Title:
ATHLETIC TRAINING DEVICE WITH MULTI-DIRECTIONAL MOVEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a resistive athletic training device for providing a more realistic and responsive training experience. The device includes a housing, a translatable mechanism operably mounted to the housing that translates relative to the housing, the mechanism including a training medium mount that is translatable in any of a plurality of directions within a two-dimensional plane, and a resistive element mounted to the translatable mechanism. Training mediums include punching bags, blocking bags, and handled bars. The device may be used to train for a variety of athletic activities and may be used to train military and law enforcement personnel. Multiple devices may be used to replicate an arrangement of competitors, such as a defensive scheme of football players.



Inventors:
Lemke, Michael (Clinton, OH, US)
Sharpless, Doug (Clinton, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/829857
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Lemke (6292 Kungle Road, Clinton, OH, 44216, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing; a translatable mechanism operably mounted to the housing that translates relative to the housing, the mechanism including a training medium mount that is translatable in any of a plurality of directions within a two-dimensional plane; and, a resistive element mounted to the translatable mechanism.

2. The device recited in claim 1, wherein the translatable mechanism comprises a first translatable frame and a second translatable frame operably mounted within the housing, each frame translating relative to the housing and at least one frame translating relative to the other frame.

3. The device recited in claim 2, wherein each frame translates relative the other frame.

4. The device recited in claim 2, wherein the first translatable frame translates in a first direction and the second translatable frame translates in a second direction.

5. The device recited in claim 1, wherein the housing includes at least one track along which the translatable mechanism translates.

6. The device recited in claim 2, wherein each of the frames includes a translation device operably associated with a track.

7. The device recited in claim 6, wherein the translation device is a wheel, bearing, bushing, sleeve, or sliding surface.

8. The device recited in claim 1, further comprising a training medium attached to the training medium mount.

9. The device recited in claim 8, wherein the training medium is a bag, pad, or a handled bar.

10. A resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing; a training medium mount operably associated with housing; means for translating the mount relative to the housing in any of a plurality of directions within a two-dimensional plane; and, a resistive element mounted to the means for translating.

11. The device recited in claim 10, wherein the translatable mechanism comprises a first translatable frame and a second translatable frame operably mounted within the housing, each frame translating relative to the housing and at least one frame translating relative to the other frame.

12. The device recited in claim 11, wherein each frame translates relative the other frame.

13. The device recited in claim 11, wherein the first translatable frame translates in a first direction and the second translatable frame translates in a second direction.

14. The device recited in claim 10, wherein the housing includes at least one track along which the translatable mechanism translates.

15. The device recited in claim 10, wherein each of the frames includes a translation device operably associated with a track.

16. The device recited in claim 15, wherein the translation device is a wheel, bearing, bushing, sleeve, or sliding surface.

17. The device recited in claim 10, further comprising a training medium attached to the training medium mount.

18. The device recited in claim 17, wherein the training medium is a bag, pad, or a handled bar.

19. A resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing having a plurality of tracks; a translatable mechanism operably mounted to the housing that translates with respect to the housing along any of the tracks, the mechanism including a training medium mount; and, a resistive element attached to the translatable mechanism.

20. The device recited in claim 19, further comprising a training medium attached to the training medium mount.

Description:

This application claims priority to provisional application Ser. No. 60/820,508, filed Jul. 27, 2006, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to athletic training devices. More specifically, the present invention relates to an athletic training device capable of translating a training medium, such as a punching bad or a blocking bag, under resistance in multiple directions relative to the device.

2. Description of the Prior Art

In training for certain athletic sports, it is often desirous to train or practice without engaging another competitor or trainee. Consequently, devices have been developed to aid a person in training or practicing for a particular sport. Unfortunately, devices that have been developed for athletic sports, such as, for example, marital arts, boxing, kickboxing, football, and rugby, have often struggled to provide a more accurate and realistic condition or response. Such devices include static devices, hand-held pads, blocking sleds, punching or body bags simply suspended by chains or springs, pivotable blocking or tackling bags, and other devices that rotate, pivot, or deflect about a fixed point. None of these devices provide an experience similar to real life situations, where competitors react with movement and resistance when engaged or contacted by an opposing player.

Accordingly, there continues to be a need for a training device that provides a player with the ability to engage a device that not only resists the engaging player but also moves with the player or otherwise allows the player to move the simulated competitor or competitors as desired. Further, there is a need for a device that also returns the simulated competitor to a starting position. Still further, there is a need for a device that also provides multiple simulated competitors, which may also be arranged to simulate the alignment or scheme of players for an opposing team. Finally, there is a need for a device that is adjustable to provide more or less resistance, or direct the resistance to be responsive to a trainee approaching from a specific direction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A particular embodiment of the present invention includes a resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing; a translatable mechanism operably mounted to the housing that translates relative to the housing, the mechanism including a training medium mount that is translatable in any of a plurality of directions within a two-dimensional plane; and, a resistive element mounted to the translatable mechanism.

An additional embodiment of the present invention includes a resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing; a training medium mount operably associated with housing; means for translating the mount relative to the housing in any of a plurality of directions within a two-dimensional plane; and, a resistive element mounted to the means for translating.

An additional embodiment of the present invention includes a resistive athletic training device comprising: a housing having a plurality of tracks; a translatable mechanism operably mounted to the housing that translates with respect to the housing along any of the tracks, the mechanism including a training medium mount; and, a resistive element attached to the translatable mechanism.

These and other advantages will be apparent upon a review of the detailed description of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an athletic training device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a close-up top perspective view of the athletic training device as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the housing of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the external frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the external frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the external frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the external frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the internal frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is a top view of the internal frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 is a front view of the internal frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 is a side view of the internal frame of the translatable mechanism of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 17 is a close-up perspective view of the embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 19 is a close-up perspective view of the embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 1; and,

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of still another embodiment of the training device shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A training device 2 providing a resistive, multi-directional or multi-dimensional range of translation that is responsive to the engagement of a trainee, for the purpose of providing a more realistic training environment, is discussed herein. The device 2 provides a training medium 70, which may be, for example, a punching bag, a blocking bag, or a handled bar, that is suspended there from and may be translated under resistance. In use, a trainee engages the training medium 70 with a force, such as by a punch, blow, kick, torque, twist, grasp, or full body engagement, and the device 2 responds by providing a resistive force and translating in any direction responsive to the engagement along a plane, provided the trainee's force overcomes the resistive force. The rate of translation is controlled by the amount of force applied by the trainee and rate at which the trainee overcomes the amount of resistive force provided by the device 2. Many prior art devices only allow the training medium 70 to move in a pivoting or rotating manner about the mounting point of training medium 70. However, device 2 not only allows the training medium 70 to rotate or pivot in relation to its mounting point, it also allows the mounting point and training medium 70 to translate with or in response to the engaging trainee by fluently translating in any planar direction, such as, for example, any fore, aft, side-to-side, circular, arcuate, angular, or zig-zag path of translation within a single plane. Accordingly, a trainee may engage device 2 from any direction. Depending on the training activity, this device 2 can be mounted anywhere and in used in conjunction with other training devices, which includes one or more of device 2. For example, this training device 2 may used to train American football players by arranging multiple devices 2 in a configuration similar to an offense or defense player scheme or arrangement. This training device 2 may be used to train for any sport, including, for example, football, rugby, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, free-form fighting, and other non-sport purposes, such as, for example, self defense, strength training, conditioning, law enforcement training, and military training.

Referring to FIGS. 1-14, an embodiment of the training device 2 is shown. Generally, the training device 2 includes a housing 10, a translatable mechanism 20, at least one resistive element 50, and a mount 36 for attaching a training medium 70. Translatable mechanism 20 translates relative to, and on or within, housing 10, while resistive element 50 provides a force that resists a trainee while he or she engages training medium 70.

Housing 10 includes at least one track 12, along which the translatable mechanism 20 translates. More specifically, track 12 provides a surface or area for translation devices 28, 34 to operate and translate. Track 12 may comprise one or more of: a flat surface; a rack, such as for use with a pinion; a chain, such as for use with a sprocket or gear; a projection, such as, for example, an elongated member, such as a ridge (affixed, formed, molded, or cast), rod, bar, tube, or the like (see, for example, FIGS. 18, 19, 21); a contained area, such as, for example, a recess, gap, groove, or the like, which may be formed in an object or between two or more objects, such as plates or bars (see, for example, FIGS. 1-17, 22), or a void, such as, for example, by cutting or forming an elongated void into an object (see, for example, FIG. 20). Translation devices 28, 34, which are described in more detail below, facilitate the movement of translation mechanism 20 along track 12 and may comprise, for example, a sliding surface, a wheel, a roller, a sleeve, ball bearings, a lubricant, or such. If the translation device 28 comprises ball bearings, track 12 may comprise, for example, an elongated void cut or cast in a plate, a hollow area between two plates, or a groove formed in an object or between two bars. Further, by way of example, if the translation device 28, 34 is a pinion, the track 12 may comprise a rack. It is contemplated that translation devices 28, 34 may engage one side of track 12 or may engage opposing sides of track 12, which may restrict removal of translation devices 28, 34 from track 12, similar to how rollercoaster wheels engage a rollercoaster rail or track. In one embodiment, housing 10 includes a pair of opposing, parallel tracks 12. In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 22, housing 10 includes two pair of opposing, parallel tracks 12, wherein the first pair extends in a first direction, and the second pair extends in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction. It is contemplated that each track 12 may extend in any linear or non-linear or arcuate direction, and that one or more tracks 12 may exist. For example, a single, circular track 12 may extend about the substantial circumference of housing 10. Also, for example, it may be desirous to substitute a single track 12 with multiple tracks 12.

In one embodiment, structural members 14 are arranged to form a parallelogram housing 10 having four (4) right angles, such as a rectangle or square, or at least a shape having two opposing, parallel elongated tracks 12. In this embodiment, tracks 12 are formed by spacing apart a pair of structural members 14; however, it is contemplated that tracks 12 may be formed by forming a track into a structural member 14, or by casting or molding a track 12 into a structural member 14 or the housing 10. Structural members 14 may comprise bars, tubes, rods, angles, plates, or the like, and may be made from metal, plastic, composites, or other suitable materials known to one of ordinary skill in the art. Structural members 14 may be joined by way of welding, fasteners, or any other means known to one of ordinary skill in the art. A protective cover may extend across the exterior side of housing 10 to provide a barrier to any track 12 and portions of the translatable mechanism 20. It is contemplated, however, that housing 10 may comprise any structure, comprising one or more components, that is capable of supporting the training medium 70 and withstanding any forces generated during use of the training device 2. Housing 10 may be formed in any manner known to one of ordinary skill in the art, including, for example, arranging and joining a plurality of structural members, by casting, molding, or deforming any desired material. Further, housing 10 may comprise any shape, such as, for example, a circle, rectangle, or square.

Translating member 20 generally operates within housing 10 to fluently and freely translate training medium 70 in any desired direction along a plane, i.e., in any X-Y or two-dimensional direction within a plane, which allows one to translate the training medium 70 in any linear or non-linear motion. It can be said that housing 10 generally forms a plane for translating a training medium 70. Translating member 20 may be unitary, monolithic, or assembled from a plurality of members, components, or materials. In one embodiment, the translating member 20 comprises an external translatable frame 22 and an internal translatable frame 30, which includes translation devices 28, 34. In this embodiment, the external translatable frame 22 and internal translatable frame 30 operate together to achieve a full range of movement for translating training medium 70 in any X-Y direction, whereby one of the frames 22, 30 provides the ability to move in the X direction relative to housing 10, and the other frame the ability to concurrently move in the Y direction relative to housing 10. In other words, the training medium 70 is capable of moving fluently, and not in a choppy or abrupt manner, in any linear or non-linear path due to the cooperative movements of frames 22, 30.

