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Comparison of the Physical Fitness Profile ofMuay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes with Reference to Training Experience

Authors:
  • High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of kef, University of Jendouba, Tunisia

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Background: In combat sports, successful competition and training require comprehensive motor fitness. The aim of this study was to diagnose the level of physical fitness and to determine the level of differences between athletes of combat sports characterized by stand-up fighting, such as Muay Thai; and ground fighting, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Methods: The study examined and compared 30 participants divided into two equal groups: Muay Thai athletes (n = 15; age: 24.24 ± 3.24; body height: 174.91 ± 5.19; body weight: 77.56 ± 7.3), and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) (n = 15; age: 22.82 ± 1.81; body height: 175.72 ± 7.03; body weight: 77.11 ± 8.12). Basic characteristics of the somatic build were measured. Selected manifestations of the motor potential of motor skills were also evaluated using selected tests from the EUROFIT test battery, the International Test of Physical Fitness, and computer tests of coordination skills. Relative strength and maximal anaerobic work (MAW) indices were calculated. The strength of the relationship between the effect of motor fitness and training experience was also assessed. Results: The athletes of both groups (Muay Thai and BJJ) presented similar levels of basic characteristics of the somatic build. Motor fitness in the tested groups showed significant differences between the athletes of these sports in static strength (p = 0.010), relative strength (p = 0.006), arm muscle strength in pull-ups (p = 0.035), and functional strength in bent arm hanging (p = 0.023). Higher levels of these components of motor fitness were found for the athletes in the BJJ athletes. In the Muay Thai group, significant very high strength of association was found between training experience and five strength tests. Furthermore, a significantly high strength of association was found in two tests. In the BJJ group, significant relationships with very high correlation were found between the variables in five strength tests. Conclusions: Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes performed better in strength tests (static strength, relative strength, shoulder girdle strength, functional strength). High correlations between the training load and the level of physical fitness were found in flexibility and strength tests in BJJ athletes and most strength tests in Muay Thai athletes.
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Citation: W ˛asacz, W.; Rydzik, Ł.;
Ouergui, I.; Koteja, A.; Ambro˙
zy, D.;
Ambro˙
zy, T.; Ruzbarsky, P.; Rzepko,
M. Comparison of the Physical
Fitness Profile of Muay Thai and
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes with
Reference to Training Experience. Int.
J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19,
8451. https://doi.org/10.3390/
ijerph19148451
Academic Editors: Xurxo Dopico
Calvo, Rafael Lima Kons and Jose
Morales Aznar
Received: 3 June 2022
Accepted: 9 July 2022
Published: 11 July 2022
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International Journal of
Environmental Research
and Public Health
Article
Comparison of the Physical Fitness Profile of Muay Thai and
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athletes with Reference to Training Experience
Wojciech W ˛asacz 1, Łukasz Rydzik 2,* , Ibrahim Ouergui 3, Agnieszka Koteja 2, Dorota Ambro˙
zy 2,
Tadeusz Ambro˙
zy 2, Pavel Ruzbarsky 4and Marian Rzepko 5
1Independent Researcher, 33-100 Tarnów, Poland; poolbjj888@gmail.com
2Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Physical Education, 31-571 Cracow, Poland;
agnieszka.koteja@gmail.com (A.K.); dorota.ambrozy@awf.krakow.pl (D.A.); tadek@ambrozy.pl (T.A.)
3High Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Kef, University of Jendouba, Jendouba 8189, Tunisia;
ouergui.brahim@yahoo.fr
4Department of Sports Kinanthropology, Faculty of Sports, Universtiy of Presov, 080-01 Prešov, Slovakia;
pavel.ruzbarsky@unipo.sk
5College of Medical Sciences, Institute of Physical Culture Studies, University of Rzeszow,
35-959 Rzeszow, Poland; marianrzepko@poczta.onet.pl
*Correspondence: lukasz.rydzik@awf.krakow.pl
Abstract:
Background: In combat sports, successful competition and training require comprehensive
motor fitness. The aim of this study was to diagnose the level of physical fitness and to deter-
mine the level of differences between athletes of combat sports characterized by stand-up fighting,
such as Muay Thai; and ground fighting, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Methods: The study exam-
ined and compared 30 participants divided into two equal groups: Muay Thai athletes (n= 15;
age: 24.24 ±3.24;
body height: 174.91
±
5.19; body weight: 77.56
±
7.3), and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ)
(n= 15; age: 22.82 ±1.81;
body height: 175.72
±
7.03; body weight: 77.11
±
8.12). Basic characteristics
of the somatic build were measured. Selected manifestations of the motor potential of motor skills
were also evaluated using selected tests from the EUROFIT test battery, the International Test of
Physical Fitness, and computer tests of coordination skills. Relative strength and maximal anaerobic
work (MAW) indices were calculated. The strength of the relationship between the effect of motor
fitness and training experience was also assessed. Results: The athletes of both groups (Muay Thai
and BJJ) presented similar levels of basic characteristics of the somatic build. Motor fitness in the
tested groups showed significant differences between the athletes of these sports in static strength
(p= 0.010), relative strength (p= 0.006), arm muscle strength in pull-ups (p= 0.035), and functional
strength in bent arm hanging (p= 0.023). Higher levels of these components of motor fitness were
found for the athletes in the BJJ athletes. In the Muay Thai group, significant very high strength of as-
sociation was found between training experience and five strength tests. Furthermore, a significantly
high strength of association was found in two tests. In the BJJ group, significant relationships with
very high correlation were found between the variables in five strength tests. Conclusions: Brazilian
jiu-jitsu athletes performed better in strength tests (static strength, relative strength, shoulder girdle
strength, functional strength). High correlations between the training load and the level of physical
fitness were found in flexibility and strength tests in BJJ athletes and most strength tests in Muay
Thai athletes.
Keywords: combat sports; motor fitness; training experience; Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Muay Thai
1. Introduction
Combat sports are characterized by diverse levels of competition. The fight can take
place in stand-up positions (boxing, karate, kickboxing, taekwondo, and Muay Thai, which
are striking sports) [
1
,
2
], as ground fighting (e.g., Brazilian jiu-jitsu—grappling sports), and
in mixed positions (judo, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts) [
1
,
3
,
4
]. Structure of each fighting style
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148451 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 2 of 13
requires specific physical preparation. Athletes often use exercises designed for another
style in their preparation to increase the effectiveness and versatility of training [
5
]. The
area of motor skills, which are individual and specific to an athlete, belongs to broad and
very important issues of control of human sports activity [
6
]. Diagnosis and testing of
physical fitness in sports are of great importance to the selection and control of progress in
the training process [
1
,
4
,
7
]. In combat sports, sports career and training depend on com-
prehensive motor fitness including muscle strength, endurance, and speed, which results
primarily from an above-average level of development of coordination and flexibility skills
and strength–velocity and strength–endurance interactions that affect the comprehensive
physical and mental development of athletes [
2
,
5
,
7
,
8
]. In recent years, several authors rep-
resenting various research centers have focused on investigating the motor skills in combat
sports such as kickboxing [
2
,
9
,
10
], jiu-jitsu [
11
], karate [
12
], Olympic taekwondo [
13
,
14
],
judo [
15
], and wrestling [
16
,
17
]. Researchers are increasingly attempting to identify in-
dicators of technical and tactical skills in various combat sports [
8
,
18
,
19
], the degree of
physiological reactions during the fight [
20
23
], and biomechanics of movement [
24
,
25
].
