Title:
Training pad apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A training pad apparatus and method for follow-through striking with consistent resistance, positioning and resetting. A training, or striking, pad is connected to a training pad arm, which is in turn connected to a pivot assembly. The pivot assembly includes a pivotal connection member that is fixed in position and is pivotally connected to an end of the training pad arm opposite the training pad. The pivot assembly also includes elongated elastic members that provide a resisting force in a plane approximately orthogonal to the length of the training pad arm. An enclosure houses the pivot assembly and defines an opening through which the training pad arm extends. Optional positioning poles extend in a parallel manner through the enclosure and provide a means for slidably adjusting the position of training pad along the length of the poles.



Inventors:
Gattis, Steven Hamilton (Alamogordo, NM, US)
Overstreet, David Matthew (Alamogordo, NM, US)
Application Number:
10/825715
Publication Date:
10/20/2005
Filing Date:
04/16/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/02; A63B53/06; A63B53/16; A63B69/20; A63B69/34; A63B22/00; A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B53/16; A63B53/06; A63B69/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BIDDER, ALLANA LEWIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDREA L. MAYS (MAYS AND FAIN, LLP 6700-B JFFERSON ST. NE SUITE 18, ALBUQUERQUE, NM, 87109, US)
Claims:
1. A training pad apparatus comprising: a training pad; a training pad arm connected to said training pad; and a pivot assembly connected to said training pad arm, said pivot assembly comprising: an elongated elastic member providing a resisting force in a plane approximately orthogonal to the length of said training pad arm; and a pivotal connection member pivotally connected to said training pad arm.

2. The training pad apparatus of claim 1 wherein said pivotal connection member comprises a member selected from the group consisting of U-shaped members, circular members, U-joint combinations, ball and socket configurations, and pin configurations.

3. The training pad apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an enclosure for securing said pivot assembly in a fixed position.

4. The training pad apparatus of claim 3 wherein said enclosure comprises an interior and exterior, said pivot assembly secured within said interior of said enclosure.

5. The training pad apparatus of claim 3 wherein said enclosure defines an opening through which said training pad arm extends.

6. The training pad apparatus of claim 5 wherein said opening comprises an elongated slot.

7. The training pad apparatus of claim 4 wherein said enclosure comprises a mounting member on an interior surface of said enclosure for receiving an end of said elastic member to secure an end of said elastic member in an approximately fixed position.

8. The training pad apparatus of claim 1 wherein said elastic member extends around said training pad arm at an approximate midpoint of said elastic member forming said elastic member into an approximate V-shape.

9. The training pad apparatus of claim 8 wherein said V-shaped elastic member defines a plane approximately orthogonal to the length of said training pad arm.

10. The training pad apparatus of claim 3 wherein said enclosure comprises a wall mount for securing said training pad apparatus to a surface.

11. The training pad apparatus of claim 3 further comprising: a positioning pole slidably engaged with said enclosure for positioning said enclosure at a selected position along said positioning pole; and a positioner for fixing said enclosure at a position along said positioning pole.

12. A method of providing a striking surface for training, the method comprising the steps of: providing a striking pad connected to a pad arm; pivoting an end of the pad arm opposite the striking pad about a pivotal connection member in response to a strike; and resisting movement of the pad arm with an elastic member extending around the pad arm.

13. The method of claim 12 further comprising the step of enclosing the pivotal connection member and elastic member in an enclosure.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising mounting the enclosure to a secure surface.

15. The method of claim 13 further comprising the step of positioning the enclosure along a positioning pole.

16. A method of providing follow-through striking, the method comprising the steps of: striking a training pad; pivoting a training pad arm connected to the training pad; resisting the pivoting movement of the training pad arm; resetting the training pad to the original pre-strike position; and limiting oscillations during resetting.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein the steps of resisting the pivoting movement, resetting the training pad, and limiting oscillations comprise: wrapping a pair of opposing elongated elastic members around the training pad arm; and fixing the position of the ends of the elastic members.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to athletic training equipment used for exercise, fitness, conditioning, and technique training. In particular, the present invention is related to the field of devices that provide a striking surface for receiving a kick or blow dealt in martial arts, boxing, or similar athletic activities.

2. Background

Training pad devices have been used for years in the martial arts, boxing, and similar athletic fields. Typically, training pad devices are comprised of a striking pad and support configuration. These devices include punching bags, heavy bags, speed bags, pedestals, and others. Some provide a pad that must be held in position by a first person while a second person strikes it. Others are mounted to an immovable surface, such as a wall, floor, or ceiling, by a supporting configuration to secure the device in a relatively fixed position while being struck.

