Title:
Sports trainer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A simulated human torso is provided with a lateral slot and latch which permits the torso to be mounted on and slideable along the perimeter ropes of a boxing ring. The simulated human torso may also be provided with adjustable arms, target identifiers and the like to simulate defensive positions and training targets. Since the simulated human torso is slideably mounted on perimeter ropes, it may move laterally along the ropes in response to actions of the trainee.



Inventors:
Mcdonald, Dar'rell (Dallas County, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/483284
Publication Date:
01/10/2008
Filing Date:
07/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACK A. KANZ (RICHARDSON, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A training device comprising a simulated human torso adapted for mounting on and lateral movement along perimeter ropes defining the perimeter of a sports arena.

2. A training device as defined in claim 1 wherein said sports arena is a boxing ring.

3. A training device as defined in claim 1 wherein said simulated human torso defines a slot passing laterally therethrough adapted to accommodate at least one perimeter rope of a sports arena.

4. A training device as defined in claim 3 including latch means for securing said at least one perimeter rope in a slideable relationship within said slot.

5. A training device as defined in claim 1 further comprising at least one simulated arm supported by and projecting from said simulated human torso.

6. A training device as defined in claim 5 wherein said simulated arm comprises at least two segments.

7. A training device as defined in claim 5 wherein said simulated arm comprises at least one adjustably articulated segment.

8. A training device as defined in claim 1 further comprising designated target identifiers on said simulated human torso.

9. A training device as defined in claim 1 wherein said simulated human torso comprises a head portion and a body portion.

10. A training device as defined in claim 9 further comprising at least one designated target identifier on the head portion of said simulated human torso.

11. A training device as defined in claim 9 further comprising at least one designated target identifier on the body portion of said simulated human torso.

Description:
This invention relates to training devices. More particularly, it relates to reactive training devices for use in combat sports training which simulate movement of a sparring partner.

An essential part of training for combat sports such as boxing, etc., is competition against an opponent. Since live opponents are not always available and since practice and training against live opponents can be unnecessarily dangerous for both parties, dummy or simulated opponents are frequently used. While conventional dummies and the like can provide valuable training assistance, their usefulness is somewhat limited by their inability to react to or anticipate attacking actions taken by the trainee. For example, a suspended punching bag reacts to a boxer's punches by predictably moving in the opposite direction and then gravitating toward its original position. Similarly, a stationary dummy (a dummy supported on a fixed base) can only react to attacking actions by bending in the direction in which force is applied. Likewise, training devices suspended from overhead mounting racks and the like also fail to satisfactorily simulate an active sparring partner.

Most conventional training dummies and the like are in the form of a fixed target which is not adjustable to simulate different defensive positions or targets and do not react to offensive attacks. Thus the trainee merely attacks fixed, indefensible targets. Inanimate apparatus which overcomes these shortcomings would, of course, be highly desirable as a training device.

In accordance with the present invention, training devices for combat sports such as boxing, wrestling and the like are provided which react to a trainer's actions in a manner simulating the defensive reactions of a live sparring partner. The training devices of the invention may also include adjustable and/or re-locatable parts which may be arranged as desired to simulate defensive positions and may also include target identifiers which designate selected targets for attack in response to defensive positions assumed by the training device. The training devices of the invention may be inexpensively fabricated and adapted to be temporarily mounted on the perimeter ropes of a conventional sports arena such as a boxing ring, wrestling ring or the like. The trainee may thus engage in active training against an inanimate reactive sparring partner in a competitive ring setting. Other features and advantages of the invention will become more readily understood from the following detailed description taken in connection with the appended claims and attached drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the training device of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the training device illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the training device of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of the training device of the invention illustrating the active relationship between a trainee and the training device.

The drawing is incorporated into and forms part of the specification to illustrate exemplary embodiments of the invention. For clarity of illustration, like reference numerals designate corresponding elements throughout the drawing. It will be recognized that the principles of the invention may be utilized and embodied in many and various forms. In order to demonstrate these principles, the invention is described herein by reference to specific preferred embodiments. The invention, however, is not limited to the specific forms illustrated and described in detail.

The embodiment of the training device illustrated in FIG. 1 comprises a simulated human torso 10 having a body portion 11 which supports a head portion 12. The simulated human torso 10 may support one or more simulated body parts such as arms 13 projecting from the body portion 11.

The body portion 11 is provided with a mounting slot 14 which passes laterally through the simulated human torso 10. In the preferred embodiment the slot 14 extends from the bottom or lower end 11a of the body portion 11 to approximately the vertical mid-point of the body portion 11 and is sufficiently wide to loosely accommodate perimeter ropes 15 passing therethrough. The base of the slot 14 (the upper terminus of the slot) is preferably positioned to extend horizontally through the body 11 so that the body 11 is supported upright on the top perimeter rope 15 of a boxing ring or the like. In order to support the body portion 11 in the upright position as illustrated in the drawing, the depth of slot 14 (the distance from lower end 11a to the base of the slot) is sufficient to accommodate at least the top two (2) perimeter ropes 15 of the sports arena.

