Boxing, Combative sports and martial Arts
Although historically among the most popular of sports, today, combative sports are often viewed as an expression of our savage past. Of primary concern are the long term effects of participating in these sports on the health of participants. The scoring of such sports has also been the subject of much debate, with a panel of judges making decisions about very quick events involving large sums of prize money.
We developed an electronic system for use primarily in the sport of boxing, though it is suitable for martial arts such as karate and taekwondo. The technology is based on our sensor platform and integrates a network of sensors on the athletes head, body and hands. Using a Bluetooth network physical contacts are monitored in near real-time or post event on a remote computer to determine legal hits and hence derivative measures like scoring and final outcomes.
This system can be applied to reduce the need for full contact contests as well as provide a more reliable method of determining the outcome of a bout. Other benefits presented here include the ability to analyse an athletes performance post match or training session, such as assessing the efficacy of training drills and effects of fatigue.
An amateur boxer’s main objective is to score points by landing a forceful blow with the knuckle part of the glove to the front of the head or body of an opponent. This is distinct from professional boxing whereby the aim often regresses to a more primal desire to inflict physical injury, often to the extremes of rendering and opponent unconscious [ ]. Over the last two decades amateur and professional boxing have become two completely separate sports, with amateur boxing imposing strict health and safety regulations in order to prevent injuries. The most visible of these measures is the use of head protection and more heavily padded gloves. Amateur boxers, and many martial arts, also wear garments to cover the torso, so that all of the main locations of interest already have the beginnings of a framework begging for the integration of suitable sensor elements.
The project arose out of intrest and opportunity in Boxing at the AIS and an intrest in Martial Arts and Aikido in Brisbane.