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Title:
PUNCHING BAG RETENTION APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/013653
Kind Code:
A9
Abstract:
In one aspect the invention provides a punching bag retention apparatus which includes a bag engagement structure, and a user engagement structure. This retention apparatus also includes a tether defining a bag end and a user end, the bag end of the tether being arranged to connect to the bag engagement structure, and the user end of the tether being arranged to connect to the user engagement structure.

Inventors:
MAXWELL, David William Iden (300B Bellevue Road, RD 1Cambridge, 3493, 3493, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2018/050097
Publication Date:
May 02, 2019
Filing Date:
July 11, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MAXWELL, David William Iden (300B Bellevue Road, RD 1Cambridge, 3493, 3493, NZ)
International Classes:
A63B69/26; A63B21/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MURPHY, Simon John et al. (PO Box 9466, 3240 Hamilton, 3240, NZ)
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Claims:
What we claim is:

A punching bag retention apparatus which includes

a bag engagement structure, and

a user engagement structure, and

a tether defining a bag end and a user end, the bag end of the tether being arranged to connect to the bag engagement structure, and the user end of the tether being arranged to connect to the user engagement structure.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a bag engagement structure incorporates a tether interface component configured to allow the tether to be connected to and disconnected from the bag engagement element.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein the tether interface element is implemented by a ring or eyelet fixed to the bag engagement structure.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein the tether interface component is formed by a combination of a guide and carriage assembly deployed along at least a portion of the exterior surface of the bag engagement structure.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein the guide is formed as a track on the surface of a bag engagement structure.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein the carriage assembly is formed from a component adapted to run along the guide, the carriage assembly providing a mounting point for a connector deployed at the bag end of the tether.

A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein the carriage is free to move along the length of the guide and will experience friction based braking forces as it moves.

8. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed from a single length of woven fabric which includes at least one buckle or connector.

9. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least part of a tether is formed by material with a limited degree of elasticity.

10. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein at least a portion of the tether is formed from a woven elastic material with a polyester component.

11. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed with a construction which allows its length to be adjusted from approximately 25 to 30 cm long, to approximately 1.5m long.

12. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed from a plurality of lengths of material connected together where one or more of these lengths is capable of being doubled over itself to reduce the overall length of the tether.

13. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one sensor is connected to or associated with the tether, said sensor or sensors being configured to measure the force experienced by the tether when a punching bag is struck by a user.

14. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein said sensor or sensors is configured to be interrogated by a remote processing device.

15. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein either or both ends of the tether includes a releasable connector which enables the tether to be connected and disconnected from the bag engagement structure and/or user engagement structure.

16. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the bag engagement structure and/or user engagement structure incorporates a releasable connector which allows for connection to the tether.

17. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 15 or claim 16 wherein said releasable connector is formed by a lobster clip mounted by way of a pivoting or rotating swivel.

18. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a user engagement structure is formed as a belt configured to be worn around the waist or hips of the user.

19. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 18 wherein the belt form user engagement structure includes a flexible snap lock fastener capable of being opened and closed by a user wearing boxing gloves.

20. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 18 wherein the belt form user engagement structure is flared to the rear in contact with a user's lower back, and strengthen to the front where connected to the tether.

21. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a bag engagement structure is formed by a removable and adjustable bag engagement belt.

22. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 21 wherein a bag engagement belt is formed from two or more lengths of flexible material joined together at variable positions along their length to fix the circumference of the belt.

23. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 21 wherein a bag engagement belt is formed from a single length of material and a belt clip configured to control circumference of the belt.

24. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 21 wherein the bag engagement belt is formed from a loop of elastic material configured to be stretched around a desired portion of a punching bag.

25. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 21 wherein the bag engagement belt includes a snap lock fastener to secure the bag engagement belt around the circumference of a punching bag.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 20 December 2018 (20.12.2018)

What we claim is:

1. A punching bag retention apparatus which includes

a bag engagement structure, and

a user engagement structure, and

a tether defining a bag end and a user end, the bag end of the tether being arranged to connect to the bag engagement structure, and the user end of the tether being arranged to connect to the user engagement structure,

wherein the bag engagement structure incorporates a tether interface component configured to allow the tether to be connected to and disconnected from the bag engagement element, the tether interface component being formed by a combination of a guide and carriage assembly deployed along at least a portion of the exterior surface of the bag engagement structure where the carriage is free to move along the length of the guide and will experience friction based braking forces as it moves .

2. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the guide is formed as a track on the surface of a bag engagement structure.

3. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the carriage assembly is formed from a component adapted to run along the guide, the carriage assembly providing a mounting point for a connector deployed at the bag end of the tether.

4. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed from a single length of woven fabric which includes at least one buckle or connector.

5. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least part of a tether is formed by material with a limited degree of elasticity.

6. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein at least a portion of the tether is formed from a woven elastic material with a polyester component. 7. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed with a construction which allows its length to be adjusted from approximately 25 to 30 cm long, to approximately 1.5m long. 8. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tether is formed from a plurality of lengths of material connected together where one or more of these lengths is capable of being doubled over itself to reduce the overall length of the tether. 9. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least one sensor is connected to or associated with the tether, said sensor or sensors being configured to measure the force experienced by the tether when a punching bag is struck by a user. 10. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein said sensor or sensors is configured to be interrogated by a remote processing device.

11. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein either or both ends of the tether includes a releasable connector which enables the tether to be connected and disconnected from the bag engagement structure and/or user engagement structure.

12. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the bag engagement structure and/or user engagement structure incorporates a releasable connector which allows for connection to the tether.

13. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 11 or claim 12 wherein said releasable connector is formed by a lobster clip mounted by way of a pivoting or rotating swivel.

14. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a user engagement structure is formed as a belt configured to be worn around the waist or hips of the user. 15. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 14 wherein the belt form user engagement structure includes a flexible snap lock fastener capable of being opened and closed by a user wearing boxing gloves. 16. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 14 wherein the belt form user engagement structure is flared to the rear in contact with a user's lower back, and strengthen to the front where connected to the tether. 17. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein a bag engagement structure is formed by a removable and adjustable bag engagement belt.

18. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein a bag engagement belt is formed from two or more lengths of flexible material joined together at variable positions along their length to fix the circumference of the belt.

19. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein a bag engagement belt is formed from a single length of material and a belt clip configured to control circumference of the belt.

20. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein the bag engagement belt is formed from a loop of elastic material configured to be stretched around a desired portion of a punching bag.

21. A punching bag retention apparatus as claimed in claim 17 wherein the bag engagement belt includes a snap lock fastener to secure the bag engagement belt around the circumference of a punching bag.

Description:
PUNCHING BAG RETENTION APPARATUS

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a punching bag retention apparatus. In various embodiments the invention may be used to control the movement of a punching bag when struck by a user. Background of the Invention

Boxing and other martial arts art are sports pursued competitively by athletes and exercise activities undertaken for health and fitness reasons. One piece of equipment used in these pursuits is a large punching bag used to simulate strikes to the body of an opponent. These bags normally have a cylindrical form approximately a metre in height with a diameter ranging from 20-50 cm, with the bag being filled with anywhere from 20 to 100 kg of resilient stuffing material. These bags are generally suspended from the ceiling of a training area and are free to swing under the impacts of the user's strikes. Suspending the bag in this way increases the angles of attack open to a user for their strikes.

These bags are effective in simulating body blows on an opponent due to their weight and ability to absorb the power of a user's strikes. A user can practice single strikes and combinations of strikes on an opponent using such bags. However the energy transferred to the punching bag will induce a swinging motion in the bag after the first strike, causing it to swing away from the user. This somewhat unpredictable motion induced in the bag can break the user's momentum and concentration, forcing them to pursue the bags motion with follow-up strikes in a manner that does not simulate the actions of a real opponent. For novice users the swinging motion of the bag can be off-putting and make these bags difficult to use effectively. This effect is also aggravated when a high intensity high strike rate training session is desired.

A practice used to address this problem is for a user to ask another person to hold the bag while they train. This approach is effective, but precludes solo training sessions which can be a particular problem for users with home gym training areas. One technical measure used to alleviate this issue is by anchoring the base of the bag to a weight placed under the bag or to an eyelet connected to the floor of the training area.

However this approach requires a large and heavy weight to be located underneath the bag, or an eyelet to be permanently bolted through the floor of a training area. This is sometimes unwelcome - particularly in the case of multipurpose training areas with these elements forming a tripping hazard if the punching bag is to be removed and the same space is to be used for alternative pursuits. Furthermore, it is also common for various types of bags to lack any appropriate connection or attachment system which allows for the use of these types of floor anchors.