The literature review, however, shows a lack of studies comparing two separate combat
sports characterized by different rules and specifics of the fights that are gaining popularity
in the international arena. Therefore, in this study it was decided to analyze Muay Thai
and Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes, with a combination of these sports resembling competition
similar to mixed martial arts (MMA) and which are often referred to as the base combat
sports in the presented form of competition. According to the authors of the study, the
combination of skills developed in the two discussed combat sports may constitute an ex-
cellent motor background for MMA fighting. It is worth noting that in addition to physical
preparation, the performance of the athlete can be determined by the level of technical
and tactical skills [
26
,
27
]. Technical perfection and tactical capabilities are acquired with
training and competitive experience [28].
Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is a ‘cultural export’ and the most popular sport in Thailand.
The sport has a great influence on the world of combat sports and commercial trends [
29
].
Thai boxing is termed an ‘eight-limb’ martial art, with practitioners using eight points of
contact with the opponent (i.e., fists, elbows, knees, and feet). Furthermore, it includes
grappling techniques (involving takedowns and clinch) [
1
,
29
]. Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is the
flagship ground fighting sport developed in Brazil. It is a hybrid martial art derived from
traditional jiu-jitsu, judo, and wrestling [
30
,
31
]. Specialized movement techniques are used
in the fights, including limb levers, chokes, rolls, throws, and takedowns [
32
]. The sport is
also one of the pillars on which all-style hand-to-hand combat known as mixed martial arts
(MMA) is based [
33
]. Considering the above, the aim of the present study was to diagnose
the level of physical fitness and to determine the level of differences between athletes of
combat sports characterized by stand-up fighting such as Muay Thai, and ground fighting,
such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. An additional aim was to determine the relationship between
training experience and physical fitness in the two fighting styles studied.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Participants
The evaluation of motor fitness and the basic measurements of the somatic build of
athletes was conducted in the KS Legion Team Tarnów sports club in Tarnów, Poland. The
measurements were carried out between 15 and 23 June 2021. The observation was based
on the sample size determined using G*Power software 3.1.9.4. Two groups (15 athletes
each) were formed based on the calculations: the Muay Thai athletes (group 1;
n= 15;
mean ±SD
age: 24.24
±
3.24 years) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) practitioners (group 2;
n= 15; mean ±SD 22.82 ±1.81 years) (Figure 1).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 3 of 13
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x FOR PEER REVIEW 3 of 13
Figure 1. Participants’ flow diagram.
The training experience of the athletes of both sections of the club ranged from 3 to 6
years. Mean training experience was 4.6 years ±1.55 in the Muay Thai group and 4.4 years
±1.55 in the BJJ group. Information about chronological age and training experience was
obtained by means of a diagnostic survey using the questionnaire technique. The athletes
studied were actively participating in competitions at international, national, and local
levels, and some of them had achieved significant sports results. The research was ap-
proved by the bioethics committee at the Regional Medical Chamber (no.
287/KBL/OIL/2020).
Participants did not have any medical contraindications or acute or chronic injuries
and were not following body mass reduction programs during the entire experiment. The
inclusion and exclusion criteria are shown in Table 1. They were also asked to refrain from
any strenuous effort 24 h before the testing sessions. The study was conducted in accord-
ance with the Declaration of Helsinki for human experimentation and the protocol was
fully approved by the local research ethics committee before the start of the study. All
athletes gave written informed consent after a detailed explanation of the aims, benefits,
and potential risks involved in the research.
Table 1. Inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Inclusion Exclusion
Training experience of at least 3 years Training experience of less than 3 years
Active participation in competitions No participation in competitions
Male Female
+ 18 to 30 Children
Good health status Diseases of the joints and cardiovascular diseases
2.2. Testing Procedures
Measurements took place in a sports hall where sports training of the tested athletes
is conducted on a daily basis. All measurements were performed at the same time of day
Figure 1. Participants’ flow diagram.
The training experience of the athletes of both sections of the club ranged from 3 to
6 years. Mean training experience was 4.6 years
±
1.55 in the Muay Thai group and
4.4 years ±1.55
in the BJJ group. Information about chronological age and training ex-
perience was obtained by means of a diagnostic survey using the questionnaire tech-
nique. The athletes studied were actively participating in competitions at international,
national, and local levels, and some of them had achieved significant sports results. The
research was approved by the bioethics committee at the Regional Medical Chamber
(no. 287/KBL/OIL/2020).
Participants did not have any medical contraindications or acute or chronic injuries
and were not following body mass reduction programs during the entire experiment. The
inclusion and exclusion criteria are shown in Table 1. They were also asked to refrain
from any strenuous effort 24 h before the testing sessions. The study was conducted in
accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki for human experimentation and the protocol
was fully approved by the local research ethics committee before the start of the study. All
athletes gave written informed consent after a detailed explanation of the aims, benefits,
and potential risks involved in the research.
2.2. Testing Procedures
Measurements took place in a sports hall where sports training of the tested athletes
is conducted on a daily basis. All measurements were performed at the same time of day
(i.e., between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) to avoid any diurnal variation of the performance,
at specially designed test stands during 10 standard training sessions, with each training
session lasting 90 min. Only one of the observed groups was present in the testing room at
a time. The measurements for each group were carried out during five consecutive training
sessions. The participants were thoroughly familiarized with all testing procedures.
2.3. Anthropometric Measurements
Selected characteristics of the somatic build were measured according to the recom-
mendations used in anthropometry, i.e., body height in centimeters (cm) with an accuracy
of 1 cm, body weight in kilograms (kg) with an accuracy of 0.1 kg, and body fat percentage.
Prior to the somatic measurements, participants were asked to remove their clothes and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 4 of 13
remain in their underwear only. The body height was determined as the distance between
the vertex (v) and basis (B) points, i.e., the highest point of the head in the Frankfurt plane
and the ground plane on which the tested person stood in an upright position with arms
along the body. During the measurement, the participant’s heels remained joined and the
feet were slightly apart. The v-B distance was measured using an A213 anthropometer.
An approved electronic scale TANITA TBF-538 was used to measure body weight. The
value of body weight in kilograms and the percentage of body fat were read from the scale
and recorded.
Table 1. Inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Inclusion Exclusion
Training experience of at least 3 years Training experience of less than 3 years
Active participation in competitions No participation in competitions
Male Female
+ 18 to 30 Children
Good health status
Diseases of the joints and cardiovascular diseases
2.4. Motor Fitness Assessements
Selected tests from the International Physical Fitness Test and EUROFIT battery stan-
dardized physical fitness tests were used to assess the level of motor fitness. All tests used
were verified for accuracy and reliability [
4
,
10
,
34
,
35
]. Each time before the measurements,
both groups participated in a standard 15-min warm-up session consisting of exercises
to prepare the body for physical effort. Exercises were conducted in accordance with the
principle of formative exercises and involved static and dynamic movements of the arm,
trunk, abdomen, back, and legs. The assessment of motor skills was carried out each time
in the order established before the measurements.
1.
Equilibrium posture (static balance): the subject stands up on a bar with a length of
50 cm, height of 4 cm, and width of 3 cm. The subject then holds the free leg bent at
the knee from behind the foot. The subject’s task is to maintain balance for as long as
possible. The measurement ends when the subject loses his or her balance, i.e., lets go
of the leg or touches the ground. The subject is allowed to perform one pre-trial prior
to the measurement. The time is measured to the nearest 0.01 s [34].
2.
Simple reaction time: testing takes place at the computer keyboard. Active Keys:
“Enter”, on the right for the right hand and “1”, on the left for the left hand. The
subject places his or her hand next to the keyboard so that it rests comfortably on the
table, with their thumb on the active key. When a bright square appears in the center
of the screen, the subject is supposed to press the active key as soon as possible. In
the test, this process is repeated irregularly as 11 pulses. The faster the response, the
better the outcome. The examiner demonstrates the task, then gives instructions and
explanations, and the test subject immediately performs a pre-trial of 5 pulses and
then proceeds to the main test of 11 pulses [34].
3.
Trunk flexibility: the test is performed as a sit-and-reach movement, with the range of
motion measured in cm, below the feet level. In a seated position, the subject reaches
the arms forward as far as they can. The subject, in a straddle sitting position, reaches
forward with the hands as far as possible by sliding the ruler on the surface of the
box with a previously prepared scale. The better of the two results is recorded. If the
participant reaches 10 cm beyond the toes, they receive a score of 10. The box that
is used is 40 cm long, 45 cm wide, and 35 cm high, and a 65 cm long graduated box
top protrudes 25 cm over the side wall that marks the width of the box and is used as
a feet rest; the box top is fixed in such a way that the graduation mark drawn on it
indicates 50 in the place where feet touch the surface of the box; a 30 cm long ruler
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 5 of 13
placed loosely on the surface of the box perpendicularly to its longitudinal axis and
used for moving with hands while performing a forward reach [2].
4.
Static handgrip strength: the subject stands with a small straddle, with the dynamome-
ter held tightly in the fingers, the arm is positioned along the body so that the hand
does not touch the body; the subject performs a short grip on the dynamometer with
maximum force, with the other arm along the body. The better result of the two hand
tests is recorded to the nearest 1 kg [2].
5.
Relative handgrip strength: relative strength is a strength index that represents the
ratio of absolute force generated by the muscles to the total body mass or lean body
mass (LBM). Dynamometric measurement of handgrip strength was expressed in
relative units. Relative strength was calculated as the quotient of the result of the
measurement performed with a handgrip tester (result in kG) and the body weight
(kg) of the subject. This measure gives an objective and accurate picture of the
characteristics of real muscle strength, which is very important in sports limited by
weight categories (Szopa et al., 1996), including Muay Thai and BJJ [35].
SW =dynamometer result [kG]
body mass [kg]
6.
Long jump (explosive power): the subject stands with the feet slightly apart in front
of the starting line, bends the knees, and moves the arms backward at the same time,
and then he or she performs the arm swing and jumps as far as they can; the landing
occurs on both feet while maintaining the upright position; the test is performed twice.
The longest of the two jumps measured to the closest mark left by the participant’s
heel is recorded, with an accuracy of 1 cm. A tape measure, a hard surface, and two
gymnastic mattresses connected lengthwise are used [9].
7.
Maximal anaerobic alactic power (MAP): is the ability to perform maximal work as
fast as possible to assess the level of speed and strength abilities. In indirect tests, it is
recommended to measure maximum anaerobic work (MAW), which is an approximate
measure of MAP. The MAW was calculated from the standing long jump test results
as a product of the jump measurement result (m), the subject’s body mass (kg), and
gravitational acceleration [35].
MW =jum p height [m]×body mass [kg]×9.81 hm
s2i
8.
Shuttle run 10
×
5 m: The participant runs on a signal to the second line 5 m away,
crosses it with both feet, and comes back. They run a distance of 5 m 10 times. The
time of the shuttle run is measured and rounded to a decimal place of a second [2].
9.
Sit-ups: Evaluation of abdominal strength: the tested person lies on the mattress with
feet 30 cm apart and knees bent. Hands intertwined, resting on the nape of the neck,
feet hooked to the ladder so that they remain in contact with the ground. At the signal,
the participant sits up to touch the knees with elbows and then returns to the starting
position. The exercise duration is 30 s [10].
10.
Leg strength, barbell squats with 50%BM: Leg muscle strength was assessed with
a squat performed with 50% body mass. The subject begins in a standing position
with feet hip-width apart. The subject holds a barbell with a set weight on his or her
shoulders behind their head. The task is to perform as many squats with a barbell as
possible. The test is performed once [34].
11.
Arm strength, pull-ups: evaluation of the strength of the shoulder girdle based on the
number of repetitions: the subject catches the bar using a pronated grip and hangs;
at the signal, the subject bends arms in elbows and pulls the body up so high that
the chin is above the bar and then, without rest, returns to a simple hanging; the
exercise is repeated as many times as possible without rest; the result is the number of
complete pull-ups (chin over the bar) [34].
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 6 of 13
12.
Push-ups (muscle strength): the subject performs a front support position with arms
shoulder-width apart. At the signal, the subject performs push-ups (to the level of
the ground) with full arm extensions (as fast as possible with as many repetitions as
possible in 30 s) [34].
13.
Flat bench press with 50%BM: The subject begins the test by lying on a flat bench
designed for bench press exercises. Then he or she grips a barbell with arms shoulder-
width apart with a set weight. The test consists of performing as many bench press
repetitions as possible by flexion (up to the chest level) and extension of the shoulder
and elbow joints. The test is performed once [34].
14.
Back extension (strength endurance of the back muscles): The subject is lying prone
on a mattress. Hands are intertwined, resting on the neck. At the signal, the subject,
from the lying prone position, bends the trunk backward by contracting the muscles
of the back, together with the legs (the body forms an arch), and then returns to the
starting position (lying prone) as fast as possible, and repeats this sequence, also as
fast as possible, with as many repetitions as possible within 30 s. The examiner counts
the number of repetitions performed in 30 s. For example, 18 correctly executed bends,
results in 18. The test is performed once [34].