One key difficulty with conventional training pad devices is that they do not provide the ability for follow-through strikes when training. Conventional training pad devices also do not provide a consistent resistance and position and have a significant delay in rebound due to oscillations after striking. Another problem with such devices is that they take up valuable floor training space, are cumbersome and heavy, and create down time for students who must assist others to train by supporting a striking surface. Additionally, these devices can cause injuries from protruding metal or high resistance impacts. Conventional training pad devices may be suitable for particular limited purposes. However, they are not suitable for use as an advanced training aid for conditioning, fitness and technique training.

The present invention for a training pad apparatus overcomes the limitations of the prior art and provides the novel ability for follow-through striking with consistent resistance, positioning and resetting that is not achieved with current devices. In these respects, the training pad apparatus substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus that can be used an advanced training aid for conditioning, fitness and technique training.

SUMMARY

The training pad apparatus and method of the present invention provides for follow-through striking with consistent resistance, positioning and resetting. A training pad is connected to a training pad arm, that is in turn pivotally connected to a member that is fixed in position. Elongated elastic members provide a resisting force in a plane approximately orthogonal to the length of the training pad arm.

Objects, advantages and novel features, and further scope of applicability of the training pad apparatus will be set forth in part in the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice. The objects and advantages of the training pad apparatus may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated into and form a part of the specification, illustrate an embodiment of the training pad apparatus and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the training pad apparatus and method of operation. The drawings are not to be construed as limiting the principles of the training pad apparatus.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the enclosure and training pad of the training pad apparatus;

FIG. 2 is an internal view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an internal side view of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective, exploded view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the training pad apparatus shown with positioning poles;

FIG. 9 is an internal view of the apparatus of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the apparatus of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is an internal side view of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a perspective, exploded view of the apparatus of FIG. 8; and

FIG. 13 is a close-up perspective view of the training pad arm and arm base of the training pad apparatus.

DESCRIPTION

Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference numbers denote similar elements throughout the several views, the attached figures illustrate training pad apparatus 10. FIGS. 1 through 7 show training pad apparatus 10 without optional positioning poles 24, while FIGS. 8 through 12 show training pad apparatus with positioning poles 24.

Referring to FIG. 1, a perspective view of enclosure 16, training pad 12, training pad arm 14, and static wall mounts 18, 18′ of training pad apparatus 10 are shown. FIG. 2 provides an internal view of FIG. 1. FIG. 3 provides a top view and FIG. 4 provides a front view of the apparatus of FIG. 1. FIG. 5 is an internal side view taken through 30-30 of FIG. 4. FIG. 6 provides a rear view and FIG. 7 provides an exploded view of the training pad apparatus of FIG. 1.

With combined reference to FIGS. 1 through 7, training pad apparatus 10 includes training pad 12 connected to arm 14 that protrudes through opening 20 defined in a partial enclosure 16. Training pad 12 functions as a striking target and can include, but is not limited to, a stiff elastic material covered with a layer of padding that is then covered with a protective material. For example, training pad 12 can be made of a plastic and foam combination covered with vinyl or leather. Training pad 12 can be made of different materials and in different shapes to provide different functions for training goals, such as conditioning, fitness, technique, competition and rehabilitation training, and is not limited to any particular material or materials, sizes, or shapes. Training pad 12 can be removed and replaced as needed from pad arm 14.

Pad arm 14 is connected to and supports training pad 12 and transfers energy received from a blow to pad 12 to elastic members within enclosure 16. Training pad 12 and arm 14 are connected to an arm base 46 (FIG. 13) opposite training pad 12, that is pivotally connected to enclosure 16. Pad arm 14 is composed of a suitable material for transferring energy consistently from pad 12, such as a rigid and sturdy material including but not limited to metal, steel, hard plastic, wood, or a composite of materials.

Enclosure 16 is a generally rectangular box having exterior and interior surfaces and is composed of a sufficiently sturdy material to structurally support the internal and external components of training pad apparatus 10 and secure the apparatus in a fixed position, such as but not limited to plastic, metal, steel, wood, or a composite material. Although enclosure 16 is shown as a box-like structure, open in the rear (FIG. 6), it will be understood that enclosures of a variety of enclosures of various shapes and dimensions could function for this purpose. Enclosure 16 secures and prevents the user from contacting the pivot assembly of training pad apparatus 10, leaving only training pad 12 and a small segment of training pad arm 14 exposed for striking. Unlike other training devices that have unprotected metal edges and extrusions, different materials can be used to cover enclosure 16 to pad or otherwise protect the user from the exterior surface of enclosure 16.