It would therefore be of advantage to have improvements over the prior art which addressed the above issues or at least provided the public with an alternative choice. In particular, it would be of advantage to have an improved punching bag retention apparatus which could be used to control the motion of a bag once struck, and which did not require the installation or use of separate ground anchoring elements. Disclosure of the Invention

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a punching bag retention apparatus which includes

a bag engagement structure, and

a user engagement structure, and

a tether defining a bag end and a user end, the bag end of the tether being arranged to connect to the bag engagement structure, and the user end of the tether being arranged to connect to the user engagement structure. The present invention provides a tether to connect a user with a punching bag. Swinging motions induced in the bag from user strikes can be damped or braked by tensioning of the tether and the transmission of at least a portion of the bag's kinetic energy back to the user.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that references made throughout this specification to a 'punching' bag should not be interpreted as being limited to training bags which are intended only to be punched by a user. The present invention may be utilised with a wide range of different bags which users can strike with punches, kicks, elbows, knees or their heads in various

embodiments. A variety of different forms of tether may be used in various embodiments of the invention. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various types of flexible materials may be used in this regard.

For example in one embodiment a tether may be formed from a single length of woven fabric, this length defining a bag end and a user end. In preferred forms this length of material may include at least one buckle or connector.

In yet other embodiment's lengths of chain defined by a number of distinct links may be employed as at least part of a tether.

In yet other embodiments a material with a limited degree of elasticity may be used to define at least part of a tether. A limited degree of elasticity in the tether is preferable to average out forces applied through to the user by the user engagement structure. For example, in one embodiment at least a portion of the tether may be formed from a woven elastic material with a polyester component. This combination of materials provides for strength and elasticity in the tether without necessarily deforming the shape of the tether when stretched.

In a preferred embodiment the tether may be formed with a construction which will allow its length to be adjusted depending on the current

preferences of the user. A relatively short tether can be used in high intensity training with high strike rates to ensure the bag does not stray too far from the user. A longer tether can be used to simulate limited movement of an opponent and to help the user develop footwork skills. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various arrangements and forms of lengths of material may be provided to achieve this objective with the use of connectors, buckles, clips and the like.

For example in some embodiments a single length of material may be provided as a tether in combination with one or more buckles or connectors, allowing the tether material to be doubled over itself to adjust its length from approximately 25 to 30 cm long, to approximately 1.5m long. In yet other embodiments a tether may be formed from a plurality of lengths of material connected together where one or more of these lengths may be doubled over itself to reduce the overall length of the tether, or omitted entirely to again reduce the length of the tether.

Reference throughout this specification will however be made to the invention incorporating a tether with a two-part form, the first part being formed from an inelastic length of flexible material and the second part formed from a mildly elastic material connected at a selected point along its length to the first part. The connection point of the elastic material to the inelastic material will therefore define the effective length of the tether. Those skilled in the art will however appreciate that alternative

arrangements of such tethers are also within the scope of the invention.

In some embodiments at least one sensor may be connected to or

associated with the tether. This sensor may be used to measure the force or kinetic energy transfer experienced by the tether when the bag is struck by a user. The sensor can be interrogated by a remote processing device such as a smart phone, tablet or similar equipment to record data relating to the efforts of the user during a bag training session. For example in some embodiments where the tether is provided with a two-part elastic and inelastic form a sensor may be provided within the inelastic part of the tether to make such performance measurements.

In various embodiments a number of different mechanisms or structures may be used to engage the ends of the tether with the bag engagement structure and user engagement structure.

In some embodiments the user end of the tether may include a releasable connector which enables the tether to be connected and disconnected from the user engagement structure. Alternatively - or in addition - the user engagement structure may incorporate such a releasable connector which allows for connection to the user end of the tether. In further embodiments the bag end of the tether may include a releasable connector which enables the tether to be connected and disconnected from the bag engagement structure. Again in various embodiment the bag engagement structure may incorporate such a releasable connector which allows for connection to the bag end of the tether.

A wide variety of connection schemes maybe employed in conjunction with the present invention to allow a user to connect and disconnect the tether from themselves and/or a punching bag. Furthermore, in some instances the tether may be permanently connected to either the user engagement structure or bag engagement structure, with a releasable connector provided to the opposite end of the tether.

Reference in general throughout this specification will be made to the user end of the tether including a releasable connector to engage with the user engagement structure, and the bag end of the tether also including a releasable connector to engage with the bag engagement structure.

In one preferred embodiment this releasable connector may be formed by a lobster clip mounted by way of a pivoting or rotating swivel. Such clips can be formed with relatively large dimensions to allow for operation wearing boxing gloves.

