Title:
Training bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a novel training bag means which can be positioned during use to provide consistent resistance over its entire surface impact area to impact from blows from punching and kicking and the like.



Inventors:
Washburn, Michael (Seattle, WA, US)
Green, Casey (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/985146
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
11/09/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HWANG, VICTOR KENNY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LADAS & PARRY LLP (224 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVENUE SUITE 1600, CHICAGO, IL, 60604, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A training bag means comprising, an enclosed resistance surface having two opposite ends; a filling material situated within the enclosed resistance surface effective to provide a resistance force to a force striking or impacting the resistance surface and bag means; and wherein the filling material is subject to varying density change relative to the training bag means' supported position; and further comprising a training bag means supporting means situated on each end of the training bag means, and which are suitable for supporting the bag means during storage and in use during application of force thereto.

2. The training bag means of claim 1 wherein at least one end thererof is of a frusto-conical shape.

3. The training bag means of claim 1 wherein at least one end thereof is of the shape of a cylindrical end portion.

4. The training bag means of claim 1 wherein at least one end thereof is of a geometrical configuration not of a frusto-conical shape or cylindrical end portion.

5. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the resistance surface area is of a shape selected from cylindrical, rectangular, square, triangular, ellipsoidal, trapezoidal, hexagon-shaped, pentagon-shaped and a plurality of protruding surface impact areas.

6. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the resistance surface area is of a bi-axial tear drop or pear drop shape or configuration.

7. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the resistance surface area is of a ball or sphere shape or configuration.

8. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the resistance surface area comprises a plurality of geometric resistance surface areas with ridges and grooves, and in which the plurality of ridge surface areas provide resistance to surface impact.

9. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the bag is a heavy bag.

10. The training bag means of claim 1 in which the bag is a kicking bag.

11. The training bag of claim 1 in which the bag hanging means are connected to quick release means for detachably connecting and for supporting the bag in a hanging storage position or in a position for use during application of force thereto.

12. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 1.

13. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 2.

14. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 3.

15. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 4.

16. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 5.

17. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 6.

18. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 7.

19. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 8.

20. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 9.

21. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 10.

22. A method for the production of the training bag means of claim 11.

23. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 1.

24. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 2.

25. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 3.

26. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 4.

27. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 5.

28. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 6.

29. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 7.

30. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 8.

31. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 9.

32. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 10.

33. A method of use of the training bag means of claim 11.

34. A method of conducting business selected from the design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, sale, licensing, and leasing of the training bag means of any of claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

35. A method of conducting business selected from the generation of business good will, the generation of trademark and trade dress rights, and formation and operation of a business entity comprising the use of any of the training bag means of claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to exercise and athletic training apparatus and more particularly to athletic training bags useful in conducting athletic and rehabilitative workouts and for honing one's pugilistic and martial arts skills.

2. Background of the Invention

Training and punching bags of varying styles, shapes and sizes are almost certain to be found in any gym or athletic facility where pugilistic and/or martial arts workouts and training exercises are conducted. These athletic devices are virtually mandatory in developing one's skills in these areas, and are synonymous with the boxing arts in general. Conventional punching and/or kicking bags are available in a myriad of sizes and shapes, with all typically constituting a ball, pear or elongated cylindrical configuration, and formed of an outer skin, such as leather on a synthetic composite composition, with a filler material within the skin, such as an air bladder or other filler material, for example, water cotton or other synthetic fibrous material. Usually, bags used for both pugilistic and kicking exercises are of the latter elongated cylindrical type which provide more surface area and are relatively heavy compared to typical punching bags. These bags are oftentimes referred to in gym circles as “heavy bags” which may weigh seventy-five pounds or more with densities in excess of 10 pounds per cubic foot, thereby providing for substantial firmness in the bag.

One of the main reasons for such desired weight and firmness in a typical heavy bag is to provide a desired degree of resistance upon bag contact from kicking and punching, and to perhaps simulate human contact in an athletic contest, boot or combat training and the like. To compensate for size and space restrictions, heavy bags are sometimes filed with a memory or compressible material, which also may reduce or adjust impact resistance to a degree contemplated for avoiding, or at least reducing injury.

Training and/or kicking bags and heavy bags in general, are usually suspended from a supporting member or means, with their weight and denseness providing resistance and minimizing their movement, usually a swinging and/or swirling movement, when kicked or otherwise contacted. Some movement is almost always desired, as timing, accuracy and force of kicks or contact with the hanging bag is often thought of as particularly useful in developing various athletic skills, or sometimes as an effective rehabilitative aid.

