View Full Version : Realistic striking targets?

Steve C
11th July 2002, 16:51
Hi, Everyone.

I've been thinking a little about trying to construct realistic striking targets for training. Here's the idea;

You have a striking target with three layers, representing real parts of the human body. The first layer represents muscle, and would be tough but yielding. The second layer represents bone, and would be made of something harder and more brittle, like wood. The third layer represents the organs, and would be soft.

The idea is to construct targets that you can actually punch and kick, and get an idea of how powerful your technique is.

If you have a look at the attached picture, you'll see what I mean. three layers, striking on the muscle layer, trying to get the force of the blow to penetrate to the bones and organs.

What I was wondering was, has anyone tried to construct this kind of thing? What materials did you use? Was it useful?

It's my belief that a realistic target would allow you to train against realistic goals; if you've got something that represents the human ribcage, well either you can break the ribs or you can't. That sort of knowledge is useful, and helps you really understand what you are, and are not, capable of.

Obviously, there are already things on the market that get close; the heavy bag, focus mits, makiwara, etc all represent real targets to an extent; but I think we can get a step closer.

Anyone got any good ideas, for things that could be used to construct the different layers? Although I haven't tried any of these, here's some ideas;

Muscle Layer;

* high-density closed-cell foam covered in duct tape
* layers of leather

Bone layer

* chipboard

Organ Layer

* Heavy bag

Thanks, guys,


12th July 2002, 09:01
Interesting idea. Could be difficult though, as the human body is so variable.

You could get very realistic and use one of those model skeletons, maybe stuff the internals with water balloons or something to represent organs, then bind it all up with foam and tape for muscle and skin.

But I get the idea that you want to actually "break" the targets, getting through bone, damaging internal organs, etc. Could get expensive - you'd need something cheap and replaceable, which limits realism.

I understand there is some sort of "ballistic gel" than shooters use to fire bullets at, and it is supposed to immitate the effect of the bullet on flesh. Perhaps something like this would be useful, though I don't know how it would react to punching vs bullets. Might need a different consistency or formula. Anyone?

Simulating bones is a tricky business. I think they are a lot harder and more flexible than plywood. Perhaps some sort of flexible hardwood would be a better simulation. Get some hardwood rods and mount them in a row with slight spaces between, to simulate the ribs.

High density foam is probably OK for muscles.

What about then stretching some sort of rubber membrane over this to represent skin? (Dental Dams, anyone?)