In various embodiments the invention may also include additional interface elements or components which improve the usability of these forms of clips or equivalent structures. D-rings, circular rings or tri-rings may be provided - for example - to allow for easy connection and disconnection of various forms of clips. In the case of tri-rings these structures also result in the clip being positioned at the apex of the ring when placed under tension. Again those skilled in the art will appreciate that other configurations of the invention are envisioned and referenced to the above arrangement should in no way be seen as limiting. A user engagement structure provided by the invention may take many forms in various embodiments. This structure is provided to securely link a user to the tether and to allow for the transmission of force or kinetic energy from the bag through the tether and to the user. In various embodiments a user engagement structure may take the form of a belt arranged to encircle the waist or hips of the user, through to a harness which can engage with various parts of the users upper body, midsection or groin. In yet other embodiments a user engagement structure may consist of a simple eyelet or tie provided on an article of clothing which allows for connection to the user end of the tether.

Reference in general throughout this specification will however be made to a user engagement structure being provided by a belt to be worn around the waist or hips of the user. Such belt arrangements may utilise standard buckle and eyelet connections, or alternatively flexile snap lock fasteners which can be opened and closed by a user wearing boxing gloves. Preferably this belt may be flared to the rear in contact with a user's lower back, and strengthen to the front where connected to the tether. However those skilled in the art will appreciate that other forms of such structures are also envisioned and reference to the above should in no way be seen as limiting.

A bag engagement structure provided by the invention may take many forms in various embodiments. This structure is again provided to securely link a bag to the tether and to allow for the transmission of force or kinetic energy from the bag through the tether and to the user

In preferred embodiment a bag engagement structure may incorporate a belt or a similar element with an adjustable circumference. Preferably this belt may be fitted around the bag at a height approximately equal to the height of the user's hips or waist. The circumference of this belt may be adjusted so that it holds snugly to the exterior side wall of the bag and does not move under the forces applied by a user's strikes.

For example in some embodiments a bag engagement belt may be formed from two or more lengths of flexible material which may be joined together at variable positions along their length to fix the circumference of the belt required. In yet other embodiments a single length of material may be provided with a belt clip or equivalent mechanism to again shorten or control circumference of the belt being formed.

In yet other embodiments a bag engagement belt may be formed from a loop of elastic material which can be stretched around the desired portion of the bag and then released to firmly engage with the bag.

Reference throughout this specification will also be made to a bag

engagement structure being formed by a removable and adjustable bag engagement belt. This type of structure can be secured to a bag in a variety of ways, such as through a standard belt buckle, or through flexile snap lock fasteners which can be opened and closed by a user wearing boxing gloves. However those skilled in the art will appreciate that other arrangements and implementations of a bag engagement structure may be employed in alternative embodiments. Permanent connection systems may be formed within the exterior of the bag itself, or alternatively more complicated harness assemblies may be employed to grasp the lower sections or underside of a bag if required. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that references to a bag engagement belt should in no way be seen as limiting.

In various preferred embodiments a bag engagement structure provided by the invention may also incorporate a tether interface component. This interface component can allow the bag end of the tether to be quickly and easily connected to and disconnected from the bag engagement element.

For example in some embodiments a tether interface element may be implemented simply through the provision of a ring or eyelet fixed to a point on the bag engagement structure. However in a preferred embodiment a tether interface component may be formed by a combination of a guide and carriage assembly deployed along at least a portion of the exterior surface of the bag engagement structure.

In various embodiments the guide may be formed as a track on the surface of a bag engagement structure. Preferably the carriage assembly may be formed from a component adapted to run along the guide, with the carriage assembly providing a mounting point for a connector deployed at the bag end of the tether.

For example in embodiments where the bag engagement structure

incorporates a belt, this guide may be formed by a length of cord, string, thin rope, or flat webbing material which extends along as much of the diameter of the belt as possible before encountering any further components used to engage the belt with the bag. In various preferred embodiments flat webbing material of a width of approximately 20mm may be used which sits flat against the bag and which is relatively easy to sew. A carriage may be formed from a component adapted to run over, around or potentially within the guide and which provides a mounting point for a connector deployed at the bag end of the tether.