A problem with such heavy bags, however, has been in maintaining consistency of shape and resistance during use, especially prolonged use over a period of time, or more particularly in maintaining placement or otherwise consistency in displacement of bag filling material. As one may imagine, or perhaps has experienced personally, after repeated forceful contact with a training bag usually over most of its outer skin surface area, filler material may become displaced or moved out of its original more or less homogeneous placement making for a heavy or kicking bag with less than homogeneous resistance over its surface contact area. The force of gravity also contributes to a gradual migration and shifting of filler material from the top portion of the bag to lower portions, especially when being pummeled by repeated punches and kicks and resulting in an uneven distribution of filler material with concomitant uneven and inconsistent resistance to contact, and a less than desired workout or practice session. With such unexpected pockets of reduced resistance the bag can also becomes dangerous to an exerted force without much in the way to stop it. Further, the application of force or blows to an unexpectedly dense or resistant surface or area may prove equally harmful or dangerous.

Over the years an assortment of various improving features for workout bags have been proposed, of which none overcome the problems discussed above. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,461,281, problems associated with swinging of suspended bags are said to be avoided by providing a kicking or striking bag suspended from a fixed support with a heavier anchor bag suspended from the primary bag. The heavier anchor bag is smaller and denser and is pivotally connected to the fixed support. This arrangement is said to facilitate the “settle down” period when a bag substantially stops moving or swinging after it is kicked. However, as can be seen, it does nothing to alleviate such bag filler settling and displacement as described above, and in facts probably contributes to this undesirable effect.

A similar punching bag arrangement is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,244,993 which also comprises a primary bag suspended from a fixed support, such as a ceiling, with a secondary bag suspended from its bottom. In this arrangement the secondary bag is of varying density and weight so as to impart an unpredictable swing to the primary bag when struck, and which is said to simulate the random movement of an opponent. Again, if anything, this arrangement will greatly contribute to inconsistency in bag filler placement and density over time.

In U.S. Patent Application Publication No.: 2003/0125168, there is described a boxing training “target” which is formed with a central elongated, elastic bungee cord as its core. The elastic bungee cord is surrounded and encompassed by a plastic sheath, which itself is surrounded by a resilient foam jacket. This target is described as having an outer diameter of up to six inches and extending for about five feet over the core cord lines in an area corresponding to the vertical level of the head, torso and legs of an opponent. The core elastic bungee cord is maintained in a tensioned arrangement between an overhead and a floor support. This product is not a heavy bag with its corresponding surface area, nor is it filled as such, but certainly avoids any settling problems with its solid plastic core.

In U.S. Pat. No. 5,700,229 another kicking target, or “martial arts” target is shown, which is composed of a fabric reinforced synthetic rubber tubing member that is equipped with a piece of hollow plastic pipe material inserted within, such as poly-vinyl-chloride or other rigid material. The plastic pipe material is filled with sand and capped at both ends. The target is equipped with loops of steel cable at both ends to allow it to be attached to various stationary objects, or to be combined with other targets of the same design, for example, to form a circular shape. Such features are said to provide for a target strong enough to withstand long-term and severe use, and which also possesses the desired energy absorbing characteristics. Again, assuming that the sand in the pipes does not settle and compress at a lower end by yielding to gravity forces while being pummeled, it may avoid the problems associated with settling in heavy bags. On the other hand, such a design as this device is impractical for a large heavy bag which would become unnecessarily expensive with all of its components and much heavier that need be considering the resistance offered for a desired workout. In short, this design does not provide for a heavy bag with its usually ample surface contact area, nor does it offer any solution to problems associated with inevitable settling of such heavy bags

In yet another example of conventional punching bags, U.S. Pat. No. 4,434,980 describes an arrangement in which a boxing device that “fights back” is comprised of a coupling suspended from a rigid upper supporting structure with a resilient boxing bag suspended from the coupling and attachable to a rigid lower supporting structure. A pair of “arms” is also provided to this arrangement with their upper ends attached to the upper coupling, and with their lower ends free to swing forwards and towards an “attacker” in response to blows upon the bag. As seen from this design, after repeated use shifting and settling of bag filler material in this product is certain to occur with no way to compensate for it other than to detach and shake out the bag. The swinging arms feature would seem to aggravate settling of filler material by subjecting it to a lot of swinging movement, and a resulting gradual concentration of filler material in a bottom portion.

In still another conventional kicking and/or punching bag example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,554,088 illustrates a support for use with exercise bags which includes a base supported on legs and a vertically adjustable mast extending from the base. A horizontal arm member extends from the mast to form a C-shaped bag suspension frame, which is also described as being adjustable with respect to a bag-suspending coupling as to height and angular position of a suspended bag. This frame support is said to accommodate bags of varying shapes and sizes, including specialized bags with rigid back panels, and those with vertical rod supports and other devices.

