Notice that your kids aren’t as excited about their training? Worried they might drop out of martial arts before they have a chance to learn it’s most important lessons? Our engineers, software developers and team of martial arts professionals have been working on an answer for you.
“My kids said the magic words every coach and parent wants to hear when they are training: “Can we do it again?” says Master Helgi Rafn Gudmundsson. “They asked may I try again? May I do another? We were doing at home training with the 20/20 Armor app and we had it in our homeschooling schedule. They’d get five tries with each technique of their choice (punch, roundhouse kick and back kick) and we had the app up on our television screen so they could see their scores. They got so excited seeing their points and worked so much harder. And at the end of their five tries they’d ask to go again. Instead of five tries at each technique they’d go 15-20. That shows perseverance. You can’t get this experience training with a paddle or a regular chest guard. When I’m holding paddles, I’m the guy saying “do it again” and after a while they want to stop. The vests are incredible by themselves but with the app, it’s next level.”
What He Did:
Master Helgi decided to make training as easy as possibly and wore the video game scoring vest on his body. He set the game to Hitmeter, which measures the power of your strikes. He used the 20/20 Armor mobile app and telecasted to his wifi enabled screen so that his kids could see their scores as they practiced. To get a baseline score for power he gave them three techniques to try (Punch, Roundhouse and Back Kick)
He had scheduled for 60 minutes of training. He expected it would be like other activities scheduled throughout the day. They’d do the 60 minute block and they’d move onto the next block. They ended up doing 100 minutes. They only stopped because it was lunch. They played so hard that they lost track of time.
"We Had to Drag Them Out of Training"
“We had to drag them out of their training,” says Master Helgi proudly. “They are doing the same techniques we were doing on paddles or other chest guards, but the intensity is completely different. They were drenched in sweat, because they wanted to do more and more.”
What Gets Measured Gets Improved
After each strike his kids would look at the screen and see their score. His son Viginir, 5, would get particularly excited to see the graphs that showed the variance in his power. He liked the way it looked when the graph spiked. His daughter Heidi, 8, is older and began to notice the difference between the high and low scoring strikes.
Helgi due to his training as Head of Coach TKD Keflavik saw a deeper meaning in the data. By coincidence he’d been filming the session to send videos back to 20/20 Armor to show his training session went. So he had a video of his children’s most impressive kicks and punches and real analytics matched to each individual strike. He showed the kids. This instantly provided feedback that powerfully reinforced proper technique.
They Could See How to Do it Correctly
“They could see it was because they turned their hip,” says Master Helgi. “Every coach video tapes athletes doing the technique. But now we have the data on the same page as the technique. As a coach I could give this technique a score of 1-10. But it was just your opinion that the strike was a 7. With the 20/20 Armor mobile app there is an objective measurement. And they can see the difference. That was because you turned the base of your leg, put your shoulder that way, and do your kiyap that way."
"There is such a difference between doing something because your coach tells you to and something that shows you how much better you are doing," notes Master Helgi. "So they abandoned techniques that didn’t work and focused on the ones that did. The whole point isn’t getting a higher score on the board, it’s improving their overall technique. And even in one session you could see the improvement.”
Helgi recorded his son and daughter’s baseline scores from their first session and they’ll try the same three techniques every week and track their improvement over time.
“I can’t wait to see how much better they get,” says Master Helgi. “I’m so excited to see what happens when this training becomes a part of high performance. This is going to change the way we train our athletes. But for now I’m just excited that my kids love their Taekwondo training more than they ever have. And I can’t wait to do it again.”
*We wanted to thank Vignir and Heidi not only for being the stars of the videos but also the camera people and directors. Can't wait to see the Taekwondo stars you become when you grow up.
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