Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013 Jul 22. [Epub ahead of print]
Time-Motion Analysis, Physiological and Rate of Perceived Exertion Responses to Karate Official Combats: Is There a Difference Between Winners and Defeated Karatekas?
Research Unit, Analysis and Evaluation of factors affecting the sport performance, Higher Institute of Sports and Physical Education, Ksar said, Tunisia.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to measure and to compare physiological and time-motion variables during karate fighting's and to assess eventual differences between winners and defeated elite karatekas in an ecologically valid environment. Methods: Fourteen elite male karatekas who regularly participated in national and international events took part in a national-level competition. Results: There were no significant differences between winners and defeated karatekas regarding all the studied variables. Karatekas used more upper-limbs (76.19%) than lower-limbs' techniques (23.80%). The kisami-zuki represented the most frequent technique with 29.1% of all used techniques. The duration of each fighting activity ranged from <1 to 5 s, with 83.8±12.0% of the actions lasting less than 2-s. Karatekas executed 17±7 high-intensity actions per-fight, which corresponded to ~6 high-intensity actions per minute. Action-to-rest ratio was about 1:1.5 and high-intensity action-to-rest ratio was ~1:10. The mean blood lactate responses at 3-min post-combat (Lapost) elicited during karate fighting was 11.18±2.21 mmol.L-1 (difference between Lapre and Lapost = 10.01±1.81 mmol.L-1). Mean heart rate was 177±14 bpm (91±5 % of HRpeak). Karatekas spent 65% of the time exercising at HR>90% of the individual HRpeak. Conclusion: karatekas predominantly use upper-limbs' karate techniques. Karate's nature is intermittent with fighting activities representing ~6% of total combat's duration, with ~84% of actions lasting less than 2-s, and with approximately ~21-s mean time interval in-between. Kumite combats induced high blood lactate concentration and near maximal cardiovascular strain. Other key-success factors should be investigated to properly discriminate winners and defeated athletes.