Balanced. If I had to sum up Century's Wavemaster in one word, "balanced" is what I would choose. Aside from its obvious freestanding ability, it is balanced in the sense of its well-rounded usability. There are pros and cons, both of which I will detail in this review.

The Wavemaster is Century's most basic model of the freestanding training bag – however, basic isn't a bad thing when paired with refined quality like this.

A Well Rounded Training Tool

Comprised of a hard plastic base and core, and a detachable polyurethane bag wrapped in vinyl, the entire Wavemaster is very durable and easy to assemble and transport. You can fill it with water or sand and expect a decently steady target weighing roughly 270lb.

This is enough weight for most punches and kicks; however do be aware that a hard enough strike from a powerful martial artist can still knock it down. If you are planning on throwing a lot of power shots, especially if you're a larger, stronger person, one of Century's other Wavemaster products, like the 2XL, might be a better fit.

This not-heavy-yet-not-light weight does have some unique benefits. Even when fully filled, the Wavemaster is easy to move around the house or dojo—simply tilt and roll it. This makes it a great choice for students of the martial arts who have constructed a "garage dojo." You can roll it out whenever you need it and quickly put it away when it is time to use the space for something else.

I know schools that have had their Wavemaster for years (some of them have had theirs for over a decade!) and the only show of noticeable wear on it would be a mild water leak in the base if it gets fully knocked over. Not bad for ten or so years of abuse from furious fists and feet.

The foam cushion that makes up the bag itself is something else to take note of. The high-density foam cushions your blows adequately and doesn't wear down easily. A vast majority of martial artists will be able to hit the bag as hard as they can and still not worry about injury. If you aren't used to hitting a bag or you have sensitive hands or wrists, simply putting on a pair of gloves will be more than sufficient in alleviate any concerns or possible problems.

The top (bag portion) of the Wavemaster locks into the base in one of seven notches, each adjusting the Wavemaster's height. It can stand anywhere from 47" to 68" tall. Beyond that, do you remember how I said the top, the striking portion, is detachable? Taking the bag off of the base gives you an even smaller target that can be utilized for itty bitty children, challenging them to kick it hard enough to knock it over. I've used this method with much success in classes with 3- to 4-year-olds and even used it as a creative tool in classes for the older kids and adults.

This might not be the use it was designed for, but it is still very fun and interesting to implement in classes. As evidenced by the Water Bottle Challenge from way back when (I mean this—the OG challenge that Jason Statham made famous), you can use the training bag in more ways than expected if you get creative in your classes and workouts.

Wavemaster Through the Years - The Original Freestanding Bag

Every martial artist experiences growth and development along their martial arts journey: from the first awkward kick to mastery (or as close as it gets!).

The Imperfections

With all of that being said, the Original Wavemaster is a well-rounded piece of equipment, not a perfect one. If you are a heavy hitter, the bag can be knocked down.

The taller you've adjusted your bag to be, the easier knocking it down gets. At max height, a solid punch might not put it on the floor, but a powerful roundhouse very well might.

Side note to keep in mind: When fully extended, the Wavemaster stands only slightly taller than a 5'6" person. This is something to keep in mind if you are a 6'2" martial artist who really wants to work his head level kicks.

Another factor to note of is the amount of noise the Wavemaster will make if you are training on a hard floor (e.g. wooden flooring or a concrete basement). This is mitigated if you are using it on a mat or other type of cushioned flooring, however, it does remain something to consider if you are using it with neighbors or family who are close enough to your training space to complain.


If you are looking into getting a Wavemaster, I would definitely encourage it. Whether for home training sessions or for dojo use, you can expect a quality product that you can assemble and move with ease. Though there are some concerns to be had if you are a tall martial artist or need to use it on a hard floor in a quiet area, the positives easily outweigh the negatives.


  • Hard plastic base wrapped with polyurethane foam and covered with durable vinyl
  • Adjustable height (seven levels—changes from 47" to 68")
  • Easy to move


  • Not made for heavy power hits
  • Not ideal for tall martial artists — can still work however
  • Makes a fair amount of noise when on hard floor (something to consider if you live in an apartment or place where that could be a problem)

Durability: 9/10

Performance: 7.5/10

Design: 9/10

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Century first came out with the Wavemaster line back in 1995—over twenty years ago! Since then, they have made many innovations to their design. You can check out more of their product line here!

Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

Munk Pack Protein cookies are a perfect on-the-go or post-workout snack that helps keep you full, provides nutrients you need, and also lets you enjoy a sweet treat without feeling the guilt

Keep Reading Show less

By now, you've probably heard all about 52 Blocks — especially because we featured the martial art and its most visible proponent Professor Mo, aka Mahaliel Bethea, on the cover of our magazine last year. Just in case you haven't, know that 52 Blocks is a self-defense system that was spread in American prisons but that actually originated in Africa, according to Professor Mo. That's the reason we titled our June/July 2019 cover story with him "Art of Africa, Not Art of Incarceration."

Keep Reading Show less

Looking for an all-around reusable water bottle? H2O might be something you should consider!

The half a gallon (2.2L for you metric people) is the perfect amount to take with you to your training session and keep you hydrated the whole time. It will also keep your water nice crisp and cold with it's think 5mm Neoprene insulation, oh and did we say it has a built in phone holder for you to not having to worry about keeping your phone on the floor and being stepped on, but it does not stop there, it also has a slot for your cards and another place to hold your keys! Yup, your phone slides right into a small sleeve on the side of the bottle and keeps it nicely tucked away! The bottle is also BPA and BPS free and FDA approved Food Safe Water Gallon Jug.

These bottles come in many amazing designs and are reasonably priced at just $25.99 check them all out online at

Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter