Fighting beginners through veterans can now train with a tireless coach that is with you every step of the way, to improve the most vital and basic foundation for winning a fight—the basic stance. Let’s face it, without proper footing a fighter risks missing strike opportunities, or worse, lands on his back during a fight—a dreadful situation. This lightweight and reactive device resides on your training shoes to incentivize your basic stance by barking out an alarm if the pivot portion of the stance is violated—if your heel drops to the floor thus disabling your stance from a pivoting motion. This immediate feedback coach provides a firm, yet strong voice to call your attention to raise that heel off the floor and regain proper pivoting capability. Your training efficiency will improve by a factor of ten and your stance will be better than 95% of your peers. Ensure your foundation is strong, and win more fights.
The author has been practicing on a heavy bag in training to fight attackers, as a paying trainee to an online video trainer with pre-recorded clips.
Hold on a moment!—let me say this. In the past week especially, you may not know it but I just completed my fourth full week of training, my heavy bag was knocking me about. I’ll admit that I was tired, but it was not all my fault. Yes, I was slacking and my heel flat on the deck when it should have been in the air where it can give me agility. But with an online video course and no coach barking colorful language to pep me up, I just started to lose concentration.
My first, second, and third week of the online fighting course were exciting. I learned hard strikes for the bag, but soon realized that my fundamental mistake was missing the fundamentals. By signing up for an intermediate course, I missed the basics. Luckily for me, the online video coach posted basics videos for us newbies, so I started learning the basic stance with pivot in week three. But even though learning the basics is boring, I am smart enough to know that without a good basic pivot stance, I can easily loose the fight and be on my back for a good stomping on by my opponent (I saw that first-hand, on Youtube). So, the basics training is now interwoven into my intermediate training.
In my online fighting course, the pre-recorded video clips are good and insightful, but when learning something physical it can be tough doing it on your own. I don’t mean to whine, and the online trainer is great, and encouraged me to submit my video showing practice—so that I can get individual comments. But, frankly, that lag time is way too long for the feedback that I need—I want it during training, not long after.
This immediate-feedback coaching device performs a singular function—he shouts at you when you get the pivot foot wrong. Now, see the Instructable steps to quickly and easily make your basic stance training coach.
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Step 1: Instructable Reader Advisement
The Instructable steps shown here-in focus upon the method to design and fabricate your personal coach. And, as shoe sizes are different among readers, the appropriate steps will need to be modified for a good fit.
But, it is fair to say that the all readers can be incentivized, and will jump into action upon receiving a good dose of shouting. This statement is evident throughout history as all training programs not only put trainees through vigorous and uncomfortable situations, but combine that with hearty shouting that amplify the urgency. The audible alarm utilized in this Instructable is neither too meek, nor too loud (prevents inadvertently calling to passers-by into action, and thus undue embarrassment to the trainee with the loss of training time caused by the need to adequately explain the training process to defuse the curious mind’s worry). By varying the battery voltage, the alarm volume can be increased and decreased to meet your training room requirements.
But it is this urgency and our fast response that makes our device coach a powerful driver and a necessity for on-line video training. The trainee improvement time is greatly improved. But in the real world, no trainer or coach is going to shout at you every time you make a mistake. He is just going to look at you, stupid, and be thinking how many times is this dummy going to make that same mistake. So, for the more advanced build-it types and the ones good at technology, this device can be modified with a computer chip add-on that will count the number of switch-on hits and randomly bark off a reminder alarm (not covered in this Instructable).
Further, if you do decide to add the computer chip, you might as well consider changing the audible alarm to a customized voice that pricks your fancy. Whether it be your in home country’s tongue or the one at home that provides maximum urgency—Mom shouting for you to act now--this is your choice.
Below, is a purely optional reading section of this Instructable and in no way detracts from the Instructable steps starting on the very next page. Simply put, you can hit next button and get on with the steps right now. Yes, right now. But, if you want to consider a little background for the motivation of the author, then read below. However, you are advised that this can be quite boring and may put you to sleep at the keyboard because its format closely resembles that of the preface of a book with acknowledgements to contributors (and, as we know, a preface is even worse in nonfictional context): No one ever reads these sections (because the what’s-in-it-for-me is very low value), so typical readers are the author re-reading after airing his personal issues and the people who were thanked so that they can see their names show up publicly.
As for the execution of this Instructable. It took 20 minutes to buy the parts and less than $20 cash outlay at the electronics market. Many items came off my shelf of junk/materials just waiting for a good project. The project was started yesterday, Saturday at noon 45 and was completed at quarter to seven pm, without putting the tools away nor sweeping up. The pivot correction device creation was enjoyable and interesting and I wish you the best.
I signed up for the online fighting course one month ago to the day. Never been in a real fight since middle-school, and lost badly to the bully, once again (same bully pair seemed to go through a number of my classmates on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, re-establishing the pecking order).
With determination and resolve, to squeeze this course into my busy schedule, it was only $97 during the special offer time period, I made up my mind to throw the usual trainee schedule out the window and permit myself unlimited weekly session repeats, due to failure to grasp all the techniques—though with angst awaiting the trainer to pipe up to my excessively slow progress (does save money by extending my dollars further.)
To me, each video contains the highest treasure gifted to me from the on-line trainer. And, the only way to remove and keep this treasure is through an exit gate--that can only be departed upon mastering his techniques (not some other guy on the internet, only this master). I refuse to watch any other master on Youtube for fear that my primitive mind will be irrevocably corrupted. Hey, this trainer was a former champ—if I can do all the champ moves, then I built myself up for the satisfaction that I want when I walk down the street, and yes, those bullies are grown men and responsible now and we will no longer be establishing pecking order from fisticuffs but probably be checking fame, power, and money or lack there-of. But anyway, this fighting course is my need, along with inventing, so it gets more than one need met, including an Instructable out of the deal.
Back to the gate rule. To further my resolve for the gate method, I look back to a historical reference, so that when I am weak and questioning during training and considering defeat—to ensure that this situation is only a momentary lapse of feeling sorry for myself (a recognizable construct of human nature) and to help me get back on my feet with a good stance and go at it again, I look to my soul’s guide, Theseus. “Right before Theseus was born, Aegeus said to Aethra, "If we shall have a son, then when he becomes of age, tell him to lift this rock and take my sword and sandals." Aegeus then hid both his sword and his sandals under a large boulder and set sail for Athens.” Well, needless to say, the boulder was heavy and it took several tries for Theseus to get it. Today for me, each video is the boulder, and the gift of mastering (sword and sandals) are the invaluable techniques within it, to be implemented for the follow-up video. As for winning all the battles, that will come down to me.
Entering into an on-line fighting course at the intermediate level was enticing and exciting—look at this trainer in action beating all those attackers! But, reality sets in when learning the hard way that the basics are the foundation. And, basics being boring and time consuming (no wonder they don’t sell), and in a hectic schedule, need to be mastered in the shortest possible time.
So, how to tackle this unforeseen challenge of an on-line course demonstrating the physical (like a plumber learning a trade), where the common approach is by learning by doing? And, at the disadvantage that the master's feedback is at least a day away, and can be more than one week. I needed a master by my side with 100% feedback, while maintaining interest and concentration in the moves.
Dad, as a career civilian working for “the government” as he deadpan named it, was permitted to bring home the trash during our early years (later nixed by higher ups). But, he brought home so much stuff, it was all disassembled by the time it hit that trash pile, that we got a stock of base materials that provided ample supply for projects through elementary school to high school. I remember when he brought home the broken aircraft gyroscope (not trash but he was allowed to show us). At the age of five, many of its key features were lost on me, but as my two brothers and I looked at it in amazement and were told that the aircraft kept upright due to it. In the fighting video, I thought about my overly-leaning stance needed a gyroscope capability (though, I bought lower technology components at the electronics market—next Instructable—teaser to keep you keep checking in on new developments at Instructables.com).
Really though, Dad’s main influence was the weekly exciting trips to local garage sales. From the hunt scouring the classifieds section of the newspaper, to the car ride getting there and haggling, “If you really want it and it is expensive (more than a dollar), then look ‘em in the eye and say 50 cents." With a salary lower than some, we had to build our way up and bringing the loot home was the beginning. Then, transforming it into the project of the day or the morning, or the moment, or as a part remedy in a quick home repair, or even infrastructure development.
Dad would say, “Boys, I just need something simple that will _____.” But Dad (long whining in unison), you can buy that (has many additional features and we couldn’t afford it anyway, so this argument against learning and building went nowhere). “No, I just need something simple that will…” I suppose this mantra may have contributed to his promotions over the year.
For example, he said, “I just want to come into the workshop and with one press of my finger, ‘Project On’” Dad was relegated to the basement workshop by boss Mom. The rest of the house was a magazine photograph of cleanliness and organization, and off-limits to three rambunctious boys. Perhaps, this is why I took such an interest in making things. So, Dad built a metal enclosed relay box with an on and off switch. With every conceivable outlet adapter for AC and DC voltages powered items, it covered the workshop main lighting, the project lamp, soldering iron, and whatever else was on the project plate. The relays made a loud kerchunk sound when energized, and fuses protected everything from a surge or short. Current and voltage gauges displayed operating conditions. It also clunked off when Mom hollered for dinner, or some other immediately mandatory event, before we had to scramble up the hollow sounding stairs at breakneck speeds.
And today, for the fighting stance, asking the right question is the key to everything. After giving the attempt at, the whole stance, it did not work out. So, when in trouble, simply break it down. And, the fighting stance was divided into the raised heel for pivot, upward back (no leaning), and proper distance and orientation between legs. These three stance factors can be divided by their unique needs then easily conquered with innovation and an Instructable (conquered means a readily available coach that either prevents technique flaws or alerts to their violation). At the electronics market, then the industrial market, the components were readily available. Though without a written plan, but general approaches floating around my head, I bought all the items for my budget (pocket change and weekend labor).
Patent Pending. Copyright 2015 Instructable account Laser_Power
Step 2: Basic Electronic Parts Needed
Shown in the photograph are the basic electronics components that are needed to fabricate the Pivot Stance Coach. The three components include a durable switch, an audible alarm, and a battery.
Step 3: Durable Switch
This particular switch design is quite durable and reliable. I have used this type on industrial machinery and they last many years in conditions where there is dust and dirt and oils nearby. I found this switch at the electronics store. It is sometimes referred to as a limit switch and is made by many suppliers now, though I used to by it made from the Japanese Omron company. Buy this switch for the project. It cost me $3.50 each new and I got four in case I broke any during this project (none broke, so save 'em for future projects--switches are needed in a variety of items).
Step 4: All-in-one Alarm
This alarm was very low cost and versatile (under 50 cents each at the electronics market). Also, it has a hard plastic body with mounting screws, and has two wires coming out (pre-wired). The variation in input voltage 3-24 volts meant that I could use almost any kind of battery laying around. The pre-wired feature meant that I did not need to solder (time saving). The mounting screws meant that it already had an enclosure that could be mounted and I did not need to make one. I got five, needing two.
Step 5: Tiny Battery
I had a bag of batteries that I found in the shop. Unsure of the voltage, but should be somewhere around 3.5-5 volts DC. The size is small, so it makes it attractive for this project. It is also light weight.
Step 6: Elastic Banding and Laces
The elastic banding cost under $5. In a hurry, I got several different widths, not sure exactly how to strap this new contraption onto my shoe. The white color was readily available. I later found black and preferred that for its stylish appearance. Now, I do not typically work with fabrics but this seemed like a good choice for the type of device. Sneakers use laces and elastic straps are used on a variety of athletic devices.
Step 7: Quick Test Setup
Always take a few minutes to test your ideas before using your saw, drill, etc. Even if you are 100% sure, it is still a good idea because things do crop up. Good tools for electronics jobs are wires with alligator clips on both ends. It means a quick on and quick off test. Here the battery supplied enough energy for the alarm, so that the volume was at a good level. It was not too loud nor too soft.
