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The effect of offensive and defensive actions on taekwondo sparring

Authors:
  • Jan Dlugosza University in Czestochowa, Poland

Abstract

Introduction. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of selected male (-71 kg) and female (-63 kg) taekwondo athletes competing under the rules of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in terms of attacks, counter-attacks, fake attacks and fake counter-attacks. Material and methods. Subjects were participants at the 2007 Polish ITF Taekwondo Championships. A Sony digital video camera (Digital 8) was employed as well as a hand notation system to tabulate the data. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze the data. Results. The winning male (ES = 0.404) and female (ES = 0.686) taekwondo athletes attacked more. There was no difference in the number of counter-attacks between successful and less successful taekwondo athletes in males (ES = 0.011) and females (ES = 0.097). Conclusions. Future research should include the specific techniques that were used as well as those that scored most.
Introduction
Performance analysis in sports has been part of the ath-
letes’ training program for several decades as far as discrete
movements are concerned in soccer [1] or physical demands
by position in the same sport [2]. Sanderson [3] focused on
(un)successful patterns of play in squash, while notational
analysis in other racket sports was also performed [4,5]. More
examples of sports where notational analysis has gained
inroads include volleyball [6], water polo [7] as well as rowing
and swimming [8].
Performance analysis in combat sports has mainly
occurred in judo [9,10,11,12] with one of the earliest done by
Matsumoto et al. [13]. Calmet et al. [14] sought to investigate
the approach and grappling stages in beginning, intermediate
and advanced male judo athletes. The authors reported that
the frequency of attacks of experienced judo practitioners
(67.4%) was lower than those of the beginners (80.0%) and
intermediate counterparts (86.7%). Franchini et al. [15] inves-
tigated medal winners (super elite) and those who ranked 4th
-7th (elite) in at least two judo world championships or Olympic
Games between 1995 and 2001. The authors reported that
the super elite group recorded more wins, while the men and
women in the super elite group as well as the men in the elite
group scored more points than the elite women.
Few performance analysis studies were carried out in
karate. Koropanovsky et al. [16] revealed that the reverse
straight punch was the most often used technique at three
European championships, followed by the roundhouse kick.
He reported that the reverse straight punch was most fre-
quently used at European and world championships. Laird
and McLeod [17] arrived at the same conclusion when inves-
tigating tournaments in Europe. In comparing adults with chil-
dren (12-13 years), Lapresa et al. [18] revealed that the latter
preferred to use their left guards as opposed to the adults,
who blocked equally as often with the right and left sides. No
differences were found in kicks.
In taekwondo, research on notational analysis is in its begin-
ning
stages. Recent analyses were done by Kazemi and col-
leagues on full-contact taekwondo according to the rules of
the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). The dominant tech-
niques were kicks, with a total absence of punches at the
2000 Olympic Games [19]. More details were provided by
Kazemi et al. [20] on kicks and warnings incurred per weight
category at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Notational analysis in taekwondo according to the rules of
the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) is likewise
scarce. Wąsik and Ślęzak [21] found that in females compet-
ing in the over-70 kg weight division, the technique that was
often successful in scoring points included the straight punch.
The purpose of this study, therefore, was to assess the per-
formance profile of selected male and female taekwondo ath-
letes competing according to ITF rules.
27
The effect of offensive and defensive actions
on taekwondo sparring
Jacek Wąsik1(A,B,D,E), Willy Pieter2(A,C,D,E), Zbigniew Borysiuk3(A,D,E)
1Institute of Physical Education, Jan Długosz University of Częstochowa, Częstochowa, Poland
2Department of Kinesiology Faculty of Sports Studies Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic
3Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Poland
Key words: taekwondo, offensive action, defensive action, sport sparring
Summary
Introduction. The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of selected male (-71 kg) and female (-63 kg) taek-
wondo athletes competing under the rules of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in terms of attacks, counter-attacks,
fake attacks and fake counter-attacks.
Material and methods. Subjects were participants at the 2007 Polish ITF Taekwondo Championships. A Sony digital video
camera (Digital 8) was employed as well as a hand notation system to tabulate the data. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to
analyze the data.
