World Karate Federation championship kumite characteristics determined through video analysis
Physically and mentally, kumite karate has become more demanding ever since the focus has shifted towards winning and attaining success. Physical performance and techniques are now being evaluated on a regular basis to determine whether the training and coaching programs are effective and functional. In this regard, video analysing technology may play a prominent role in attaining and analysing real competition data. It is against this background that the objective of the study was firstly, to determine the kumite characteristics of WKF championship karatekas by making use of video analyses and secondly, to determine the kumite characteristics that discriminate significantly between successful (winners) and less successful (losers) karatekas when making use of video analyses. The video footage of the kumite finals of the 2004 and 2006 WKF World Senior Championships were analysed by means of the Dart fish Team Pro video analysis software package in order to fulfill the first purpose of this study. The kumite characteristics identified by means of the last-mentioned analyses were then included in the discriminate analysis functions in order to fulfill the second aim of this study. All together eight female and 19 male finals were analysed and the winners of each fight were classified as successful and the losers as less successful karatekas. The results indicated that among both genders, gyaku tsuki was the most frequently executed technique, followed by grabbing and kizami tsuki. No other karate techniques emerged as frequently executed techniques during the kumite championships. The jodan was the most targeted area, while the lead front leg shift, followed by the forward lunge and then the overstep were the most frequently used foot movements. Poor scoring rates of 9.9% and 12.85% were observed for females and males respectively with, on average, only 29.3% and 28.5% of techniques used to initiate attacks. A work: rest ratio of 4.93:1 and 3.65:1 was calculated for females and males respectively which, together with the time intervals, indicated that the aerobic energy system is the primary energy contributor to kumite performance. With regard to the discriminators between the successful and less successful kumite karatekas, it was found that gyaku tsuki and kizami tsuki were the primary, significant discriminators for males and only gyaku tsuki for females. Both chudan and jodan were identified as significant discriminators for the males, whereas target area was not identified as a significant discriminator among the female karatekas. The male karatekas also revealed a statistical significant result with regard to the number of initiated attacks. The conclusion that can therefore be drawn from the above-mentioned results are that video analyzing technology can be used effectively to determine the characteristics of kumite and that the number of initiated attacks, punching techniques and the target area were the significant discriminators between successful and less successful karatekas. Gender differences were, however, observed with regard to the different kumite discriminators.
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