These various forms of guide and carriage arrangements act as an energy absorption and braking mechanism in combination with providing a tether interface element. Having a fixed tether interface element connected to a single point of the bag engagement structure will induce an aggravated swinging motion in the bag when the side of the bag is struck, the swing being centred on the tether's connection to the user. The carriage referenced above is free to move along the length of the guide and will experience friction based braking forces as it moves - dissipating the kinetic energy transferred into the bag by the user's strikes. Movement of the carriage along the guide will also minimise the torque effects applied by side strikes on a bag, and therefore reduce the extent of any uncomfortable sharp twisting forces transmitted back to the user. Furthermore, the provision of such a carriage allows movement by the user around the bag without rotating the bag - where bag rotation would occur if the tether was attached to a fixed point. Those skilled will also appreciate that this arrangement of the guide and carriage as a tether interface element may be implemented a number of different ways in various embodiments. In some embodiments a guide may be formed as a track on the surface of a bag engagement belt with the track arranged to receive and partially enclose a portion of the carriage. In other embodiments a carriage may enclose the exterior surface of a guide rail, webbing strap or rope and be able to run along the length of this rope. The present invention may provide many potential advantages over the prior art.

The present invention can provide an inexpensive punching bag retention apparatus which is adjustable and flexible enough to engage with different size and shape punching bags. The invention provided has a portable nature, allowing a single user to deploy the apparatus on any bag they wish to use in a range of training environments. In various embodiments the length of the tether provided by the invention can be adjusted to suit the current requirements of the user. The tether may be shortened for high-intensity high strike rate training or lengthened by user wishing to simulate movements of an opponent and to work on their footwork skills. The invention allows for such variations while still retaining the bag in a restricted area, allowing the user to land follow-up strikes effectively.

Brief description of the drawings Additional and further aspects of the present invention will be apparent to the reader from the following description of embodiments, given in by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which :

• Figure 1 shows a user engagement structure formed as a belt in a

preferred embodiment, and

• Figure 2 shows a tether provided by the invention in the embodiment illustrated with respect to figure 1, and

• Figure 3 shows a bag engagement structure formed as a bag

engagement belt in the embodiment illustrated with respect to figures 1 and 2, and

• Figure 4 shows a plan view of the tether and bag engagement

structure of figures 2 and 3 when engaged with a punching bag,

• Figures 5a, 5b and 5c show a user engagement belt, tether and bag engagement belt as configured in accordance with a further

embodiment of the invention, • Figures 6a and 6b show two different forms of carriages capable of being used with the bag engagement structure of figure 3, or of figure 5c, and

• Figures 7a shows a perspective view of a releasable clip capable being used with the tethers shown with respect to figures 2 and 5b, and

• Figures 7b and 7c show the releasable clip of figure 7a in a closed and open configuration respectively.

Further aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention which is given by way of example only of particular embodiments.

Best modes for carrying out the invention Figures 1 through 4 show the provision of a punching bag retention apparatus as provided in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention. This apparatus consists of the user engagement structure shown in figure 1 connected to the tether shown in figure 2 which is in turn connected to the bag engagement structure shown in figure 3.

In the embodiment illustrated with respect to figure 1 the punching bag retention apparatus incorporates a user engagement structure formed as a belt 1. This belt is arranged to be worn around the waist or hips of a user and includes a buckle 2 and eyelets 3 to adjust the circumference of the belt on the user. Also included is a sleeve 4 to retain excess belt material once tightened around a user, in addition to a D-ring 5 to facilitate a connection with the tether of Figure 2.

As can be seen from figure 1 a single D-ring 5 is provided in conjunction with the user engagement belt. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that in other embodiments a pair of D-rings may be disposed on either side of the belt buckle to allow for variation the connection point of the tether to a user and to accommodate different user stances. In the embodiment shown the front or buckle ends of the belt 1 are formed from a strong inelastic material such as nylon or leather. These materials help in transferring forces applied by the tether to the front of the belt. The rear region 6 the belt is formed with the addition of some elastic material allowing for a comfortable fit around the hips and back of the wearer and a degree of give against the users back once a force is applied through the D- ring 5.

Figure 2 shows the tether 7 which is to be connected to the D-ring 5. The tether 7 has a two-part form to allow for adjustments of the effective length of the tether. The first part 7a is formed from an inelastic length of flexible material and the second part 7b is formed from a mildly elastic material connected by buckle 8 at a selected point to the first part 7a. The buckle 8 allows the elastic part of the tether to be folded onto itself and retained in place by a clamp 9 to set the effective length of the tether.

The tether 7 defines a bag end 10 at the terminal end of the first inelastic part 7a and a user end 11 at the terminal end of the second elastic part 7b. Mounted at each end is a releasable clip 12a, 12b which allows the tether to be engaged and disengaged from the punching bag and user as required.