Results. The winning male (ES = 0.404) and female (ES = 0.686) taekwondo athletes attacked more. There was no differen ce
in the number of counter-attacks between successful and less successful taekwondo athletes in males (ES = 0.011) and females
(ES = 0.097).
Conclusions. Future research should include the specific techniques that were used as well as those that scored most.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Journal of Combat Sports and Martial Arts
© MEDSPORTPRESS, 2014; 1(2); Vol. 5, 27-30
DOI: 10.5604/20815735.1127450
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Material and methods
The subjects were participants at the Polish ITF Taek -
wondo Championships in 2007 in Biała Podlaska. The study
covered 12 sparring bouts in the men’s weight category up to
71 kg and 7 in the women’s weight category of up to 63 kg.
These weight divisions comprised the largest number of com-
petitors. Subjects signed an informed consent form after eth-
ical approval was obtained from the Jan Długosz University,
Częstochowa, Poland.
To record the frequencies, a Sony digital video camera
(Digital 8) was employed as well as a hand notation system to
tabulate the direct attacks, fake attacks, direct counter-attacks
and fake counter-attacks. Direct attacks and counter-attacks
are those that hit the target. Fake attacks and fake counter-
attacks are those that are performed to distract the oppo-
nent’s attention to create a better opportunity to score points.
Since data in performance analysis are typically discrete
[22], the Mann-Whitney U test was used to determine the dif-
ferences in attacks, intended attacks and counter-attacks be -
tween winners and non-winners within gender as well as
between gender by performance (winning or losing). Logistic
regression was employed [23] to assess the contribution of
(intended) attacks and (intended) counter-attacks to perform-
ance. The level of significance for all analyses was set to an
effect size of 0.20.
Results
There was a significant difference in the number of attacks
by performance in both males (ES = 0.404) and females (ES
= 0.686), i.e., winning male and female taekwondo athletes
attacked more. Small differences were found in fake attacks
by performance in both males (ES = 0.233) and females (ES
= 0.234). Tables 1 (females) and 2 (males) show the totals of
the various attacking modes by gender and performance.
There was no difference in the number of counter-attacks
between successful and less successful taekwondo athletes
in both males (ES = 0.011) and females (ES = 0.097). There
was a small difference between successful and non-success-
ful male taekwondo athletes in terms of fake counter-attacks
(ES = 0.217). The less successful female taekwondo athletes
performed more fake counter-attacks (ES = 1.234).
When collapsed over gender, those who won attacked more
(ES = 0.372) and also performed fewer fake counter-attacks (ES
= 0.554). Table 3 displays the totals collapsed over gender.
Logistic regression showed that for men, there was no
association between (intended) attack, (intended) counter-
attack and performance [χ24= 4.928]. The odds ratio for the total
regression analysis was 2.364 (60.42% correctly predicted).
In the women, however, there was a relationship: χ24=
38.727. The odds ratios are shown in Table 4. There was
a perfect classification of 100%.
Wąsik J. et al. Taekwondo sparring actions
28
Tab. 1. Total numbers, medians and inter-quartile ranges of (fake) attacks and (fake) counter-attacks by performance in female taekwondo athletes (-63 kg)
Tab. 4 Odds ratios of the logistic regression analysis of the women’s matches
Tab. 3. Total numbers, medians and inter-quartile ranges of (intended) attacks and (intended) counterattacks by performance in male and female taekwondo ath-
letes combined
Tab. 2. Total numbers, medians and inter-quartile ranges of (intended) attacks and (intended) counterattacks by performance in male taekwondo athletes (-71 kg)
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Discussion
Based on the effect sizes, the attack played a larger role
in the performance of the successful women compared to
their male counterparts, while the number of fake counter-
attacks was much more decisive in the less successful female
taekwondo athletes. The importance of attacking was also
reported in karate [16,24] and judo [12,25]. Those who won
matches at the 2008 Olympic Games attacked more (55%)
compared to those who did not win.
Koropanovski et al. [16] showed that male karate athletes
attacked more, especially with punches, although recent rule
changes may have led to more kicks being used than a
decade ago. Among the arm techniques, the straight punch is
favored, which the authors contributed to its shortest per-
formance time. This line of reasoning, however, does not seem
to hold for full-contact taekwondo, where kicks are mostly used
[19]. Blažević et al. [26] also mentioned that Croatian karate
athletes recorded faster punches than kicks, which was found
in taekwondo as well [27].