Step 8: Keep a Multimeter Handy
A multimeter is a must when working with electronics. The beeping function is a great way to ensure that you have an electrical connection, and perform a variety of tests. For this project, the multimeter was used to confirm that the switch worked and was not broken, how it worked, and a few other items. I do not have an electronics background (honestly, I slept through those classes), and found that the multimeter instruction manual was quite helpful, when first purchased, and as a reference guide.
Step 9: Test Switch to Confirm Connection Points
The switch is labeled common, and has a choice for normally open (NO) and normally closed (NC). The normally open means that there is no electrical connection until the switch is depressed. Confirming with the multimeter, this is the choice selected.
Step 10: Simple Design, Less Work
This wiring setup seemed the simplest. The pre-wired alarm has a black and red wire. I put the black to the switch screw connection labeled common. The red wire rested on the battery, that in turn, rested on the screw connection NO, normally open.
Step 11: Battery Housing
Scouring around the shop for a battery housing, I came across an old hose and clipped a section off. Really had to wrestle with the battery to get it inside, then it would not rotate. Tried the heat gun, to add flexibility to the rubber, but gave up on this approach within a few minutes, to search for a better approach.
Step 12: Plastic Sheet to Stack to Size Needed.
I thought that a nice solid piece of plastic to hold the battery would do well. The problem is, I had thinner plastic and nothing that big, probably an unusual size. So, grabbed a quarter inch thick acrylic from my plastic scrap pile with the intention of gluing it in layers to get the size needed.
Step 13: Cutting Acrylic
Cutting a long strip of acrylic ruled out the hack saw because the hack saw blade-holder would get in the way after a few inches. The saber saw is fast, and with a metal blade seems to work. But, this was deceiving because after the cut the heated acrylic fused itself back together, so I had to cut twice and yank apart quickly before it set again.
Step 14: Grind Edges Smooth
I find the grinder an invaluable tool to shape metal and nonmetal. Here the rough edge is quickly removed by the grinding stone.
Step 15: Step Back and Examine
Here the plastic strip is looking much better.
Step 16: Wood in Vice As an Aid
I use wood in the vice to hold brittle and weak items (compared to metal) in the vice. The wood squeezed the plastic and also provides a cushion, and in some cases crushes around it to provide a better grip.
Step 17: Confirm Cut Sizes
Here the plastic strip is cut to length to the approximate size to hold the battery and one of the mounting screws from the alarm.
Step 18: Cut Remaining Plastic for Stacking
Here three pieces have been cut by eye. Not too concerned with exact length because after gluing they can be cut again and ground smooth.
Step 19: Preparation for Gluing
Take the time to prepare the surface for gluing as the strength will be much better, and last. Alcohol was used to wipe the parts with a rag.
Step 20: Remember, Two of Everything
This Instructable is for two pieces, two feet. So, need to made everything twice. I kept forgetting that, and mixing up the feet directions later on, so just settled in one getting one right and making the second much faster when the design was good.
Step 21: AB Epoxy Glue
Two part epoxy rated for plastics is needed.
Step 22: Mix AB Glue Then Apply
The epoxy needs to be mixed well. A miniscule plastic tool is included with the glue, but I prefer to use a painter spatula. It is flexible and easy to hold, and it also does well for applying the epoxy.
Step 23: Pressure
Almost any adhesive will do better with heat and pressure. In this case, no heat but pressure is applied using a C clamp.
Step 24: Wrap Switch in Elastic Band.
I had initially intended for the shoe laces to hold the switch directly with the elastic band wrap on the switch. Not necessary later, but does add an aesthetic value to this athletic device (You know, who wants to see switch specifications on their sneaker, looks a bit nerdy).
Step 25: Single Screw Mounting to Switch
The alarm hole pattern length was longer than the switch hole pattern width. Drilling into the audible alarm enclosure might hit something important, so better just do one screw and figure the other out later.
Step 26: Found Correct Size Screws
Nice to save used screws, even if the nuts did get rusty.
Step 27: Enlarge Holes
A wood block is a safe support, and your hand prevents the plastic parts from rotating with the drill bit.
Step 28: Cut to Length
Elastic has that clean look to it.
Step 29: Pierce Fabric
Worked fairly well with the screwdriver, but the screw was larger, so a combination of downward force and rotation helped get the screws through.
Step 30: Insert Screw
Step 31: Mount Alarm
Step 32: Add Second Screw
Hold that elastic in place.
Step 33: Examine Work, Consider Next Step
Align the alarm and confirm the sizes of the parts.
Step 34: Add a Layer to the Acrylic Block
The acrylic block was too small, so added another layer.
Step 35: Find Some Sheet Metal
Found this heavy galvanized steel (measured 1.5 mm) in my shop metal stack. It has bent edges on two sides, and that seemed to give it rigidity to stay straight. I liked that feature and wanted to take advantage of it in some way. So, cut strips off either side.
Step 36: Vice for Bending Sheet Metal
The hacksaw cuts and the vice is a great, low cost, sheet metal bender.
Step 37: Eye to Size
The sheet metal will be attached to the sheet metal common screw. The profile of the plastic switch establishes the width of sheet metal to cut.
Step 38: Metal Hammer to Shape
If you do not own them, then consider getting a set of hammers for different uses (metal, wood, mallets, and large and small sizes).
Step 39: Examine Bent Part
Always check your work.
Step 40: Align to Switch
Insert to check, then align the screws from the side, then front. I used a screw driver to draw two lines that intersected to identify the drill hole location.
Step 41: Use a Metal Punch
When starting a drill hole, the drill may walk across the sheet metal, so it is better to use a metal punch to provide a depression for the drill to slip into prior to powering the drill.
Step 42: Vice Removes Bend
Beyond the switch there is no need for the sheet metal to have a bend in it, so with a few cranks on the vice, the metal was flattened. This involved inserting the metal, cranking down hard, removing and re-inserting and repeat until flat over the entire intended length.
Step 43: Final Bend for Switch
Step 44: Nice Hammer
Step 45: Switch Fits, With a Little Room to Spare
I left a little room to spare so that the plastic switch body does not act as a supporting body when the foot stomps on the ground. This way, the metal provides the structural integrity and the less strong switch body is protected. I gave about a quarter inch on the switch bottom for clearance. This left the switch mechanism ample room to engage, yet prevented over-stressing it.
Step 46: Install Switch With Longer Screws
Step 47: Shoe Trial
Step 48: Under Shoe Trial
Step 49: Cut Plastic Stack to Length
Step 50: Confirm Battery Will Fit
Step 51: Examine After Drilling Battery Hole
Step 52: Install Plastic Block
Step 53: Select Electrically Conductive Battery Cover
Step 54: Grind for Better Shape
Step 55: Assemble Before Drilling to Check
Step 56: Get a Spring to Hold Battery Downward Onto Switch Mounting Screw
Step 57: Cut Spring to Length
Step 58: Check for a Good Fit.
Step 59: Adjust Spring Tension With Plyers
Step 60: Remove Aluminum Coating for Electrical Connectivity
Step 61: Select a Screw, Then Retrieve the Proper Tap for It
Step 62: Assemble and Test
Step 63: Determine Amount to Cut Off Opposing Side
Step 64: Cut, Bend, Grind, Drill a Hole
Step 65: Check It.
Does it function?
Is it durable?
Step 66: Install on Shoe
Step 67: Inner Side View
Step 68: Back View
Step 69: Upside Down
Step 70: Dinner Time. Testing Next Week During Workout Sessions.
Step 71: Revisions. Workout Log
20 Apr 2015 Gave up the work-out to complete the other shoe. The acrylic bond failed where the screw threaded between layers, so purchased a block of plastic for $21 and cut small pieces off (remainder is for future projects). Purchased some black colored elastic band, because it looks better and will remain cleaner. Cost $2.40. Soldered a connector onto the red alarm wire for a durable connection to the screw. Total time to make second was 3.5 hours--still need to clean up.
21 Apr 2015 After warmup, time to lace on the live heel coach. Left foot was under two minutes, right foot over three minutes--and that is way too long for my comfort. I did not bother taking off my work gloves (for heavy bag use) so it was not too intricate, just time consuming like ice skating shoes. Will need to correct that in a hurry.
