Before the Boxing Hand Grenade there was a scrap of foam exercise mat.
After sustaining an injury to my hand during a bag work and sparring session I developed a long term inability to form a proper fist. It felt like I required something in the palm of my hand to facilitate its structural integrity and absorb the impact shock from striking.
I began studying articles on the subject, which included a research article ‘Protective Buttressing of the human fist and the evolution of hominin hands’ – M.H Morgan, D.R Carrier, The Journal of Experimental Biology 2013, which I found very insightful.
I grew up being aware of the concept of a ‘fist-load’ from the perspective of packing the fist for the purpose of self-defence in an altercation, the typical suggestions being a clipper lighter or a Mini Maglite.
I also heard the echo of what I’d learned during my apprenticeship/instructorship via good friend Vil (a former Sergeant Royal Marines) at Inphun@ Visceral Entrainment over many years in the area of personal security, who’d reiterated the principle that should one feel the need to strike with a clenched fist as opposed to an open hand (the latter being a better option), then it is far better to load the fist in order to protect the hand’s vulnerable anatomy.
To enable my continued work with clients as a sparring partner and pad-man and to avoid further pain and injury, I started to tape scraps of foam to the palms of my hands prior to the addition of wraps and gloves. The difference was significant. Not only was I now striking and receiving blows upon my gloves without pain in my hands, my shots felt like bombs! I remember at this point thinking about a hand grenade.
The scraps of foam began to evolve with me cutting them into more ergonomic shapes and sizes. At the same time I looked to see what was available on the market. I purchased various products, all of which were neoprene covered gel knuckle guards with an added ‘palm bar’, the latter being an existing component of a boxing gloves design, although often found to be of an inadequate size or structure in gloves from the entry level through to the elite range. Other than employing the techniques used by pro hand-wrappers, who will often fashion an additional grip bar with gauze and tape, I was unable to source a product, an individual fist-load, designed specifically for the purpose of enhancing the structural integrity and impact shock absorption of the striking fist for boxing training. In frustration at what was on offer I began sketching gloves with more substantial and ergonomic palm grip bars, but couldn’t help but think that a fist-load, which could instantly provide an upgrade to existing gloves, and which could be interchangeable from glove to glove or even utilised on its own for shadow boxing/hand conditioning would be a better option.
The sketch book started to fill with drawings of what evolved into the Boxing Hand Grenade hand protector.
We were fortunate to get in touch with U.S. company PROTOLABS, who have their European Headquarters in Telford, Shropshire, UK.
PROTOLABS, alongside TORUS Technology Group were able to provide us with multiple functional 3D printed prototypes, which allowed us to pressure test and adjust our product. We are grateful to have received further feedback from experts within the boxing and martial arts community, which allowed us to insightfully refine the design of our BHG-1 and BHG-2 Fist-loaders through a process of research and development. A special thanks to Simon Higgins – Telford Amateur Boxing Club/Fit2Box Channel for his input and support throughout our research & development phase.
Our launch product the BHG-LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) Fist-loader has an ergonomic profile, as well as other features which are together designed to enhance the structural integrity and impact shock absorption/attenuation of the striking fist in fitness, amateur and professional boxing training.
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