Figure 3 shows a bag engagement structure formed as a bag engagement belt 13 in the embodiment illustrated with respect to Figures 1 and 2. This bag engagement belt 13 can have its effective length or circumference adjusted through the use of a buckle 14 to engage with punching bags of varying diameters. The bag engagement belt 13 also includes a sleeve 15 which can be used to gather and retain excess belt material when the belt 13 is engaged with a relatively small bag.

In the embodiment shown the bag engagement belt 13 includes a tether interface component formed from a combination of a guide rope 16 and carriage 17. Mounted through the carriage is a D-ring 18 which facilitates a connection being made to a releasable clip of the tether 7.

The enlarged view of this component illustrated in figure 3 shows how the guide rope 16 runs through a central cavity of the carriage 16, allowing the carriage to traverse the length of the guide rope while still connected to the tether by way of the D-ring 18.

This characteristic of the guide and carriage is illustrated by the plan view of figure 4. Figure 4 shows how a user strike made to either side of the punching bag 19 will result in the carriage moving towards the point of impact with friction applied by the guide rope slowing its progress and absorbing some of the kinetic energy of the strike. This movable connection point of the tether to the bag reduces some of the turning forces induced on the bag by a side strike and hence the motion induced into the bag. As can also be seen by figure 4 the guide allows the carriage to travel long approximately one half of the perimeter of the bag, giving a user a 180° strike angle range. In addition to the above this arrangement of the carriage and the guide allows the user to move around the bag without applying a turning force to the bag - as would occur with the tether fixed to a single point on the surface of the bag.

Figures 5a, 5b and 5c show a user engagement belt, tether and bag engagement belt as configured in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention.

In the embodiment shown the user engagement belt, tether and bag engagement belt have many similar features to the embodiment illustrated with respect to figures 1 through 3. However, in this embodiment the user engagement belt now incorporates a pair of snap lock clips 102 which can be opened and closed by user wearing boxing gloves. The user engagement belt also includes a tri-ring 105 to locate the end of a releasable connector 112 provided with the tether of figure 5b.

In the embodiment shown the tether again includes a two-part form with section 107a being formed from an elastic material, and the opposite section 107b being formed from a substantially inelastic material. The bag engagement belt of figure 5c incorporates a pair of snap lock clips 114 which can be opened and closed by user wearing boxing gloves. One of these clips is located adjacent to a section of elastic material 120 which allows the bag engagement belt to be stretched snugly over a bag and secured in place by the snap lock clips 114. Figure 5c also illustrates the use of a length of flat guide webbing over which a carriage incorporating a tri-ring 118 can slide.

Figures 6a and 6b show two different forms of carriages capable of being used with the bag engagement structure of figure 3, or of figure 5c. Both carriages are orientated to illustrate guide through passages 121 provided with a horizontal orientation. In the embodiment shown with respect to figures 6a this through passage is arranged to receive the cylindrical diameter of a guide rope, whereas with figure 6b this through passage receives a flat and wide guide formed from webbing material. Both forms of guides also include additional ring connector through passages 122

illustrated with a vertical orientation. These ring connector through passages

122 are used to receive a portion of a D-ring or tri-ring which is to engage with a connector at the end of a tether.

Figures 7a shows a perspective view of a releasable clip capable being used with the tethers shown with respect to figures 2 and 5b, while figures 7b and 7c show the releasable clip of figure 7a in a closed and open configuration. As can be seen from figures 7a-7c this releasable clip includes a pivoting jaw

123 configured to pivot downwards to open the clip. A large finger contact pad 124 is provided for a user to push the clip open, preferably when wearing boxing gloves. It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described herein and further and additional embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention will be apparent to the skilled reader from the examples illustrated with reference to the drawings. In particular, the invention may reside in any combination of features described herein, or may reside in alternative embodiments or combinations of these features with known equivalents to given features. Modifications and variations of the example embodiments of the invention discussed above will be apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made without departure of the scope of the invention.

In the preceding description and the following claims the word "comprise" or equivalent variations thereof is used in an inclusive sense to specify the presence of the stated feature or features. This term does not preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described herein and further and additional embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention will be apparent to the skilled reader from the examples illustrated with reference to the drawings. In particular, the invention may reside in any combination of features described herein, or may reside in alternative embodiments or combinations of these features with known equivalents to given features. Modifications and variations of the example embodiments of the invention discussed above will be apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made without departure of the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.