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The Science

In 2009, we embarked on a groundbreaking research journey to address a long-standing problem in combat sports and martial arts: the absence of reliable performance metrics for striking power. Traditional measurement methods varied widely and failed to provide consistent, actionable data for athletes and coaches. Recognising the need for a solution, we set out to develop a standardised, accurate system to measure and analyse the power and effectiveness of combat strikes. This quest led to the creation of the PowerKube®, a revolutionary tool that has since transformed the landscape of performance measurement in combat sports.

Identifying the Problem

Human impact measurement is fraught with health and technical challenges. Traditional force measurements vary significantly based on surface hardness, leading to inconsistent results. Custom measurement rigs, often using punch bags between 100 and 200 pounds, provided data that were neither comparable nor useful for coaching.

The Research & Development Journey

Our investigations revealed the need for a new approach in combat sport measurement. We aimed to develop a tactile impact pad equipped with sensors, capable of delivering consistent and accurate measurements regardless of user variables like style, weight, gender, age, or skill level.

PowerKube®: Innovation in Measurement

The PowerKube® is a portable, symmetrical device that controls compression up to 12cm (5 inches) on impact. This Controlled Compression Technology (CCT®) acts like a brake, managing deceleration based on the strike’s force. Our ultra-high-speed transducers capture data in real-time, allowing for detailed analysis of impact power (watts) and kinetic energy (joules).

Scientific Validation and Insights

An independent study by the Australian Institute of Sport found our power measurement to be 98.2% similar to force (N). Kinetic energy, which continues after the initial power spike, is crucial for understanding a technique’s penetrative characteristic. Athletes harness their kinetic energy by moving their centre of gravity during impact, explaining the extraordinary breaking abilities in some martial arts.

The Franklin: A New Measurement Standard

In every combat strike there is the speed related initial impact which, is a short-lived power spike (like a shock) that lasts just a few millionths of a second, alongside which there is the rolling kinetic energy. An independent scientific study of a pre-production prototype carried out by the Australian Institute of Sport, concluded that our power measurement is 98.2% the same as force (N). However, long after power/force has been captured, the kinetic energy continues. It is the kinetic energy that gives a technique its penetrative characteristic. Unlike inanimate objects, athletes move their centre of gravity during the impact, to harness their kinetic energy. This goes some way to explain superhuman breaking capabilities in some martial arts.

Based on this mass of data and still working alongside professional athletes, we built our algorithm to generate a compound unit of measurement of power and energy. We call this the franklin, named after the inventor Kevin Franklin, a quantification of Human Force (f)®.

Applied Impact Technology

The latest Power Pro Station® offers a stable, adjustable striking platform with a 270-degree range, utilizing laser-cut stainless steel for precision mounting. Our user-friendly software, based on a Combat Athlete’s Profile (CAP®), tracks power, endurance, and reaction time, providing a comprehensive performance overview.

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