As can be seen, there exists nothing by way of conventional products which provides a kicking and/or punching bag or other striking device, especially in the way of the higher resistance/large surface area heavy bags, which can be made to retain their consistency of resistance and resilience throughout heavy and severe usage and exposure to multiple blows. There is also not provided by conventional means and method a conventionally filled athletic bag useful for pugilistic, kicking and other training, workout and rehab purposes, which can be made to retain or regain its consistency of filler material displacement and resulting uniform resistance over its strikeable surface area over extended use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with such deficiencies in conventional striking devices as discussed above the present invention provides a novel punching and/or kicking bag, or otherwise training bag, which comprises in its broadest sense, a striking bag means comprising an outer covering enclosure or skin, itself comprising a striking surface area, and a filling means, particularly that used in conventional heavy bags, situated within the outer covering enclosure, and wherein the training bag comprises two ends with each respective end equipped with a hanging or mounting means effective for hanging or mounting the training bag in a substantially vertical position. The inventive bag with mounting means is suitable for punching or kicking with any force inflicted by human or other force, and the bag may be rotated at will for mounting on either end for application of force with such bag rotation effective to substantially maintain consistency in bag resistance over its striking surface area.

The invention and examples of some preferred embodiments thereof is more fully understood with reference to the following Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments with accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates in perspective view a preferred embodiment of the training bag of the present invention.

FIG. 1B illustrates in perspective view a partial cut-away depiction of an additional preferred embodiment of the training bag of the present invention.

FIG. 2A illustrates in perspective view another preferred embodiment of the training bag of the present invention.

FIG. 2B illustrates in perspective view a partial cut-away depiction of another additionally preferred embodiment of the training bag of the present invention.

FIGS. 2C, 2D and 2E illustrate perspective partial views of yet additional preferred embodiments of the training bag of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates in perspective view still another preferred embodiment of the training bag of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates in another perspective view a user of a preferred embodiment of the inventive training bag changing position of the bag from one end to another for continued use thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

All patent references, published patent applications and literature references referred to or cited herein are expressly incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each were specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference. Any inconsistency between these publications and the present disclosure is intended to and shall be resolved in favor of the present disclosure.

The training bags of the present invention are those suitable for conventional pugilistic kicking and/or martial arts purposes, training or otherwise, such as to develop and maintain muscle strength, stamina and hand-to-eye coordination. Also contemplated for use herein are any of such training bags which may be used for rehabilitative purposes, such as manufactured for sale by Everlast® and other distributors.

Some preferred examples of heavy bags contemplated for use herein are generally of a cylindrical body portion comprised of two ends, with both ends effective to support the training bag during storage and use. The ends may be of any geometrical shape, such as frusto-conical in configuration, or may be substantially flat, convex or concave, or any degree or combined thereof The bag may be composed of an outer skin material, such as leather, canvas or a synthetic and/or composite material, such as vinyl or naugahyde and the like, preferably tear resistant, which encloses a filler material for providing shape, weight, resistance/density and resilience to the bag when struck, and/or upon receiving an impact force of any degree.

Aside from a solid core device which should not have the problems confronted, considered and solved by the present invention, any conventional filler material is contemplated for use herein, such as natural or synthetic fabric or particulate material, for instance, discrete particles such as sand or dried bean pebbles or similar material contained within the bag, and in some contemplated embodiments situated within one or more interconnected cells or lumens. Training bags contemplated for use herein are comprised of a filling material which is subject to density change and/or change in distribution within the bag during storage, such as hanging storage, or when and/or during use thereof during resistance to an impact force, such as a kick or a punch. Preferably, the bag is one which is fabricated and comprised of material which will impart inertial resistance to the bag thereby substantially reproducing the effect of one striking the bag as though one was striking a human or other animal form. This action, for example, allows for an athlete to practice, or a soldier to simulate, potentially injurious techniques with concomitant eye-hand coordination, and practice, strength and stamina conditioning without actually striking and/or harming an opponent.

A preferred embodiment of a training bag, or practice device, of the present invention is illustrated in perspective view in FIGS. 1 through 4. As shown in FIG. 1A, this embodiment of the inventive device comprises a cylindrical portion 2 having identically disposed ends 4 and 6 which assume a frusto-conical shape. Each end portion 4 and 6 is equipped with a coupling means 8 and 10 for detachably connecting to a hanging means, or otherwise a suspending-hanging means 12 from which the training device is suspended in a vertical position when one end of the device is in use. In this example, the suspending-hanging means used may be one or more chains, cords, straps, metal or composite bars, and the like, all of which are preferably detachably connected for quick release from coupling means 8 or 10, such that the training device 2 may be rotated one-hundred and eighty degrees in order to engage either end 4 or 6 with respective coupling means 8 and 10 with hanging means 12 as contemplated.