In the embodiment previously discussed, external frame 22 generally comprises a parallelogram having four right angles, such as a rectangle or a square. External frame 22 also includes translation devices 28 for translatable frame 22 relative to housing 10. Translation devices 28 engage and operate within or about tracks 12 of housing 10. Translation devices 28 and/or tracks 12 may also operate to constrain the external frame 22 within housing 10 and maintain frame 22 in translatable alignment with tracks 12. To facilitate movement of interior translatable frame 30 relative to exterior frame 22, external frame 22 contains at least one track 24 to engage internal frame 30. Track 24 may embody or comprise any track 12 discussed above. It is contemplated that external frame 22 may form any shape or structure capable of withstanding any forces generated by the training medium 70 during use of the training device 2, and capable of translating within housing 10. External frame 22 may be formed in any manner or shape discussed above, in relation to housing 10 or translating member 20, which includes, for example, being formed by casting, molding, or assembling structural members 26, which are generally synonymous with or similar to structural members 14, discussed above.

In the embodiment previously discussed above, internal frame 30 operates in conjunction with external frame 22 to provide two-dimensional freedom of movement for training medium 70. It is contemplated that internal frame 30 may generally form any shape or structure capable of supporting the training medium 70 and withstanding any forces generated during use of the training device, and may be formed in any manner discussed above, in relation to housing 10, translating member 20, and external translatable frame 22. In one embodiment, internal frame 30 includes opposing structural members 32, to which translation devices 34 are attached, formed, or otherwise included. Translation devices 34 engage tracks 24 of the external frame 22 to facilitate translation of internal frame 30 relative to external frame 22. As discussed above in conjunction with external frame 22, in one embodiment, the translation devices 34 may comprise wheels 34, which may be placed on an outward side of internal frame 30 for operation within tracks 24. Likewise, translation devices 34 may be placed on a top side of internal frame 30 to assist in constraining the internal frame in a vertical direction with respect to external frame 22. It is contemplated that translation devices 34 may comprise any such device discussed in conjunction with translation devices 28. One or more cross-members 33 may extend between structural members 32 to complete the internal frame 30 and/or improve the rigidity and strength of frame 30. Of course, cross-members 33 may not be necessary when internal frame 30 is circular in shape. Cross-members 33, as well as structural members 32, may comprise any tube, rod, bar, angle, plate, or the like as discussed in conjunction with structural members 14, 26 above. To facilitate attachment of a resistance member 50 and the training medium 70, internal frame 30 may include a mount 36. Mount 36 may comprise an already existing portion of frame 30, such as, for example, structural member 32 or cross-member 33, or may comprise any suitable component formed of any suitable material or shape, which may include, for example, a tube, rod, bar, plate, or the like as discussed in conjunction with structural members 14, 26, 32 and cross-member 33. Mount 36 may include extensions 40, 42 for attaching training medium 70 and resistive elements 50, respectively.