15. Hanging with arms bent (functional strength/muscle isometrics test): the test consists
of hanging on a bar with arms flexed at the elbows so that the chin is above the bar (the
exact angle is not specified, it is important that the chin is above the bar). A stopwatch
is started at the moment when independent hanging begins. Time measurement
continues as long as the subject’s eyes are above the bar. The test is performed once.
The hanging time is measured to the nearest 0.1 s [35].
2.5. Statistical Analyses
Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica software (Statsoft, Kraków, Poland)
version 13.3. Basic descriptive statistics were calculated (arithmetic mean, median, standard
deviation, minimum and maximum values, range of variation, and coefficient of variation).
The analysis was performed on logarithmic data, and the assumption of conformity of
the distribution with normal distribution was met as verified by the Shapiro–Wilk test.
Differences between groups were evaluated using the Student’s t-test for independent
variables in both cases. Pearson’s linear correlation was used to determine relationships
between measured parameters. The level of statistical significance was set at p< 0.05.
Correlations were classified as weak at 0.2–0.4, moderate at 0.4–0.7, strong at 0.7–0.9, and
very strong at >0.0 [36].
3. Results
The measurement of basic somatic physical characteristics (Table 2) revealed no sig-
nificant differences between athletes in the two sports. Compared to the individuals from
the BJJ group, Muay Thai athletes had slightly higher body weight, BMI, and body fat
percentage; whereas BJJ athletes were characterized by slightly higher body height.
Analysis of the results presented in Table 3leads to the conclusion that in terms of
the level of motor fitness and its intergroup variation, the athletes from the discussed
groups differed in selected motor skills. The comparative analysis (Table 3) revealed that
in the case of static strength, relative strength, arm muscle strength (pull-ups on a bar),
and the time of hanging with arms bent in an isometric contraction, the athletes from the
BJJ group had significantly higher levels compared to Muay Thai athletes. For abdominal
strength endurance, push-ups, back muscle strength, barbell squats, and barbell bench
press, higher but insignificant differences were observed in the BJJ group. There were no
differences between the groups in static balance, simple reaction time to a visual stimulus,
trunk flexibility, explosive strength of lower limbs, and the resulting index of maximum
anaerobic work and agility test results.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 7 of 13
Table 2. Somatic build of Muay Thai and BJJ athletes (n= 30).
Parameter Group
XMe sd Min Max R V p
Body height
(cm)
Muay Thai 174.91 175 5.19
164.5 183.7
19.2 2.97 0.721
BJJ 175.72
173.8
7.03
161.5 187.4
25.9 4.00
Body weight
(kg)
Muay Thai 77.56 78.7 7.3 61.2 89.7 28.5 9.41
0.873
BJJ 77.11 79 8.12 62.1 92.8 30.7
10.54
BMI Muay Thai 25.36
25.99
2.27
20.98
27.7 6.73 8.93
0.255
BJJ 24.97
25.09
2.2
21.13 29.02
7.89 8.81
Fat content
(%)
Muay Thai 20.05 20.5 3.92 12.8 25.2 12.4
19.53 0.278
BJJ 18.44 19.5 4.03 11 24.5 13.5
21.87
X
—arithmetic mean; Me—median; sd—standard deviation; min—minimum value; max—maximum value;
R—range; V—variance.
The training experience of Muay Thai athletes was 4.6
±
1.55, while that of BJJ athletes
was 4.4
±
1.55 (p> 0.05). In the Muay Thai group, a statistically significant effect of training
experience was observed in seven strength tests. Very high correlations were found in five
of them, i.e., barbell squats, pull-ups, forward bending, back extensions, and hanging with
bent arms. On the other hand, the other two tests (standing long jump and flat bench press)
found high strength. Analysis of the correlations in BJJ athletes between the mentioned
variables revealed significant statistical correlations for 11 motor skills. Relationships with
very high correlation were recorded in five strength tests: sit-ups, barbell squats, flat bench
press, back extensions, and hanging with arms bent. High correlations were also found
in four strength tests (static strength, relative strength, long jump, and pull-ups) and one
flexibility test (forward trunk bending). For the measurement of simple reaction time, a
high negative correlation was found (Table 4).
Table 3. Motor fitness of studied Muay Thai and BJJ athletes (n= 30).
Parameter Group
XMe sd Min Max R V p
Equilibrium posture
(static balance) (s)
Muay Thai 11.38 10.01 4.69 4.92 18.44 13.52 41.19 0.139
BJJ 10.95 8.83 8.09 3.62 35.34 31.72 73.87
Simple reaction time (s) Muay Thai 0.229 0.238 0.029 0.185 0.291 0.106 12.844 0.148
BJJ 0.242 0.245 0.019 0.218 0.286 0.068 8.029
Trunk flexibility (cm) Muay Thai 27.87 29 6.45 16 38 22 23.13 0.766
BJJ 27.13 29 6.97 16 40 24 25.68
Static handgrip strength
(kG)
Muay Thai 44.6 42.4 8.47 31.7 58.6 26.9 18.99 0.002
BJJ 54.58 56.3 11.25 33.6 71.5 37.9 20.62
Relative handgrip
strength
Muay Thai 0.58 0.55 0.11 0.45 0.79 0.34 18.45 0.002
BJJ 0.71 0.70 0.14 0.43 0.91 0.48 19.9
Long jump (explosive
power) (cm)
Muay Thai 237.87 235 13.59 221 263 42 5.71 0.674
BJJ 235.47 228 17.15 211 263 52 7.29
MAW
(J)
Muay Thai 1805.47 1800.42 150.91 1428.89 2030.48 601.6 8.36 0.758
BJJ 1783.06 1857.98 235.05 1285.41 2056.27 770.86 13.18
Shuttle run 10 ×5 m
(s)
Muay Thai 20.66 20.21 2.05 18.05 25.58 7.53 9.94 0.685
BJJ 20.91 20.56 1.16 19.44 22.58 3.14 5.54
Sit-ups
(n)
Muay Thai 30.67 30 3.11 26 36 10 10.14 0.067
BJJ 33.67 34 5.25 23 42 19 15.58
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 8 of 13
Table 3. Cont.
