“2020 Armor is the best tool to train for martial arts right now. If you’re a high level player and you’re not using it you’re wasting your time,” says Master Luis Antonio Peña, Head Coach of the National Team of Puerto Rico. Peña predicts a sea changes is coming to martial arts with the “New Era of Data Driven Training”.
“I test my players weekly on their reaction time, stamina and power. Because I don’t want them guessing at their progress,” explains Peña . “I want them to know it. How can you know if you’re improving if you don’t have the data? 2020 Armor blows my mind. It offers something coaches have wanted for years. It gives us real data we can use to hold our athletes responsible so we can help them achieve greatness! The system records stamina, reaction time and power of your players! I’ve seen LaJust, KPNP and Daedo and I’ve used them in my school. They have their place. But this is something completely different. This is the future.”
The Rise of a Martial Arts Legend
It isn’t hyperbole to say that Master Peña is a legend within the world of martial arts in Puerto Rico.
At the age of 12 he began training for Taekwondo at a local dojang in 1986. His master Aristides Montalvo Santaigo historically brought Taekwondo to Puerto Rico and pioneered a tradition that is thriving to this day.
In his athlete career, Peña was the PR Junior National Champion, a PR National Member and international medallist.
Master Santiago was the head coach for Puerto Rico’s Olympic team in the Barcelona Olympics Games in 1992. Pena followed in his Master’s footsteps as an Olympic Coach.
He has coached athletes in the Olympics in RIO in 2016 and worked with athletes from juniors to cadets to get their conditioning to an elite level for the last 20 years.
New Era of Data Driven Trainings: Bringing Your Athletes to the Next Level During COVID
“It couldn’t be more important for coaches to begin training with real data then it is right now,” says Pena . “Due to the lockdowns you can’t give your players as much attention as you’d like in person. But they have more time to train. Because life has been on hold. They can send you videos of their training from home with 2020 Armor’s Live Mode training. You can give your players pointers on technique. You can set goals with them for speed, stamina and power. And you have this incredible opportunity. While other athletes are getting cold and losing their skills, your players can actually be getting better.”
New Era of Data Driven Training: The Speed of the Future
He’s specifically excited about training his athletes on Reflex. This game is offered in the 2020 Armor mobile app and tracks reaction time down to the millisecond. It’s allowed schools to compete in global competitions from the comfort of their home.
“I think of all the features I’m most excited about the reflex game,” says Peña . “I believe in the value of reflex in sparring. If you surprise the opponent you can win the match. You surprise them because you’re faster. We are eliminating unnecessary steps to kicks to maximize that speed because we can track what’s slowing us down. I think we are going to surprise our opponents next year. Yes, I think they are in for a very big surprise. I think our sport is about to get much faster and more exciting.”
New Era of Data Driven Training: Why Your Kids Need to Train at Home
Master Peña pointed out the strange opportunity that underlies the difficulties of these turbulent times. With online training available, students can go from training 1-2 times a week to every day.
“I don’t remember a time when kids were more in need of something positive to focus on,” says Peña . “As martial arts teachers we have a chance to have a huge impact on them. Imagine a student comes out of lockdown with even more passion for martial arts then they had before. I truly believe there is a great opportunity here. ”
The problem is connecting to them while they are at home and being able to give them meaningful feedback when you aren’t in the room with them. Master Peña believes that 2020 Armor can help fill in this gap. Students can record their training in Live Mode for Reflex, Power and Stamina and send the videos to their teachers. They can get the critics they need to get better and have those corrections based on real data.
New Era of Data Driven Training: Why Parents Need 2020 Armor for Their Kids
“Parents understand why it will help their children,” says Peña . “It’s easy to get them to buy 2020 Armor because they want the best for their kids, just like I want the best for my students. And this is really the best product for at home training for martial arts. I don’t just tell them they’re improving. I can show them just how much stronger, faster, more stamina their kids have gotten. And I can show them trends for where I am going to take them in the future.”
New Era of Data Driven Training: Training at Home Isn't Going Away - Don't Train Blind
Peña is convinced that training at home won’t end with lockdown and the gradual easing of restrictions for COVID 19. He believes you’ll have to train at home to be a successful high performance athlete.
“It used to be enough to train at the dojang with your coaches,” says Peña . “In the future it won’t be. You want to be great you have to train at home or you’ll fall behind. But coaches are so necessary to athlete development. The analytics system in 2020 Armor is like having a coach in the room with you as you train. So that your Master can see everything you do. Training at home without training with 2020 Armor is like training blind. Why would you do that? It doesn’t make sense.”
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