I saw these vests courtesy of a vendor while in Las Vegas. 2020 Armor had a booth at a martial arts product expo, and I was intrigued. It was actually and inspiration for me to create this blog.
What is this vest for? That’s a good question. According to their website, 2020 Armor is martial arts equipment that enhances the experience of using a sparing vest in taekwondo competition. At the risk of minimizing the genius behind the innovation, this vest addresses issues that came about in traditional sparring matches. Older vests were designed in a way that limited tracking of sparring points and gave an advantage to a wearer if they were a taller, slender body type. This may easily exclude a larger group of practitioners who could not adapt as easily to the movements and judging requirements of a traditional vest.
So, what was the answer? A little innovation in recording scoring and movement. The 2020 Armor vest can not only protect the wearer, but it can objectively record the impact of an opponent’s hit. Pretty cool stuff. This means that a judge’s ability to see strikes and make a determination is assisted with this technology.
The Fun Stuff
So, what else besides contact sparring is this helpful for? Well, if you check out their site, you can see that the vest developers have incorporated fun gaming capabilities that can make mat time a bit more interesting. From competitive games with results that can be recorded to analytical information that can help improve strikes and blocks, this vest appears to help distinguish itself by taking the competitors beyond the mat and help to experience live video game action. For a generation of practitioners who grew up on video games, this is a great attraction.
The Tech Advantage
A sparring vest that not only helps improve real world competition, but also takes the user from reality to augmented reality is not only cool, but certainly the future of martial arts. Martial arts may ultimately be about the practitioner’s body, mind and will, but bringing out the fun in training and providing an added revenue stream to a dojo is one way to keep students coming back.