Parameter Group
XMe sd Min Max R V p
Leg strength, barbell
squats with 50%BM (n)
Muay Thai 38.2 39 5.16 26 45 19 13.5 0.418
BJJ 40 38 6.75 31 52 21 16.88
Arm strength, pull-ups
(n)
Muay Thai 9.93 10 3.24 5 18 13 32.61 0.035
BJJ 13.6 13 5.57 6 26 20 40.92
Push-ups (n-30 s) Muay Thai 40.27 38 10.1 24 53 29 25.07 0.165
BJJ 45.13 45 8.57 30 57 27 18.98
Flat bench press with
50%BM (n)
Muay Thai 35.07 38 6.41 25 43 18 18.27 0.117
BJJ 38.4 39 4.76 30 45 15 12.4
Back extension (n-30 s) Muay Thai 45.93 46 4.79 39 53 14 10.42 0.410
BJJ 47.73 49 6.83 36 58 22 14.31
Hanging with arms bent
(s)
Muay Thai 32.11 32.24 17.13 9.53 63.49 53.96 53.35 0.023
BJJ 46.97 49.56 16.78 18.02 72.34 54.32 35.73
X
—arithmetic mean; Me—median; sd—standard deviation; min—minimum value; max—maximum value;
R—range; V—variance, statistically significant values are shown in bold.
Table 4. Correlation coefficients of motor tests results and training experience (n= 30).
Motor Performance Tests Muay Thai Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Equilibrium posture (static
balance) (s)
r=0
p> 0.05 r = 0.12
p> 0.05
Simple reaction time (s) r = 0.06
p> 0.05 r = 0.56
p< 0.05
Trunk flexibility (cm) r = 0.06
p> 0.05 r = 0.76
p< 0.01
Static handgrip strength (kg) r = 0.06
p> 0.05 r = 0.80
p< 0.01
Relative handgrip strength r = 0.25
p> 0.05 r = 0.71
p< 0.01
Long jump (explosive power)
(cm)
r = 0.67
p< 0.01 r = 0.65
p< 0.05
MPA
(J) r = 0.12
p> 0.05 r = 0.49
p> 0.05
Shuttle run 10 ×5 m
(s)
r = 0.46
p> 0.05 r = 0.28
p> 0.05
Sit-ups
(n)
r = 0.20
p> 0.05 r = 0.76
p< 0.01
Leg strength, barbell squats with
50%BM (n)
r = 0.85
p< 0.01 r = 0.87
p< 0.01
Arm strength, pull-ups (n)r = 0.79
p< 0.01 r = 0.57
p< 0.05
Push-ups (n-30 s) r = 0.82
p< 0.01 r = 0.17
p> 0.05
Flat bench press 50%BM (n)r = 0.65
p< 0.05 r = 0.87
p< 0.01
Back extension (n-30 s) r = 0.78
p< 0.01 r = 0.87
p< 0.01
Bent arm hanging (s) r = 0.74
p< 0.01 r = 0.87
p< 0.01
r—Pearson’s correlation; p—significance of differences.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 9 of 13
4. Discussion
The aim of this study was to diagnose the level of physical fitness and to determine the
level of differences between athletes of combat sports characterized by stand-up fighting,
such as Muay Thai; and ground fighting, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The results of the
present study showed a diversified picture of the motor profile of individual combat sports
athletes in the groups studied. Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that, among
others, an environmental factor in the form of the source style (combat sport) of the athlete
influenced the dominance of a group in individual motor fitness tests. Analysis of the
level of motor fitness in the present study revealed that both Muay Thai and BJJ athletes
differed in static strength, relative strength, arm muscle strength, and the time of hanging
with bent arms in isometric contraction as an expression of functional strength. Higher
significance levels of these fitness components were found in BJJ athletes compared to the
entire study population. The following tests also showed favorable results in BJJ athletes:
sit-ups, push-ups, back extensions, barbell squats, pull-ups, and flat bench press. BJJ
athletes outperformed the control group in strength and power endurance tests. The results
are similar to those reported in a study [
37
] conducted in 2019 among MMA and BJJ athletes
of different ages and training experience. Specifically, BJJ fighters showed significantly
higher values for static strength, relative strength, and resistance of abdominal muscles to
fatigue compared to MMA fighters [
37
]. The role and importance of the handgrip strength
of the fighting athletes—especially in grappling sports such as judo, wrestling, and Ne-
Waza jiu-jitsu—is very well supported by scientific evidence, with special emphasis on
the gi fighting style. The results correspond positively with the measurements of sports
jiu-jitsu athletes. Ambro˙
zy [
38
] showed that jiu-jitsu competitors who perform a lot of
gripping actions presented a strength advantage in this aspect compared to karatekas,
who were characterized by significantly less frequent gripping, with the prevalence of
punches and kicks, similarly to Muay Thai competitors. A high level of development of
this motor aspect among grapplers and wrestlers compared to strikers was also shown
by
Adamczyk et al. [39].
Sanchez et al. [
40
] showed an analogy in this matter, illustrating
additionally the utilitarian aspect of this form of movement in athletes with proper technical
preparation. They found that techniques in grappling combat sports are prevalent in self-
defense training as they are a very important element in situations when it is necessary to
counteract an attack [
40
]. In a study comparing judo and jiu-jitsu athletes, an advantage of
the former in endurance and strength tests was observed. This could be explained by the
effect of randori training fights during which endurance and strength abilities determine
gaining an advantage over the opponent [
41
]. In its training process, BJJ also uses a form of
task fighting called ‘kakari geiko’ (meaning ‘stress training’ or ‘pressure training’). In these
movement tasks, all-round strength is strongly developed and perfected in every aspect
and equally often ensures an advantage over the opponent. Although the above reports
concern other combat sports, and BJJ originates from traditional jiu-jitsu and judo and
belongs to grappling sports, its specificity is inextricably linked with these sports. Based on
thermographic analysis of muscle work, it was found that BJJ is a very specific sport as it
was shown that large muscle groups (i.e., quadriceps, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi)
are involved during training, with abdominal muscles and back extensors mostly used.
This is due to the frequent and intense use of hip work during the performance of various
techniques in this sport [
42
]. The review of reports by previous authors seems to explain
the predominance of strength and strength endurance in this group. Therefore, it can be
concluded that the specific BJJ training leads to a significant improvement in the level of
competence in this area. The specificity of this training involves the regular development
of special movement skills which are based on a high level of multidimensional strength as
part of the motor potential.
Analysis of the level and intergroup variation of other aspects of motor fitness revealed
an insignificantly higher performance of Muay Thai athletes in terms of motor skills such as
speed, coordination, flexibility, and power. In the tests that evaluated static balance, simple
reaction time to a visual stimulus, trunk flexibility, explosive strength of lower limbs, the
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 10 of 13
resulting index of maximum anaerobic work, and agility, better results were found in this
group. Ambro˙
zy [
43
] showed that, compared to sports jiu-jitsu (specificity similar to BJJ),
karate training has a more beneficial effect on the level of speed, leg and abdominal muscle
strength, and flexibility. Furthermore, this author stressed that during training activities,
karate athletes put more emphasis on flexibility, which helps them gain speed and precision
when performing kicks and punches [
43
]. The results of the present study confirm these
findings in terms of speed, flexibility, and explosive strength of the lower limbs. High agility
competence allows the athlete to move smoothly in a ring, which increases the effectiveness
of attacks (one can surprise the opponent with agility, change of pace, and anticipation of
the attack) and improves defensive actions (dodges, blocks). Speed and coordination are
basic abilities used in kickboxing (a sport very similar in specificity to Muay Thai) and lie at
the basis of proper timing, which means using a technique at the right time [
2
]. Most likely,
the specificity of training also gives Muay Thai practitioners an advantage in this case. In
order to perform technical actions using different types of kicks and punches, stand-up
fighters must develop a high level of speed, flexibility, coordination, agility, and static and
dynamic balance, which may explain their performance in the above-mentioned tests.