In the embodiments illustrated, the slot 14 extends from the lower end 11a to approximately the vertical mid-point of the body portion 11 and encloses the top three (3) ropes 15. The simulated torso 10 is thus maintained in the vertical upright position and moveable laterally along the perimeter ropes 15. It will be appreciated, of course, that the simulated torso 10 need not employ a single slot 14 as illustrated. Alternative mounting means, such as individual slots with appropriate closure means; mounting brackets; hooks or the like affixed to either the front or the back of the body portion 11; or any other equivalent means which supports the simulated human torso 10 in an upright position on the perimeter ropes and permits the training device to move laterally along the perimeter ropes, will serve the same functions as slot 14.

In the embodiment illustrated, the training device includes a strap 16 which extends from the back side of the simulated body portion 11 to the front side between two (2) of the perimeter ropes 15. This strap 16 serves as a latch to secure the simulated human torso on the perimeter ropes 15 while permitting uninhibited lateral movement of the training device along the perimeter rope 15. In the preferred embodiment, the strap 16 may be a simple flexible strap with at least one end thereof removable securable to the body portion 11 with conventional attachment means such as Velcroâ„¢, snaps, buttons, buckles, hooks or other suitable attachment means. Since the function of the strap 11 is to prevent unintended removal of the training device from the perimeter ropes 15, any such conventional latch means will suffice.

In accordance with this invention, the simulated human torso 10 is removably mounted on the perimeter ropes of a competitive sports arena and is readily moveable laterally along the supporting perimeter ropes. When used as a boxing dummy as illustrated, the simulated human torso 10 reacts to the strikes of a trainee by lateral movement along the perimeter ropes 15. For example, a blow delivered to any portion of the simulated human torso 10 which imparts a force in any direction other than perpendicular to the supporting perimeter ropes 15 will cause the training device to move horizontally along the perimeter ropes 15 a distance and at a speed proportional to the horizontal vector of the force applied. Thus, if the trainee strikes the training device on either side, the training device will move in the opposite direction. Similarly, any striking force applied in any direction other than perpendicular to the supporting ropes 15 will cause the training device to move along the supporting ropes instead of in the direction directly opposite to the direction of the striking force. Thus, striking a series of blows at various angles will cause the training device to move at various speeds and for various distances along the supporting ropes 15, simulating an opponent which dodges and moves in reaction to the attacking actions of the trainee.

As illustrated in the drawing, the simulated human torso 10 may be fitted with components simulating body parts such as arms 13. The arms 13 may be permanently affixed or removable and replaceable as desired and positioned to present a defensive posture for the training device. By appropriately positioning the arms 13, the training device may present various positions and defensive stances against which the trainee is taught to attack. In order to present more life-like and protective defensive positions, the arms 13 may be positioned and/or shaped to simulate defensive positions and may be comprised of articulated segments which may be adjustable to simulate various defensive positions as illustrated in FIG. 3. Similarly, multiple structures simulating arms 13 may be placed at various fixed locations on the training device as shown in FIG. 4 to define defensively protected areas near the training device which the trainee must learn to avoid when attacking the simulated human torso 10.

As an additional instructional feature, the simulated human torso 10 may be provided with identifiers 17 which mark specific target areas for the trainee. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the target identifiers 17 may be number spots on the simulated human torso 10 or head portion 12. The numbered spots may be used, for example, to identify the respective locations on which the trainee is directed to land a specific series of combination punches or to identify particularly vulnerable locations on the simulated human torso 10. If desired, the head portion 12 may be provided with a forward-projecting portion 22 simulating forwardly exposed facial features or the like which prevent a particular target for directed strikes such as an uppercut or the like.

While the invention has been described with particular reference to a simulated sparring partner supported on the perimeter ropes of a boxing ring for training boxers, the invention is not so limited. Various modifications of the devices illustrated may be made and supported on the perimeter ropes of various other sports arenas to simulate a sparring partner for training in other sports such as wrestling, kickboxing and the like.

All components of the training devices of the invention may be fabricated from readily available materials using conventional techniques and the shapes of various components may be modified to satisfy the particular needs of the sport for which the training device is to be used. Accordingly, the principles of the invention may be used to make training devices of various designs, only some of which are illustrated and described in detail herein. It is to be understood, therefore, that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the invention have been set forth in the foregoing description together with details of the structure and function of the various embodiments, this disclosure is to be considered illustrative only. Various changes and modifications may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size, arrangement and combination of parts, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.