Translating member 20 generally includes translation devises 28, 34 to facilitate the translation of member 20 along housing 10, which may also maintain member 20 in translational alignment within housing 10. In one embodiment, translation devises are wheels 28, 34. With regard to the external frame 22, wheels 28 may be mounted along a vertical side of frame 22 adjacent to a track 12 for the purposes of operating along track 12 and maintaining frame 22 in a vertical position within housing 10. Similarly, with regard to the internal frame 30, wheels 34 may be mounted along a vertical side of frame 30 adjacent to track 24 for the purposes of operating along track 24 and maintaining frame 30 in a vertical position within housing 10. Wheels 28, 34 may also be mounted along a top side of frames 22, 30, respectively, adjacent tracks 12 and 24, respectively, for the purpose of engaging housing 10 and external frame 22, respectively, to maintain the each frame 22, 30 in a horizontal position within housing 10 and to keep each frame 22, 30 in a properly aligned position within housing 10 and tracks 12 to maintain the translatability of each frame 22, 30 by preventing any binding or biasing of the frames 22, 30 during translation. It is contemplated that wheels 28, 34 mounted on the top side of each frame 22, 30, respectively, may not be necessary, provided other means, known to one of ordinary skill in the art, are provided to maintain each frame in translational alignment with the tracks 12, 24, which may include, for example, providing a track 12 that comprises a groove or projection, by placing a groove or projection adjacent to each track 12, or otherwise by adding structure adjacent to or within each track to provide a lateral constraint for maintaining the wheels 28, 34, or any other translation devises, in operational alignment with the tracks. It is also contemplated that other translation devices may be used in lieu of wheels 28, which may include, for example, rollers, bushings (which may comprise any known material, such as for example, nylon), magnets, electromagnets, pinions for operating on a rack, sprockets for operating on a chain, a lubricated/non-lubricated sleeve for sliding along a rod or the like, and ball bearings. It is also contemplated that the translation devices 28, 34 may comprise sliding surfaces or a lubricant interposed between sliding surfaces. It is contemplated that translation devices 28, 34 may comprise a single series of ball bearings, which may extend from each side of frames 22, 30 to operate in conjunction with each track 12, 24. It is possible to place a single set of bearings within each track 12, 24, with or without a direction-constraining groove or the like, or have the single sets of bearings protrude into each track 12, 24 so to engage the outer edges of each track 12, each of which may properly constrain the translation of the frames 22, 30 within housing 10, and eliminate the need for an additional set of bearings to laterally constrain the bearings within the tracks 12, 24.

In lieu of the arrangement shown in the figures, translation devices 28, 34 may be mounted and arranged to form a gap, through which a track 12 operates, similar to the wheel and track system used on rollercoasters. It is also contemplated that each of the associated devices 28, 34 and tracks 12, 24 may instead be located on the opposing structure to which each associated devices 28, 34 or tracks 12, 24 are formed or attached. For example, in the above embodiments, wheels 28 are attached to the internal frame 22 and the track 12 formed as part of the housing 10. By contemplating that each may located on the opposing structure, it is meant to suggest that wheels 28 may instead be mounted on housing 10 and the associated track 12 instead formed as part of the internal frame 22.

One or more resistive elements 50 may be attached to the device 2 to provide resistive force to a trainee upon engaging and attempting to translate the training medium 70. The resistive elements 50 may be attached between the translatable mechanism 20 and the housing 10, or any other structure that is rigid and substantially stationary in relation to mechanism 20, such as, for example, a wall, a ceiling, or the device mounting frame 60. Any means 52 may be used to attach resistive elements 50 to the device 2, including fasteners, welds, or pins, as shown in the figures. In one embodiment, the resistive element 50 is a coil spring attached to the housing 10 and the internal frame 30. However, resistive element 50 may comprise any component, alone or in combination, capable of providing a resistive force, such as, for example, an elastic polymeric or rubber strap, a bungee cord, a tension coil spring, a compression spring, or a shock absorber. In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 1-14, two springs may be used. In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 15, four springs may be used. However, it is contemplated that any number of springs or resistive elements 50 may be used, including an odd number thereof, and placed in any arrangement to increase or decrease the resistive force, to specifically place the translatable mechanism 20 within the housing 10, or to specifically arrange the resistance to target an intended direction of engagement.