In the only known study available on taekwondo accord-
ing to ITF rules, Wąsik and Ślęzak [21] observed that the
most commonly used technique was the punch followed by
the roundhouse kick with the side kick coming in third. Those
techniques that resulted in points included straight punches
followed by the roundhouse and side kicks.
Matsushigue et al. [28] found the winners to perform fewer
techniques, which were also lower in intensity in terms of heart
rate and lactate accumulation. Both males and females in full-
contact taekwondo tend to use single leg attacks with women
winning more points by counter-attacks [29]. The defensive
fighting style in full-contact taekwondo was also characteristic
of the 2008 Olympic Games [19].
The competitor’s technical and tactical training manage-
ment belongs to the coach’s basic professional responsibili-
ties [30]. It is suggested that combat sports tactics translates
into sequences of particular movements, which are imposed
on the opponent to facilitate a successful attack [31]. The cur-
rent analysis shows that increasing the number of attacks and
putting the opponent on the defensive reduces his or her effi-
ciency. A thorough analysis of the sparring structure in taek-
wondo is suggested to facilitate improvements and individual
approaches of training methods.
Conclusions
1. Competitors showing greater activity appear to become
winners more frequently.
2. Taking into consideration different types of actions, the
attack played a significant role in the performance of the
successful women compared to their male counterparts,
3. The number of fake counter-attacks was much more deci-
sive in the less successful female taekwondo athletes.
4. Research results point to the most essential elements
that ought to be included in ITF taekwondo traning.
Wąsik J. et al. Taekwondo sparring actions
29
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Address for corresponce:
Jacek Wąsik
Instytut Wychowania Fizycznego, Uniwersytet Jana Długosza
ul. Armii Krajowej 13/15, 42-200 Częstochowa, Poland
e-mail: jwasik@konto.pl
Wąsik J. et al. Taekwondo sparring actions
30
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... In addition, through MMA studies, it is known that one-fifth of all wins by KO resulted from head punches in the first minute at the beginning of the round [18,19], and in judo, a significant number of matches end before the expiry of the normal fight time [17]. Other previous studies [20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] have provided some relevant information for this investigation but do not relate the results to the type of fight outcomes. For example, in studies [20,21], related to the development of skills in boxing, it was determined that using boxing combinations is a characteristic of winners, highlighting the importance of punching more in combinations than alone to be more effective [20]. ...
... This was in line with a review study that highlighted triple-punch combinations and counter-punch combinations as conditions for winning in novice and elite boxing competitions [21]. Moreover, it is known that attack/counter-attack in several combat sports has been shown to be a determining factor in winning fights due to its greater effectiveness, calculated through the ratio between attack/counter-attacks and effective attacks/counter-attacks [20,[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30]. ...
... In addition, in the fight outcomes by TKO, the ground and pound was the most used skill, which is in line with a study in which in ground fighting, fighters using the ground and pound, which is associated with a dominant position on the ground, had a clear tactical and technical advantage over their opponent [34]. In addition, it was observed that the aforementioned skills inherent to the KO/TKO were developed mainly in combination actions and in counter-attacks; in fact, some studies mention these two fight dynamics as very efficient, although without relating them to the fight outcomes [20][21][22][23][24][25][26]. ...
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... Previous investigations into fighting dynamics in combat sports have concluded that the winners are usually characterized by manifesting greater offensive activity and consequently carrying out more offensive actions (i.e. attack effectiveness or offensive efficiency), which is one of the main distinguishing aspects of fight winners [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]; their efficiency is usually characterized by the ratio of scored attacks to the total number of offensive actions, which means that the higher the ratio, the better the offensive efficiency [10,11]. ...
... Therefore, considering the lack of studies that address this topic specifically in Ultimate Full Contact, more research is needed. Previous investigations have reported on offensive efficiency in modalities such as judo, taekwondo, karate or boxing [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11], which require a limited number of techniques when compared to Ultimate Full Contact [1], and therefore make the results unrepresentative for the modality under analysis. The importance and functionality of the technique vary depending on the sports characteristics, athletes and contexts [39]. ...
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