Special Issue "Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Patrik Drid
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
Interests: Judo; combat sports; exercise physiology
Assoc. Prof. Emerson Franchini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, Sport Department, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interests: combat sports; high-intensity interval training; Judo; training methods
Assoc. Prof. David H. Fukuda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Central Florida
Interests: combat sports; fatigue thresholds; performance testing; exercise physiology
Assist. Prof. Tatjana Trivic
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia
Interests: combat sports; Judo; exercise physiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue ‘Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports” is an opportunity to publish original research, meta-analyses, reviews, case studies, short communications and book reviews related to martial arts and combat sports. Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports aims to provide the latest scientific and professional insights, present recent findings and share experiences in Martial Arts (Judo, Karate, Wrestling, Boxing, Taekwondo, Sambo, Sumo, Jujutsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Aikido and Mixed Martial Arts). Special emphasis is given to the importance of a) training monitoring and testing; b) periodization; c) coaching and training strategies; d) Injury epidemiology and prevention; e) performance analysis and biomechanics; f) physiology of martial arts and combat sports; g) special considerations for women and youths. Any other topics are welcome in this Special Issue, especially articles that bring new theoretical and practical approaches to the martial arts field.

Prof. Patrik Drid
Assoc. Prof. Emerson Franchini
Assoc. Prof. David H. Fukuda
Assist. Prof. Tatjana Trivic
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Wrestling
  • Boxing
  • Taekwondo
  • Sambo
  • Sumo
  • Jujutsu
  • Brazilian jiu-jitsu
  • Aikido
  • Mixed martial arts

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence, Magnitude and Methods of Rapid Weight Loss Reported by Male Mixed Martial Arts Athletes in Ireland
Sports 2019, 7(9), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7090206 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
Rapid weight loss (RWL) is frequently practiced in weight category sports, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The aim of the present study was to describe self-reported methods of RWL in a sample of competitive MMA athletes comprising of both amateur and professional fighters. [...] Read more.
Rapid weight loss (RWL) is frequently practiced in weight category sports, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The aim of the present study was to describe self-reported methods of RWL in a sample of competitive MMA athletes comprising of both amateur and professional fighters. The previously-validated Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire, with the addition of questions on water loading and hot salt baths, was completed anonymously online by athletes (n = 30; all male, n = 15/15 professional/amateur) from MMA clubs around Dublin, Ireland. All but one (97%) of the athletes surveyed lost weight in order to compete, with the average weight loss being 7.9% ± 3.1% of habitual body mass. The RWL score (mean ± SD) for this sample was 37.9 ± 9.6, and a tendency for higher [6.0 (95%CI; −1.1, 13.1) (p = 0.093; d = 0.64)] RWL scores for professional (40.8 ± 8.9) compared to amateur (34.8 ± 9.6) athletes was observed. Frequencies of “always” or “sometimes” were reported as 90% for water loading, 76% for hot salt baths and 55% for 24 h of fasting. Fellow fighters (41%) and coaches/mentors (38%) were “very influential” on RWL practices of these athletes, with doctors (67%), dietitians (41%), and physical trainers (37%) said to be “not influential”. RWL is highly prevalent in MMA across both amateur and professional athletes, and RWL scores are higher than other combat sports. Water loading and hot salt baths are amongst the most commonly used methods of RWL despite little research on these methods for body mass reduction or effects on performance in weight category sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Thoracic Gas Volume Changes on Body Composition Assessed by Air Displacement Plethysmography after Rapid Weight Loss and Regain in Elite Collegiate Wrestlers
Sports 2019, 7(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7020048 - 19 Feb 2019
Abstract
We investigated the effect of rapid weight loss (RWL) and weight regain (WR) on thoracic gas volume (VTG) and body composition assessment using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) in male wrestlers. Eight male elite collegiate wrestlers completed a RWL regimen (6% of [...] Read more.
We investigated the effect of rapid weight loss (RWL) and weight regain (WR) on thoracic gas volume (VTG) and body composition assessment using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) in male wrestlers. Eight male elite collegiate wrestlers completed a RWL regimen (6% of body mass) over a 53-h period, which was followed by a 13-h WR period. ADP was used at three time points (baseline (T1), post-RWL (T2) and post-WR (T3)) according to the manufacturer’s testing recommendations. The total body water and bone mineral content were estimated using the stable isotope dilution method and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively, at the same time points. Body composition was assessed with two-component (2C) or four-component (4C) models using either the measured VTG (mVTG) or predicted VTG (pVTG). Measured VTG increased from T1 to T2 (0.36 ± 0.31 L, p < 0.05) and decreased from T2 to T3 (−0.29 ± 0.15 L, p < 0.01). However, the changes in fat mass and fat free mass, which were calculated by both 2C and 4C models, were not significantly different when compared between calculations using mVTG and those using pVTG. Our results indicate that VTG significantly changes during RWL and WR, but both measured and predicted VTG can be used to assess changes in body composition during RWL and WR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis Model for Studying the Determinants of Throwing Scoring Actions During Standing Judo
Sports 2019, 7(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7020042 - 15 Feb 2019
Abstract
In judo, the attacking system is grounded on several determinants of the chances to throw. In our study, data regarding four determinants of the attacking system were collected in order to classify the standing scoring actions: the attacking type (direct/counter-attack), the throwing area [...] Read more.