Resistive force may be increased or lowered by adding or removing resistive elements 50 or by substituting a present resistive element 50 with a resistive element 50 capable of generating higher or lower resistive forces. Further, the resistive elements 50 may be arranged or selected so to generally place translatable mechanism 20 centrally within housing 10, which, by way of example, is shown in FIG. 15, to provide a wide array of travel in any direction. This may be beneficial, for example, when the direction of engagement may vary during the training process or athletic event, such as when training for boxing or marital arts. Alternatively, resistive elements 50 may be arranged or selected (i.e., via a combination of high and lower force generating resistive elements 50) so that the translatable mechanism 20 is in an off-centered resting position or in a position resting against or adjacent housing 10, which provides an increased amount of travel in a desired direction. This may be beneficial, for example, when the trainee desires to engage and drive the training medium 70 in a particular direction, such as when the trainee is a football player intending to block and drive a defensive player, represented by training medium 70, away from the line of scrimmage. Such an off-centered arrangement, for example, is shown in FIGS. 1-14. Finally, resistive elements 50 may be arranged or selected to target resistance against an intended direction of engagement. For instance, a third spring may be added opposite (i.e, to mirror) one of the two existing springs 50 in the arrangement shown in FIGS. 1-14 to provide a three spring arrangement symmetric along a diagonal line extending across and through the center of housing 10. This anticipates that a trainee will engage the device 2 from an angled direction similar to the line of symmetry, such as, for example, direction B in FIG. 1, which is somewhere between a direct frontal engagement, identified by direction A in FIG. 1, and a direct side engagement, identified by direction C in FIG. 1.

Shock absorbing devices 54 may be used to stop the translation of translatable mechanism 20 and external and internal frames 22, 30, and absorb any shock or force arising there from. Such devices 54 may be formed from any suitable material, such as rubber, plastic, elastomers, wood, or the like, and may be located anywhere along the housing 10, the external frame 22, and/or internal frames 30 to achieve their purpose. Further, shock absorbing devices 54 may also comprise reverse magnets to resist, slow, and/or halt the oncoming object. Reinforcing members 38 may also be added adjacent or near shock absorbing devices 54 to provide structural integrity to the translatable mechanism 20 and frames 22, 30.

A device support 60 may be used to house, mount, or otherwise place the device 2 in an operational position. For example, support 60 may comprise a frame for placing the device 2 along a wall or ceiling for boxing or martial arts training, as shown in FIGS. 1-15. Further, support 60 may comprise a cage or the like to place one or more devices 2 in an arrangement to represent a plurality of competitors, such as, for example, in football training, which is shown in FIGS. 16-18. In this example, the training mediums 70 represent an arrangement of opposing players, and the devices may be removed, moved, or slid into particular arrangements to represent different offensive or defensive schemes or player arrangements. Multiple rows of devices 2 may also be used. It is contemplated that any support 60 may be used or devised to use one or more devices 2 for any training or instruction contemplated herein. It is also contemplated that device 2 may altogether move, whereby support 60 or an object to which support 60 is attached may be translate, which may be, for example, a blocking sled.

Training medium 70 may comprise any object useful or suitable for training or instruction as contemplated herein. For example, training medium may be a punching bag, a body bag, a blocking or tackling dummy, bar, or a bar with handles to perform strength and conditioning exercises (such as core training). Training medium 70 may be rigidly or pivotably attached to the translatable mechanism 20, and in one embodiment, the internal translatable frame 30. A pivotable mount may be achieved by a chain, rope, or spring. Also, the device 2 may support a vertical movement or translation, whether via a spring, bungee, cylinder, or may any other mechanical means, which may be built into the translatable mechanism 20 or housing 10. Training medium 70 may also be removably mounted to facilitate quick removal and mounting so to allow relatively quick and easy replacement and realignment thereof.