Training pad apparatus 10 is secured to a standard building wall or other secure surface by wall mounts 18, which consist of a sufficiently sturdy material to mount and support the apparatus, eliminating the need for first person to support the device while a second trains. In this manner, training pad apparatus 10 does not use valuable floor space and quickly attaches to a wall without significant structural modification. Additionally, the materials making up training pad apparatus 10 preferably result in a light-weight device. Each mount 18 is fixed to enclosure 16 by attachment means 32 (FIGS. 2 and 7), including but not limited to screws, nut and bolt combinations, U-bolts, eye-bolts, rivets, welding joints, a combination thereof, or any suitable attachment means. Training pad apparatus 10 is in turn secured to a wall by attachment means, such as but not limited to nuts and bolts, screws, nails, rivets, or any combination thereof, placed through mating openings 54 defined in wall mounts 18. It will be understood by those of skill in the art that enclosure 16 can of course be fixed directly to the wall or secure surface without wall mounts 18, by attaching a rear surface to enclosure 16 and attaching the rear surface directly to the wall with any of the aforementioned attachment means or by mating Velcro®) strips or adhesives.

Training pad apparatus 10 provides the novel ability for follow-through striking with consistent resistance, positioning and resetting that is not achieved with current devices. Training pad arm 14 connects to enclosure 16 via pivot assembly 22 having a pivotal connection member 36 and elastic members 38, such as but not limited to elastic bands such as bungee cords, rubber bands, or springs, opposing ends of which are mounted to an internal surface of enclosure 16. Enclosure 16 thereby secures pivot assembly 22 in a fixed position. Pivot assembly 22 is best viewed in FIGS. 2, 5, 6, and 7. Advantageously, pivot assembly 22 connects pad arm 14 to enclosure 16 while allowing pad arm 14 to traverse opening 20 of enclosure 16. Further, pad arm 14 connects to pivot assembly 22 with minimum friction for efficient transfer of energy from pad arm 14 to elastic members 38.

Pivot frame 34, which is either integral with or secured to enclosure 16, supports pivotal connection member 36. Pivot frame 34 is positioned in a location that is approximately equidistant from a bottom surface of enclosure 16 as opening 20 defined in enclosure 16, and is parallel to opening 20. The function of pivot frame 34 is to support pivotal connection member 36 in a position such that the plane defined by member 36 is aligned with opening 20 of enclosure 16 thereby allowing arm 14 to extend through opening 20 and pivotally connect to pivotal connection member 36. The plane defined by member 36 is alternatively rotated ninety degrees from that depicted in the figures, so that the plane of member 36 is perpendicular to opening 20. Pivot frame 34 can be secured to enclosure 16 by attachment means 44, such as but not limited to bolts, screws, rivets, or other suitable attachment means that extend through mating openings defined in a surface of enclosure 16 and pivot frame 34, or by welding. Member 36 is secured to pivot frame 34 by attachment means 42, such as but not limited to mating locking nuts, welding joints, or other suitable attachment means. Pivotal connection member 36 can comprise a conventional U-shaped member or U-bolt, although it will be understood that the function of member 36, which is to allow arm 14 and base 46 to pivot thereupon, could be accomplished by other equivalent means, such as an eye-bolt, or other circular member, U-joint combination, ball and socket configuration, or pin configuration.

Training pad arm 14 extends through opening 20 defined in enclosure 16 and mates with arm base 46, both of which are in turn pivotally connected to member 36. Base 46 includes an opening 48 (see FIG. 13) that mates with opening 50 of arm 14 through which U-member is inserted prior to being secured to pivot frame 34. Arm 14 is inserted into a mating opening defined in arm base 46 until openings 48 and 50 are aligned for receiving member 36.

Opposing elongated elastic members 38 provide resistance and elasticity for absorbing energy from training pad arm 14 such that when training pad 12 is hit the pad has consistent resistance and returns quickly to a ready position. For example, elastic members 38 can, but need not necessarily, be bungee cords in the range of twelve to eighteen inches in length, 0.25 to 0.75 inches in diameter. Elastic members 38 provide a resisting force against movement of training pad arm 14 in a plane approximately orthogonal to the length of training pad arm 14. Enclosure 16 contains mounting members 52 within for receiving opposing ends of elastic members 38 to secure ends of elastic members 38 in an approximately fixed position. The manner of mounting elastic members 38 to mounting members 52 can of course vary, but includes tying the ends to mounting members, or connecting the ends to the mounting members with attachment means.

As an alternative to elongated elastic members, each elastic member 38 can be circular in nature, in the manner of a conventional rubber band, which is stretched between opposite ends of a diameter, so that the ends are looped around mounting members 52 and the midpoints wrap around training pad arm 14 and arm base 46. There exists a multitude of equivalent means for mounting elastic members 38 to enclosure 16. Further, the position of mounting members 52, tension, length, and elasticity of elastic members 38 can of course vary with the application to provide the desired resistance and energy absorption from training pad 12.