First heavy bag strikes were a jumble of coaches barking (left and right) and I did not really realize how my heels were on the ground. Immediately I was on the balls of my feet for the remainder of the set.
Rear foot projected shoulder strikes were much better. One in about twenty sets heard the barking coach. I must admit that the devices do not seem to add any noticeable weight, nor inhibit my movement, however I am walking on my foot balls to the water cooler.
Rear horizontal shoulder strike heard significantly more barking reminders for the heels. It seems that my beginner stance quality fluctuates with strike types. Hop-step knee-kicks produced momentary barks. Boy, oh boy, those calves are doing double-duty today, feeling warm and full of blood.
Never did that before--doing my left shoulder-bump reps and the new heavy bag jumped to the opposing side and my mind and body singularly changed stance to hit.
Finished my sets. Less than five seconds to remove one coach, the second had the elastic band get caught while pulling out and took about 25 seconds to remove (frustrating, will have to fix that).
After work-out, fixed the lacing issue. See four part photo for steps. Less than 15 minute fix.
22 Apr 2015 Lunch workout. While lacing on today, one of the elastic laces frayed at the end--will remedy by purchasing regular laces, now that the length is established. Also, learned that lacing technique is important to keep the device flat under the shoe (wrap around second screw for now, will most likely fix with a second lace ring for higher integrity). The left foot switch position was different from the right foot, so popped it in the vice and bent the sheet metal to match (5 min). The new heavy bag strapping snapped, so repaired with small strap segments and back up in ten minutes (on foot balls during the repair). Water cooler trips on foot balls--no breaks for those calf muscles--really ingraining a good stance foot position poised for a pivot.
23 Apr 2015 Got a lacing procedure that is much faster. About 20 seconds each, first time trying. First set was flawless, with no barking, thought something must be wrong so dropped the heels mid-set and got double barking, so I must be improving. Power increasing in strikes now, as witnessed by the New Heavy Bag recoil angle and coming back anywhere in the combat zone. However, noticed cheating stance (only cheating myself) with excessive leaning (will solve that one on Saturday with a new device for a straight back--and subsequent Instructable--already bought the parts at the electronics market). Squatting now, at the water cooler during refills--give those calves a momentary rest. The barking coach alerted me to correct my ailing stance after fatigue set in on the tail-end of my 150 set of hop-knee kicks. The agility affored by the pivot stance enables me to place my strikes on the New Heavy Bag. As this advanced bag (shaped like a box) contains bones (pine wood) in the innner corners, that punish me with pain and injury when hit, setting strikes becomes important in daily practise. Rather than watch the video with the Trainer saying where to strike and hitting a regular bag, my strikes now can go to the body center as needed. My dinged right elbow is still out of commission from a bone strike.
24 Apr 2015 Lunch workout. Lacing time still too long. I want it under 15 seconds each. With improved stance, my agility is way up and positioning prior to strikes, while pursuing the New Heavy Bag throughout the combat zone.
28 Apr 2015 Lunch training. Another elastic band frayed when removed after workout. I felt a burr on the inside hole of the sheet metal portion where it is laced. At the grinder, I used the buffing wheel on both sides of the sheet metal. For the burr, I first ground with the stone wheel, then used the buffing wheel.
29 Apr 2015 Lunch training. Noticed the right switch less responsive. Gave the switch lever a slight bend on its spring steel then problem solved.
11 May 2015 Lunch workout. Elastic laces lost the shoelace tie and became a knot. Unable to untie the knot, removed by force (hey, I was sweating and done the workout and not in the mood for patience). Time to get to the store to purchase regular cloth laces and get away from the elastic.
14 May Lunch training. Only when exhausted then the slacking starts and the coach barks. Happens most toward the end of long sets of hop-knee kicks.
15 May 2015 Lunch workout. Strapped them on backwards--if there is a backwards--with the switch on the inside. I was too lazy after warmup and ready to begin practice sets, to change. Seems to work fine, same barking, no different in sneaker front-to-back location.