In operation, a trainee engages the training medium 70 as desired for the trainee's purpose. Trainee may engage device 2 from any direction. Upon engagement, the trainee may punch, kick, grasp, throw, twist, body check, or block the medium 70. In response, the training medium 70 reacts to the engaging force by resisting the applied force and translating if the applied force overcomes the resistive force. If the resistive force is overcome, the translatable mechanism 20 moves in a direction directed by the force applied by the trainee. In one embodiment, the external translatable frame 22 translates in one direction relative to housing 10, and/or the internal translatable frame 30 translates in another direction orthogonal to the direction of external frame 22 to achieve fluent movement of mount 36 and training medium 70 in any of a plurality of directions within a plane. Also, external and internal frames 22, 30 translate with respect to each other. The resistive force may be increased or decreased, and the resting position of the translatable mechanism 20 be adjusted as desired. Further, the arrangement and location of the device or devices may be moved and adjusted as desired. It is also contemplated that the housing 10 may be substantially parallel with the ground, or angled or tilted with respect to the ground as desired.

In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 17-18, device 2 includes housing 10, translatable mechanism 20, resistive elements 50, and a mount 36 for training medium 70. In this embodiment, mechanism 20 includes external frame 22 and internal frame 30. External frame 22 includes pillow blocks 23 and tracks 24, each of which comprises a pair of rods. Internal frame 30 comprises a pillow block 31. Pillow blocks 23 and 31 each include translation devices 28, 34, respectively, that comprise bushings. In lieu of bushings, bearings, sleeves, sliding surfaces, or lubricants may be used. Resistive elements 50 comprise compression springs that are mounted upon the rods on either side of the associated pillow blocks. Accordingly, external translatable frame 22 slides relative to housing 10, and internal frame 30 translates relative to external frame 22 and housing 10 to provide fluent translation of training medium 70 in any of a plurality of directions within an X-Y plane. Mount 36 generally consists of the bottom surface of internal frame 30. In this embodiment, training medium 70 is a bar.

In yet another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 20, a multi-directional device 2 is shown, which is limited to translations in pre-defined directions. In this embodiment, a plurality of tracks 12 is shown, through which a translatable mechanism 20 may travel. Tracks 12 are formed as discussed above, which includes, as shown in FIG. 20, by cutting, molding, casting, or otherwise forming tracks 12 into a plate or the like. It is also contemplated that tracks 12 may be formed into a frame-like track, which may consist of bars, rods, tubes, or the like being placed in a spaced apart fashion to outline a gap through which the mechanism travels. Translation device 50 comprises sliding surfaces, which means that a surface on mechanism 20 is capable of sliding along the surfaces along tracks 12 or adjacent thereto on housing 10. Of course, other devices 50 may be used as described above, which includes bushings, lubricants, bearings, and rollers. It is contemplated that tracks 12 may be formed to travel in any desired direction, which may also be linear or non-linear and inclined or declined with respect to the surface of housing 10.

In another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 21, device 2 includes translation devices 26, 34 that comprise sleeves. More specifically, sleeves 26, 34 comprise pipes that slide along smaller pipes forming tracks 12, 24, respectively.

In yet another embodiment, as shown in FIG. 22, device 2 includes a housing 10 and a translatable mechanism 20 located therein. In this embodiment, translatable mechanism 20 comprises two external frames 22, each of which are designed not to interfere with the other, as each frame translates in a direction orthogonal to the direction translated by the other frame. Consequently, housing 10 includes two pair of opposing, parallel tracks 12. Housing 10 is a parallelogram having two pair of opposing sides. One pair of opposing sides includes one of the pairs of opposing tracks 12, while the other pair of sides includes the other pair of opposing tracks 12. Internal frame 30 extends between both frames 22, and, therefore, translates in any of a plurality of directions as directed by the frames 22, within a general translation plane formed by the movement of frames 22. The underside of internal frame 30 comprises the training medium mount 36, to which mounting extension 40 is attached.

While this invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments thereof, it shall be understood that such description is by way of illustration and not by way of limitation. Accordingly, the scope and content of the invention are to be defined only by the terms of the appended claims.