Each elongated elastic member 38 extends, or wraps, around pad arm 14 and associated arm base 46 such that elastic member 38 absorbs energy from training pad 12 when struck. To provide resistance in a broad range of motions, two elastic members 38 are implemented. A first elastic member 38 is mounted to enclosure 16 by mounting members 52, 52′″ located approximately on adjacent corners within enclosure 16, while a second elastic member 38 is mounted by mounting members 52′, 52″ located approximately on the opposite adjacent corners of enclosure 16. Each elastic member 38 extends or wraps around a portion of the perimeter, or a side, of training pad arm 14 and arm base 46 opposite its respective mounting members, at an approximate midpoint of the elastic member. (See FIG. 2.) Alternatively, each elastic member 38 wraps around the entire perimeter of arm 14 forming a loop of the elastic member around arm 14, then is extended on to mount opposing ends of the elastic member to its respective mounting members 52. Thus it will be understood that the terms “extend around” or “wrapped around” are defined to mean around either a portion of the perimeter, or side, of training pad arm 14 or around the entire perimeter. In either configuration each elastic member forms an approximate V-shape with training pad arm 14 nested in the point of the “V”. The V-shape defines a plane that is approximately orthogonal to the line defined by the length of the training pad arm.

As training pad 12 is struck, arm 14 traverses opening 20 defined in enclosure 16. Opening 20 is depicted in the figures as an elongated slot allowing training pad arm 14 to move in an approximately linear back-and-forth motion (or up-and-down motion if the training pad apparatus is mounted ninety degrees from what is shown in the figures). The limitation on training pad arm motion provided by the dimensions of opening 20, as depicted in the figures, increases the speed at which pad arm 14 returns to a prestrike position. However, opening 20 can be of different dimensions, for example, having width approximately equal to the length, so that training pad arm 14 can pivot, or swivel, in a greater range of angles, from back-and-forth to up-and-down if desired.

Turning to FIGS. 8 through 12, training pad apparatus 10 is shown with optional positioning poles 24, 24′. A perspective view of training pad apparatus 10 with optional positioning poles 24, 24′ is shown by FIG. 8. FIG. 9 provides an internal view of the apparatus of FIG. 8. FIG. 10 is a front view of FIG. 8, while FIG. 11 provides an internal side view through 40-40 of FIG. 10. FIG. 12 provides an exploded view of the apparatus of FIG. 8.

Positioning poles 24 extend in a parallel manner through mating openings 26 in enclosure 16 (see FIG. 9) and provide a means for adjusting the position of training pad 12 along the length of positioning poles 24. In this embodiment, wall mounts 18 are not fixed to enclosure 16, but instead are fixed to poles 24. Opposing ends of positioning poles 24 are fixed to wall mounts 18,18′ and extend approximately orthogonally therefrom. It will be understood by those of skill in the art that the length of poles 24 can vary according to the application. Optionally, poles 24 are segmented or telescopically constructed. Positioning poles 24, 24′ and wall mounts 18, 18′ are of a sufficiently sturdy material, such as but not limited to steel or metal, to support enclosure 16.

Referring to FIG. 12, enclosure 16 is held fixed at a selected position along the length of poles 24 by positioner 28. Enclosure 16 is slidably engaged with positioning poles 24 that extend through mating openings 26 defined in enclosure 16. Positioner 28 can include but is not limited to a T-pin or T-pin assembly inserted through mating openings located along poles 24, a vice assembly or knob assembly, sufficient to fix enclosure 16 at a selected vertical position along poles 24. It will be understood that there exists a multitude of equivalent means for positioning enclosure 16 along poles 24 including but not limited to holes and associated pins, indentations, and other friction-type means for setting and releasing enclosure position.

The method of operation of training pad apparatus 10 is now described. Enclosure 16 is connected to a building wall by wall mounts 18, eliminating the need for another person to support the device. If optional positioning poles 24 are used, the height of training pad 12 can be quickly and easily adjusted. After securing training pad apparatus 10 to a wall, the user begins training using training pad 12 as the target. As the user initially strikes training pad 12, pad arm 14 and elastic members 38 provide resistance. As the users continues to follow through with the strike and overcomes the resistance of elastic members 38, pad arm 14 begins to move in the direction of the follow-through of the strike allowing training pad 12 to move off to the side with a consistent force of resistance. After the strike is completed the elasticity of elastic members 38 force pad arm 14 back to its original, or approximately center, position. Training pad 12 is thus reset for another strike. There is limited oscillation during reset as elastic members 38 resist the reverse motion of pad arm 14 when returning to center. Therefore, the user can quickly perform the same strike or a combination of repeated strikes.

The resistance provided by elastic members 38 is consistent, in contrast to devices requiring another person to support a striking pad. Other particularly heavy training devices do not give way properly for side strikes and may cause injury or bad training habits to avoid injuries. There is significantly less chance for injury with the flow through motion of training pad apparatus 10.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the training pad apparatus 10, including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the invention. Although the training pad apparatus has been described in detail with reference to these embodiments, other embodiments can achieve the same results. The appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and equivalents.