One of the possibilities for working on reflexes and motor coordination are reaction balls called Reaction Balls which are balls with spherical bumps that are used in the martial arts world to develop a better:
- reaction speed,
- agility, footwork,
- eye-eye coordination,
- lateral movement and
- overall “rapidity”.
As you can see from the image, the reaction ball is a small rubber ball covered with growths that help create random movements when the ball hits a surface, so you need to recover on the fly the ball that suddenly changes direction helping you develop and advance skills that are important for a martial arts practitioner.
“Designed to improve hand and eye coordination, reaction time, depth perception and first-step acceleration, the Reaction Ball is a super-performance-enhancing tool with beneficial benefits for athletes of all sports.”
In the eyes of a layman it may seem like a silly game, it actually forces you to always work in recovery by building a “game” all based on sudden reflexes and changes of direction and in unusual positions to prevent the ball from falling.
This type of exercise allows you to do important work if you are a martial arts and combat sports practitioner such as:
- Translation/Reading: which means building a particular stimulus to a specific response.
- Scheduling responses: The organization of the motor system to produce the desired response (movement occurs).
- Response time: the time it takes to identify a given stimulus and respond to that stimulus. Reaction time does not include observable motion.
- Choosing the reaction time: the amount of time elapsed from the presentation of one of several possible unexpected stimuli at the beginning of one of the different possible responses.
- Space forecast: an individual’s ability to predict what happens in the environment.
Therefore, reaction ball can effectively improve human information processing, resulting in the ability to improve the choice of reaction times.
Develop a choice quick reaction time that improves first-step acceleration and eye-eye coordination based on a faster response to stimulus.
However, the demand to improve depth perception does not directly benefit through the use of this training tool but requires additional exercises.
The Reaction Ball is a tool used to help athletes improve their ability to spot an unpredictable stimulus due to the ball’s unknown bounce pattern and react in an organized and efficient movement pattern.
This develops what are the “Processing of Human Information”.
First the person is exposed to a stimulus, then proceeds to select a response in which the “translation/reading” occurs.
The person chooses how to react to stimuli, in this case depending on where the ball bounces, the person makes the choice to advance in that direction, possibly with a specific foot that leads and reaches with a specific hand, while maintaining a low athletic posture.
Once the answer is identified, the next step is to schedule responses in which the central nervous system organizes an appropriate response and begins movement.
The purpose of using reaction ball is to develop a method that creates a response to the appropriate stimulus and time-efficient;
Identification of the stimulus , selection of the response, the scheduling of the answers.
This is called reaction time.
The choice of reaction time is very receptive to improvements if practiced.
This makes the use of this training tool effective in helping athletes in their training.
The use of this tool in the development of human information processing improves the reaction time and acceleration of the first step.
Eye-hand coordination is an activity that requires a precise assessment of time based on what the person interprets from the visual stimulus and translates it into an adequate response.
The coordination of the hand-eye begins first with the identification of the stimulus.
Some research performed among experienced and novice athletes has shown that the benefits of training programs that claim to improve general skills such as depth perception, visual acuity and peripheral vision have no scientific confirmation and the benefits of such programs are doubtful.
It was found that there was little or no difference in those general skills listed above between the two types of athletes.
The biggest contributing factor to the best-expressed experts has been their ability to better anticipate and react to certain stimuli (Hagemann, N et al., 2006).
Eye coordination and depth perception are not actually motor skills, but eye-to-eye coordination can improve the improvement of human information (Aparo, L., n.d.) accordingly to choose the correct stimulus response.
So although from these studies the visual acuity can not be improved, however the effective anticipation can drastically reduce the time needed to process the stimulus and give the athlete more time to be precise with eye coordination.
Spatial anticipation can be improved through practice and when used effectively it makes a big difference in both eye coordination and information processing.
Now regardless of the study that has been done this type of training is to try and experiment with specific variants for the type of sport related to combat.
Now you can perform the exercise alone or in two to make it more competitive.
My advice is to have more than one to make the exercise more intense and dynamic.
Reaction Ball has its shape, weight, colors and sizes to satisfy all tastes.
Reaction Balls range from 5 euros to 20 euros.
Good reaction ball training!!
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport!