FEW fighters can afford a host of performance analysts to document their every move. But new technology now means it’s possible to get precise punch statistics in real time, as you train. All a fighter needs is a phone and Corner from Athletec.
Corner is simply two small, rechargeable sensors that can be wrapped up in a boxer’s bandages. They’re barely noticeable once in place, won’t be damaged if they’re hit and, crucially, wouldn’t hurt the athlete if they are struck.
These devices can measure a whole array of information from the number of punches thrown in a round or a whole session, what those punches and combinations are, their speed and their power. That information is displayed in real time on your phone and is easily checked between, or even during rounds, as well as a session overview at the end. The training data is stored permanently for reference later and is viewable online for futher analysis. Corner’s pre-order price (from July) will be £49.99 and the accompanying app is free to download.
(Above – Joshua Ejakpovi simply slipping Corner into his hand-wraps, before he begins training)
Athletec’s Charles Burr created the prototype at university and they have been developing it so everyone, from fitness and recreational boxers to serious, committed fighters can use it. “We proved the concept, proved that we could detect punches, but then proved that we could classify jabs, hooks, uppercuts, measure the speed,” he explains.
The product is simple to use. The sensors are calibrated by throwing a one-two, you set it for what the type of workout you want, whether it’s shadowboxing, bagwork, padwork and so on, and it then delivers the information on your training session to the free app. “You’ve got punch level data, which is every single punch,” Charles explained. “But if it’s part of a combination you’ve got combination statistics, the rate of combinations, punch rate (so five punches a second or whatever). But also the type of combinations, so ‘jab-cross-hook’ as well. That’s all built up whilst you’re boxing.
“Then you’ve got the number of punches you’ve thrown over the [whole] round, or the speed or the power of the punches, the accuracy as well, how that varies over a round.
(Above – Ian Lewison viewing his shadowboxing summary. The graph indicates his performance and intensity throughout the round)
“Those high level statistics where you’re seeing an overview of how you’re varying over a round and also how you vary between round one, two, three, four is where the device becomes really more useful.”
A boxer can follow their own stats between rounds. The information is displayed as a graph. You set your goal so you can measure whether your workrate is above or below target, see at what point in a round you might tail off or where you’ve put in bursts of activity. Using Corner’s unique hands free navigation, tapping the gloves together also moves the display on to more detailed information.
Charles added, “The good thing is that graph gets updated in real time as well. If for example your coach was holding the phone, or personal trainer or whatever, he could see it keeps updating, he could tell you if you’re 50% below, or 100% above. He can basically say, ‘Reign it in a little bit’ or ‘Up the pace’, ‘Double the pace’ or whatever. It gives you a very simple figure, and he can give you feedback, say do this now. To have those changes coming while you’re working out, so it’s not a matter of making the change two days later, it’s making the change as you’re boxing.”
(Above – As Ashley Theophane trains, Corner shows his punch breakdown)
The app will store the information from all your sessions, for you or your trainer to peruse at leisure but there will also be a subscription service that offers more advanced functions, such as measuring progress over a long period of time, a month for example or a period of weeks or a whole training camp and marking that against other training blocks.
Whilst that would be the premium aspect of the system, for no charge the app will also give you the option of sharing information with friends, training partners, gym mates and coaches, or indeed keeping it completely private. “Obviously that power’s yours,” Charles noted. “We want to get people competitive within gyms or maybe, eventually get gyms competitive with each other.”
Wearable technology is changing other sports. It might just be the future of fight training as well.
Next month we take Corner into one of the best gym’s in Britain to see what top trainer Joe Gallagher makes of the device. To find out more about Athletec you can visit them on Twitter @AthletecHQ, Facebook: AthletecHQ, Instagram: @Athletec.hq or their website www.athletec.io