The results may indicate different recruitment methods or different scopes of methods
of motor learning and motor training. In BJJ athletes, training is much more strength-
oriented; while in Muay Thai, the development of speed, flexibility, coordination, or agility
hybrids seems to be a higher priority. Turner [
44
] reported that most athletes in the latter
sport are reluctant to undergo strength training due to their concerns about the loss of
flexibility and weight gain. In general, motor fitness in the studied populations did not
differ significantly from each other except for specific aspects of strength. It is highly
likely that sports training in both combat sports groups has a beneficial effect on the
comprehensive motor preparation of the athletes.
Based on the correlation coefficients obtained in the tests, the greatest and statistically
significant relationship with training experience was found for strength tests (Muay Thai:
r = 0.65–0.85, BJJ: r = 0.57–0.87). The effect of training experience was the strongest in
five strength tests for both tested groups, with high correlations. A high correlation was
also found in the Muay Thai group for two tests and in the BJJ group for six tests. The
results of the study indicate that in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, training experience plays a significant
role in the development of strength, which may result from the specificity of the sport
because most of the fights occur in low positions (ground fighting). Such exercise requires
strength and strength endurance of the limbs and abdominal muscles [
45
]. In Muay Thai, it
is essential to develop leg and arm strength, which allows the athlete to perform punches,
kicks, and clinching. Therefore, Muay Thai training is oriented towards the development
of limb strength, which increases with training experience as evidenced by statistically
significant correlations (r = 0.67 p< 0.001).
In conclusion, of the 15 manifestations of motor fitness measured in the study, the BJJ
group had the best results in nine, four of which showed significant intergroup differences.
BJJ athletes presented a motor fitness profile characterized by higher strength and power
endurance. The Muay Thai group insignificantly outperformed them in six aspects. The
motor profile of the Muay Thai boxing athletes showed higher levels of speed, coordination,
and flexibility. Such results show the presence of elements of physical fitness specific to the
fighting styles studied. It can be assumed that the specific training in these sports leads to
the development of certain motor skills.
5. Conclusions
1. There are statistically significant differences in static handgrip strength, relative
strength, arm strength, and hanging with arms bent between Muay Thai and Brazilian
jiu-jitsu (BJJ) athletes.
2. Significant correlations were observed between training experience and the devel-
opment of strength motor skills in both studied groups.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 8451 11 of 13
Practical Applications
The results of this study can be used by coaches as guidelines for developing strength
and conditioning programs for their athletes in the preparation for competitions in combat
sports. This seems to be especially beneficial in the preparation for MMA tournaments,
when specific deficiencies caused by the athlete’s focus on their basic combat sports should
be addressed.
Author Contributions: Conceptualization, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and A.K.; Methodology, W.W., Ł.R., T.A.
and A.K.; Software, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and D.A.; Validation, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and D.A.; Formal analysis,
W.W., Ł.R. and T.A.; Investigation, W.W., Ł.R. and T.A.; Resources, W.W., Ł.R. and T.A.; Data curation,
W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and I.O.; Writing—original draft preparation, W.W., Ł.R., T.A., I.O., M.R. and P.R.;
Writing—review and editing, W.W., Ł.R., T.A., I.O. and P.R.; Visualization, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and P.R.;
Supervision, W.W., Ł.R., T.A., I.O. and M.R.; Project administration, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and P.R.; Funding
acquisition, W.W., Ł.R., T.A. and P.R. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of
the manuscript.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Institutional Review Board Statement:
The research was approved by the bioethics committee at
the Regional Medical Chamber (no. 287/KBL/OIL/2020).
Informed Consent Statement:
Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.
Data Availability Statement: All data are presented in the study.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes performed better in strength tests (static strength, relative strength, shoulder girdle strength, functional strength). High correlations between training load and physical fitness level were found in flexibility and strength tests in BJJ athletes and most strength tests in Muay Thai athletes [45]. Thus, strength and conditioning programs that target specific components, rather than mimic the characteristics of the sport, are often preferable [46]. ...
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Background: Body weight is an important aspect in the development of components of physical fitness that can affect athletic performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in body balance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) athletes according to body mass classification: underweight/normal weight (UW/NW); overweight/obese (OW/OB). Material and methods: The study was conducted among 69 BJJ athletes (age 23.26 ± 3.53) and 93 non-practicing adults (age 21.73 ± 2.32). This study was based on a quantitative assessment of body balance on the Zebris PDM platform during two tests, i.e., with eyes open and closed. Results: The total path of the center of pressure (COP TTL) was significantly higher in participants with UW/NW compared to those with OW/OB, both in participants from the study group and control group (p < 0.001). COP TTL was significantly lower in UW/NW BJJ athletes than in participants in the control group with the same BMI category (987.4 mm vs. 1238.5 mm and 1080.59 mm vs. 1280.70 mm, respectively) (p < 0.001). Conclusions: BJJ training is associated with a better balance in terms of COP TTL in the case of people with normal or underweight. The presence of excess body weight has a positive effect on lower COP TTL values in both practicing and non-practicing people.
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Background: Kickboxing is a combat sport that is complex in technique, tactics, and movement structure, and requires an adequate level of motor skills as a foundation for activities during competitions. General physical fitness, defined as the effect of the externalization of motor skills, is the basis for athletic training regardless of the sport. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of modified training based on the principles of CrossFit on the development of general physical fitness in a group of kickboxers compared to a control group. Methods: The study was experimental in nature and was conducted in a group of 60 kickboxers, divided into experimental and control groups. Participants were selected by purposive sampling, and the criteria were training experience, sports skill level (minimum class 1 athletes), and consent to participate in the experiment. The intervention in the study group involved the introduction of CrossFit-based training into a conventional kickboxing training program. General and special physical fitness of the athletes were diagnosed. Results: Statistically significant differences were found in general fitness in terms of abdominal strength (p < 0.001), pull-ups (p < 0.001), dynamometric measurement of handgrip force (p < 0.001) (kg), clap push-ups (p < 0.001), standing long jump (p < 0.001), shuttle run (p < 0.001), sit-and-reach (p < 0.001), and tapping (p < 0.001). Furthermore, changes in special fitness were also demonstrated for the special kickboxing fitness test (SKFT) (p < 0.02), the total number of punches (p < 0.001), punching speed (p < 0.001), and hip turning speed (p < 0.001). There was also a correlation between characteristics of general fitness and special fitness (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The experimental training program based on the principles of CrossFit training had a positive effect on the general and special kickboxing physical fitness.
