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Asian J Sports Med. 2014 Mar;5(1):21-9. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Physiological Responses and Performance Analysis Difference between Official and Simulated Karate Combat Conditions.

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Tunisian Research Laboratory "Sport Performance Optimisation", National Centre of Medicine and Science in Sport, Tunisia.
Higher Institute of Sports and Physical Education, Manouba University, Tunis, Tunisia.
Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Faculté de Science du Sport, Université de Montpellier I, France.
Biomechanics laboratory, national Institute of Orthopedics "M.T. Kassab Tunisia"
Research Unit « School and University Sportive Practices and Performance », High Institute of Sports and Physical Education, Kef, University of Jendouba, Tunisia.
"Sport Performance & Health" Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Said, Tunis, Tunisia.
Research and Education Centre, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.



This study aimed to compare physiological responses and time-motion analysis between official and simulated karate combat.


Ten high-level karatekas participated in this study, which included official and simulated karate combat.


Karatekas used more upper-limb attack techniques during official combat compared to simulated ones (6±3 vs 3±1; P=0.05, respectively). For official and simulated karate matches, the numbers of high-intensity actions (i.e. offensive and defensive fighting activity) were 14±6 and 18±5, respectively (P>0.05), lasting from <1s to 5s each. Total fighting activity phase was lower during official compared to simulated matches (21.0±8.2s vs 30.4±9.9s, P<0.01, respectively). Effort (10.0±2.8s) to rest (11.9±2.7s) ratio (E:R) was 1:1 and high-intensity actions (1.6±0.3s) to rest (11.9±2.7s) ratio was higher than 1:7 during simulated combat. During official karate match, the activity and rest duration were 10.0±3.4s and 16.2±4.1s, respectively (E:R ratio 1:1.5), while high-intensity actions were 1.5±0.3s, resulting in an E:R ratio of 1:11. Blood lactate concentration was higher during official (11.14±1.82 mmol.l(-1)) compared to simulated karate combat (7.80±2.66 mmol.l(-1)) (P<0.05). Subjective perceived exertion differed significantly between official and simulated combat (14±2 vs. 12±2; P<0.05, respectively). The majority of karatekas' perceived exertion was higher in the lower limb muscle groups irrespective of the karate combat condition.


Official and simulated matches differ considerably, therefore coaches should create new strategies during training sessions to achieve the same effort and pause profile of competitive matches and/or that athletes should be submitted to frequent competitions to adapt themselves to the profile of this event.


Combat Sport; Karate; Physiological Responses; Time-motion Analysis


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