Axis is an excellent choice for those who want good equipment for lighter workouts. For something that will take a constant, heavy pounding, opt for the VS.1.
Are the Versys Bags a Good Buy?
Overall, yes, the Versys bags are totally worth the money.
They last a long time, work exceptionally well as fight training dummies, and offer a fully rounded fitness training course for users of all backgrounds. They also work well in tandem, or as individual pieces.
If you are looking to buy a line for a gym or MMA studio, this is a great one in which to invest. If you just want to outfit a home gym and can only afford one, utilize our chart at the beginning of this article to guide your choice.
- VS.1 – Pick this for punch work, with the ability to work on takedowns and groundwork.
- VS.2 and VS.3 – Choose these models for grappling and self-defense practice.
- VS.BOB – For the most realistic experience in self-defense and striking, this is your guy.
In summary, if you are interested in self-defense or martial arts, there is a Century Versys for you. If you have the money and the interest, it is a purchase you will never regret.
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