In FIG. 1B, in a partial cutaway perspective view, the end portions 4 and 6 of bag 2 are shown provided with a hanging supporting means 14, which may be composed of any conventional or non-conventional bag supporting means, such as a one or more disks 14 of decreasing diameter, such as in a concentric circular arrangement in this preferred embodiment, which are effective to support the weight of the bag with its outer skin 18 and filler contents 16 while in a vertical hanging position ready for use, or while in use. As each end 4 and 6 of the bag is of identical construction, and intended to be interchangeable for use, all of the features and components of end 4 are to be found in end 6.

In another preferred embodiment as shown in perspective view in FIG. 2A, end portions 20 and 22 of a cylindrically elongated training bag 24 are, each or separately, of a flat circular configuration, or may be in the shape of an ellipse, or square, hexagon, rectangle, triangle, or pentagon-shaped, hexagon-shaped, or containing a plurality of sides or surfaces, or a surface shape comprising a groove and ridge structure comprising a plurality of ridge surfaces defining a resistance impact surface, and generally defining any geometric shape, to define the shape of bag 24, as may be contemplated for specific or customized uses. In other embodiments, the configuration or shape of end portions 20 and 22 may, each or separately, define any geometric shape known or possible, and with the training bag impact-resistance portion separately defining any known or possible geometric shape. End portions 20 and 22 and provided with a hanging supporting means 26 and 28 such a metal, composite or wood disks, to which is attached respective coupling means 30 and 32 for detachably connecting to a suspending-hanging means 34 to hang and/or suspend the training bag 24 when contemplated for use or storage. Again, the hanging-suspending means 34 is shown as a pair of chains, but may be any of cords, wires or straps and the like.

The training bag of FIG. 2A is further illustrated in partial cutaway perspective view in FIG. 2B, showing bag 24 with end portion 20, hanging-supporting means 26, coupling means 30, training bag skin 36, filler 38 and detachably connecting suspending-hanging means 34.

In FIGS. 2C, 2D and 2E, as shown in partial perspective view, some other examples of geometric shapes of training bags useful in the present invention are illustrated. These preferred embodiments are merely intended for illustrative purposes only, however, and as will be appreciated by those skilled in the art are by no means exhaustive of the myriad of possible geometric shapes for possible use in this invention, which may be limited only by one's imagination, such as the myriad of shapes of people and things capable of receiving an impact force or a blow.

In FIG. 3, as shown in this perspective view, yet another example of a training bag intended for punching and kicking and/or force exerting exercises for use with the present invention is illustrated. Here, a biaxial pear-shaped or tear drop-shaped bag 40 with identical ends 42 and 44 is equipped with respective hanging-supporting means 46 and 48 connected with coupling means 50 and 52, with detachably connecting suspending-hanging means 54, for suspending the bag for use and/or storage. As will be appreciated, this design also exemplifies, without the need for an exhaustive portfolio of drawings, the myriad of possible sizes of bags useful in this invention, ranging in size from the smallest to the largest of sizes, depending on contemplated uses.

In FIG. 4 there is illustrated in perspective view a user of a preferred embodiment of the inventive training bag changing position of the bag as desired from one end to another for continued use thereof, and to maintain consistent bag impact resistance as desired.

As discussed above, use of the training bags of the invention over time, or perhaps from suspended storage of a bag over time, will oftentimes result in a settling of the bags' filler contents providing differing bag filler densities and/or consistencies (or filler population) at different areas of the bag, such that use of the bag will provide an inconsistent and uneven resistance at different surface areas of the bag intended for human contact. Depending on the filler material employed, the rate or degree of such settling may vary, but some is almost certain to result, as gravity cannot be overcome. Such settling may be even more of a problem when different geometric bag shapes are used, such as settling in bag corners in the use of rectangular shapes and the like, all of which will eventually result in a higher density of filler in lower bag portions, with inconstant bag resistance and response in use. As illustrated in FIG. 4, in accordance with the interchangeable training bag end portions of the invention, any bag may be rotated as desired when inconsistency in bag response and resistance is detected and/or perceived, which provides a long overdue solution to bag settling.

It is further contemplated, and will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, that the inventive training bags afford business endeavors and advantages not heretofore available, and which may encompass any business orientated activity and function, including, without limitation, the design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, use, sales, licensing, and leasing of the inventive training bags, or the use of the inventive bags in the generation of business good will, generation of valuable trademark and trade dress rights, and the formation and operation of a business entity, be it a partnership, corporation and the like.

The foregoing descriptions are exemplary of some preferred embodiments of the invention of which there are many and only limited by the imagination. It is to be understood, however, that such examples are not intended to limit the disclosure or the claims, or the spirit thereof, in any way. Obvious modifications that do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in the following claims will be apparent to those skilled in the art.