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Introduction: The best test of the technical skills and special physical fitness of the combat sports athlete is his or her response to the specific effort that occurs in a sports fight during tournaments. The aim of the study was to assess the variation in the level of special fitness and technical skills of modern combat sports athletes from the Legion Team Tarnów sports club. Material and Method: The research was conducted in a group of 30 athletes of two different fighting styles in terms of techniques and tactics: mixed martial arts (MMA, group 1, N=15) and Thai boxing (group 2, N=15). Measurements of basic somatic body build characteristics were performed. The fitness of the participants was measured using the special kickboxing fitness test (SKFT). The strength of the correlation between special fitness level and training experience was also evaluated. Results: The analyses revealed that the body build of the athletes of different combat sports does not significantly differ between each other. The athletes of both groups (MMA and Thai boxing) presented similar levels of basic somatotype characteristics. The level of special fitness in the MMA and Thai boxing groups significantly differed between the athletes of these sports in terms of the second series of punches (p = 0.030) and the second series of kicks (p = 0.011). A higher level of these elements of special fitness was displayed by Thai boxing athletes. The MMA group showed a very high strength of correlation that was statistically significant between training experience and first series of punches, second series of punches, and final HR. Furthermore, the first series of kicks and the second series of kicks showed high and significant strength of correlation. In the Thai boxing group, statistically significant relationships were found, with very high strength of correlation, in the first series of punches, first series of kicks, second series of punches, second series of kicks, and HR measured after one minute. Conclusions: The results allow for the initial diagnosis and interpretation of special fitness competencies along with the level of technical skills in the application of basic striking techniques in MMA and Thai boxing, which promotes optimization and enhances the quality of coaching control.
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Study aim: The objective of analysis was to determine indices of technical and tactical training (activity, efficacy, attack effectiveness) during a kickboxing fight according to K1 rules, carried out at various levels of competition. Materials and methods: The study comprised 24 kickboxing fights, analysed according to K1 Rules. From the World Championships, National Championships and local tournaments, 8 fights were considered and analysed. The technical and tactical training indices were determined on the basis of formulas provided in the literature. Results: Statistically significant changes in the level of technical and tactical training indices for fighters were demonstrated between the world championships, the national championships and the local tournament, p<0.001. Conclusions: The highest values of the measured technical and tactical training indices occurred during the World Championships, while the lowest during the local tournament. The results of the research allow for a preliminary interpretation of the level of technical and tactical preparation during fights according to K1 rules.
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Introduction: To assess the level of physical fitness among high-performance athletes, a number of tests are used, including a treadmill, cyclo-ergometer or other mechanical devices integrated with a sensitive power and work measurement system. Such studies, however, involve selected parts of the muscles of the upper or lower limbs, while the specific structure of the task in combat sports requires the work of the muscles with regard to the entire body. For this reason, a field test called Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) has long been used in judo. Performing this test requires the participation of 2 sparring partners (uke) with a body mass similar to the tested competitor. In small groups, this requirement may not always be met. In addition, the uke is required to be highly skilled in the safe technique of falling onto a mat (ukemi) in order to minimise the risk of injury. The aim of the work was to develop and validate a throw test with the use of dummies already available on the market. Materials and methods: The study comprised 3 competitors from each weight category. The subjects performed special fitness tests - seoi-nage throwing technique with the participation of 2 uke and the o-goshi technique (Special Fitness Test for Combat Sports - SFTCS) with the use of dummies having masses adapted to ‘conventionally’ lighter (40-81 kg) and heavier athletes (> 81 kg). In the case of seoi-nage, the uke stood up on his own, while in the o-goshi test, the tori personally verticalised the dummy for the next action. For each test, the number of throws was recorded and the Fitness Index was calculated from the measurements of changes in the heart rate/minute after the trials were performed. The trials for both tests were carried out on 2 dates with an interval of 5 days. Using statistical calculation procedures, the results of both tests were compared and the SFTCS was validated. Results: Statistically significant linear correlation coefficients were recorded for the number of throws and the Fitness Index between both tests and the 2 terms. The calculations of the Intraclass Correlation Coefficients for repeated measures and the standard error have demonstrated the great applicative value of the SFTCS. Conclusions. SFTCS provides reliable results of physical fitness, it is easy to perform in field conditions and requires no uke involvement.
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Background: Acid–base balance (ABB) is a major component of homeostasis, which is determined by the efficient functioning of many organs, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver, and the proper water and electrolyte exchange between these components. The efforts made during competitions by combat sports athletes such as kickboxers require a very good anaerobic capacity, which, as research has shown, can be improved by administering sodium bicarbonate. Combat sports are also characterized by an open task structure, which means that cognitive and executive functions must be maintained at an appropriate level during a fight. The aim of our study was to analyze the changes in ABB in capillary blood, measuring levels of H+, pCO2, pO2, HCO3􀀀, BE and total molar CO2 concentration (TCO2), which were recorded 3 and 20 min after a three-round kickboxing bout, and the level of technical and tactical skills presented during the fight. Methods: The study involved 14 kickboxers with the highest skill level (champion level). Statistical comparison of mentioned variables recorded prior to and after a bout was done with the use of Friedman’s ANOVA. Results: 3 min after a bout, H+ and pO2 were higher by 41% and 11.9%, respectively, while pCO2, HCO3􀀀, BE and TO2 were lower by 14.5%, 39.4%, 45.4% and 34.4%, respectively. Furthermore, 20 min after the bout all variables tended to normalization and they did not differ significantly compared to the baseline values. Scores in activeness of the attack significantly correlated (r = 0.64) with pre–post changes in TCO2. Conclusions: The disturbances in ABB and changes in blood oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation observed immediately after a bout indicate that anaerobic metabolism plays a large part in kickboxing fights. Anaerobic training should be included in strength and conditioning programs for kickboxers to prepare the athletes for the physiological requirements of sports combat.
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Background: To handle the competition demands, sparring drills are used for specific technical-tactical training as well as physical-physiological conditioning in combat sports. While the effects of different area sizes and number of within-round sparring partners on physiological and perceptive responses in combats sports were examined in previous studies, technical and tactical aspects were not investigated. This study investigated the effect of different within-round sparring partners number (i.e., at a time; 1 vs. 1, 1 vs. 2, and 1 vs. 4) and area sizes (2 m × 2 m, 4 m × 4 m, and 6 m × 6 m) variation on the technical-tactical aspects of small combat games in kickboxing. Method: Twenty male kickboxers (mean ± standard deviation, age: 20.3 ± 0.9 years), regularly competing in regional and national events randomly performed nine different kickboxing combats, lasting 2 min each. All combats were video recorded and analyzed using the software Dartfish. Results: Results showed that the total number of punches was significantly higher in 1 versus 4 compared with 1 versus 1 (p = 0.011, d = 0.83). Further, the total number of kicks was significantly higher in 1 versus 4 compared with 1 versus 1 and 1 versus 2 (p < 0.001; d = 0.99 and d = 0.83, respectively). Moreover, the total number of kick combinations was significantly higher in 1 versus 4 compared with 1 versus 1 and 1 versus 2 (p < 0.001; d = 1.05 and d = 0.95, respectively). The same outcome was significantly lower in 2 m × 2 m compared with 4 m × 4 m and 6 m × 6 m areas (p = 0.010 and d = - 0.45; p < 0.001 and d = - 0.6, respectively). The number of block-and-parry was significantly higher in 1 versus 4 compared with 1 versus 1 (p < 0.001, d = 1.45) and 1 versus 2 (p = 0.046, d = 0.61) and in 2 m × 2 m compared with 4 m × 4 m and 6 × 6 m areas (p < 0.001; d = 0.47 and d = 0.66, respectively). Backwards lean actions occurred more often in 2 m × 2 m compared with 4 m × 4 m (p = 0.009, d = 0.53) and 6 m × 6 m (p = 0.003, d = 0.60). However, the number of foot defenses was significantly lower in 2 m × 2 m compared with 6 m × 6 m (p < 0.001, d = 1.04) and 4 m × 4 m (p = 0.004, d = 0.63). Additionally, the number of clinches was significantly higher in 1 versus 1 compared with 1 versus 2 (p = 0.002, d = 0.7) and 1 versus 4 (p = 0.034, d = 0.45). Conclusions: This study provides practical insights into how to manipulate within-round sparring partners' number and/or area size to train specific kickboxing technical-tactical fundamentals. Trial registration: This study does not report results related to health care interventions using human participants and therefore it was not prospectively registered.
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Background: Ju-jitsu training has to be comprehensive in terms of training intensity, developing a wide range of physical fitness and learning multiple technical skills. These requirements result from the specificity of the competition characteristic of the sport form of this martial art. The aim of this study was to evaluate the aerobic capacity and special physical fitness of ju-jitsu athletes at the highest sports performance level and to determine the relationships between special fitness and the indices of technical and tactical skills. Methods: In order to determine the current level of special fitness of the athletes, a set of karate fitness tests were used, namely, the Special Judo Fitness Test and the Kickboxer Special Physical Fitness Test. Furthermore, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was measured using a graded exercise test in a group of 30 sport ju-jitsu athletes at the highest level of sports performance. To evaluate the level of technical and tactical skills, an analysis of recordings of tournament bouts was carried out, and, based on the observations, the indices of effectiveness, efficiency, and activeness of the attack were calculated. Results: Individuals with higher fitness were more active and effective in the attack. The special efficiency indices showed significant correlations with the technical and tactical parameters. Better fighting performance was dependent on the speed of the punches, kicking range, and the results of the special fitness tests. Conclusions: To achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness of sport ju-jitsu, the training process should be based on comprehensive motor development and an optimal level of special fitness.
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This study aimed to present a standard and normal distribution of Taekwondo athletes’ physical characteristics and physical fitness profiles using a systematic review. A systematic search was conducted using four Korean databases (Research Information Sharing Service, National Digital Science Library, DBpia, and Korean Studies Information Service System). From 2010 to 2020, we reviewed 838 papers on Taekwondo athletes’ physical characteristics and physical fitness factors (e.g., body composition, muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, power, agility, balance, speed, and reaction time). Of them, 24 papers were selected and analyzed. The criteria for selecting the physical characteristics and physical fitness factors for data extraction were set to have a total sample size of more than 30 individuals and included two or more studies. The sample size and average and standard deviation of physical characteristics and physical fitness factors were extracted from each selected study. In this study, the estimation error of all variables, except for the eyes-closed single-leg stance (15.71%), was less than 8%. Therefore, it was confirmed that there was no problem with the validity of the estimated values. These results could be used as an essential objective basis for evaluating the physical characteristics and physical fitness profiles of Taekwondo athletes in most countries worldwide and setting training goals.
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Background and Study Aim: In Olympic judo, athletes are not allowed to kick, punch, or strike, or use any equipment or weapons. The athlete must subdue the opponent only by gripping the uniform and using techniques to lift and throw the competitor or pin them down to the mat. The purpose of the research is to know about type of injuries judo athletes during the European and World Judo Championships respectively, from 2010 to 2012 and evaluates the differences between men and women. Material and Methods: The study investigates the incidence and type of injuries of 3,408 and 3,860 athletes at 16 European and 9 World Judo Championships respectively, from 2010 to 2012 and evaluates the differences between men and women. Results: Bleeding and excoriation or wounds were the most frequent injuries accounted for 3.82% and 3.96% of total injuries for men and women respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in overall injury incidence between World and European tournaments (6% vs 8%, p = 0.57) and between European cadets, junior and senior tournaments (4% vs 6% vs 6%, p = 0.51 and p = 1.000). The overall injury rate was significantly higher in the veteran tournaments when compared to the other European tournaments (17% vs 4%, p = 0.002; 17% vs 6%, p = 0.01). Conclusions: The study additionally shows that international judo competitions are associated with a low overall injury incidence. The risk of injury is greater and statistically significant in the veterans judo athletes group. Therefore, it is necessary to modify the regulations in this rival group.
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The aim of the research was to assess the differentiation of the body structure and the level of motor potential of the athletes practising different disciplines in the field of combat sports in Legion Team Sports Club in Tarnów. The athletes, aged 19-20, with training experience of 3-5 years, were compared in two groups. The first group consisted of athletes practising mixed martial arts, so called MMA, and the other group, of athletes practising Brazilian ju-jitsu, so called BJJ. 30 practitioners were examined. The basic elements of the somatic structure, i.e. body height, body weight, body fat content and BMI were measured and BMI indexes were calculated. Selected manifestations of motor potential were also measured: static balance, plain reaction time to a visual stimulus, trunk flexibility, static strength of forearms, relative strength, explosive strength of lower limbs, MAW, muscle activation speed and resistance of abdominal muscles to fatigue as anaerobic strength. In the course of the analyses it was found that: the body structure of the athletes training in different combat sports sections does not significantly differentiate them. The athletes in both (BJJ and MMA) sections displayed a similar level of the basic somatic build. The level of motor skills in the BJJ and MMA sections significantly differentiated the athletes in these sections in terms of static strength (p = 0.045), relative strength (p = 0.044) and fatigue resistance, i.e. anaerobic strength (p = 0.002). The higher level of these elements of motor skills was demonstrated by the BJJ section athletes.