In judo, the attacking system is grounded on several determinants of the chances to throw. In our study, data regarding four determinants of the attacking system were collected in order to classify the standing scoring actions: the attacking type (direct/counter-attack), the throwing area (forward/backward), the technique’s category (based on motor criteria), and the lateral structure of fighting (contenders with a symmetrical/asymmetrical position). To study the usefulness of such an analysis, the standing scoring actions of the 2013 Judo World Championship were analyzed as an example of elite judo’s attacking system (n = 775). The Pearson’s chi-squared test and Cramér’s V were used to analyze the hypothesis of a uniform distribution or the association between variables and the strength of such an association, respectively. The scoring actions (p < 0.001) were mostly direct attacks (82.6%), in the forward throw area (57.5%), and in an asymmetrical position (67.2%). All of the variables were associated (p < 0.05; V = 0.11–0.54), with higher proportions of counter-attacks and attacks occurring on the backward thrown area during asymmetrical structures than the expected. Some categories of techniques were observed more than expected, depending on the symmetrical or asymmetrical structure. Our data augment the knowledge of standing judo by showing features of the attacking system, suggesting strategies for optimizing performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Meta-Analysis to Determine Normative Values for the Special Judo Fitness Test in Male Athletes: 20+ Years of Sport-Specific Data and the Lasting Legacy of Stanisław Sterkowicz
Sports 2019, 7(8), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7080194 - 16 Aug 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) results specific to the population of male judoka and to develop age category norms for junior and senior athletes. A systematic review of the existing literature was conducted to identify [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) results specific to the population of male judoka and to develop age category norms for junior and senior athletes. A systematic review of the existing literature was conducted to identify 281 publications reporting SJFT results between 1995 and 2018. The final meta-analysis included data from 37 relevant studies that reported SJFT results from 51 individual samples of 515 senior and 209 junior male athletes. The combined mean and SD for SJFT variables were calculated, and the Cohen’s d effect size with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the senior and junior age classifications were compared. Senior athletes demonstrated higher total number of throws (d = 0.41, CI = 0.25–0.57, p <0.001) and heart rate (HR) immediately after the SJFT (d = 0.18, CI = 0.02–0.35, p = 0.025) with limited differences for HR one minute after the SJFT between groups. The SJFT index was lower for seniors compared to juniors (d = 0.38, CI = 0.22–0.54, p <0.001) indicating better overall performance by the more advanced athletes. Percentile rankings were used to develop SJFT classificatory tables for male senior and junior judo athletes. Training staff can use the age group classifications in the evaluation process of their athletes and for the purpose of monitoring training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Open AccessReview
The Current State of Weight-Cutting in Combat Sports
Sports 2019, 7(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050123 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In combat sports, athletes are divided into categories based on gender and body mass. Athletes attempt to compete against a lighter opponent by losing body mass prior to being weighed (i.e., ‘weight-cutting’). The purpose of this narrative review was to explore the current [...] Read more.
In combat sports, athletes are divided into categories based on gender and body mass. Athletes attempt to compete against a lighter opponent by losing body mass prior to being weighed (i.e., ‘weight-cutting’). The purpose of this narrative review was to explore the current body of literature on weight-cutting and outline gaps for further research. Methods of weight-loss include energy intake restriction, total body fluid reduction and pseudo extreme/abusive medical practice (e.g., diuretics). The influence of weight-cutting on performance is unclear, with studies suggesting a negative or no effect. However, larger weight-cuts (~5% of body mass in <24 h) do impair repeat-effort performance. It is unclear if the benefit from competing against a smaller opponent outweighs the observed reduction in physical capacity. Many mechanisms have been proposed for the observed reductions in performance, ranging from reduced glycogen availability to increased perceptions of fatigue. Athletes undertaking weight-cutting may be able to utilise strategies around glycogen, total body water and electrolyte replenishment to prepare for competition. Despite substantial discussion on managing weight-cutting in combat sports, no clear solution has been offered. Given the prevalence of weight-cutting, it is important to develop a deeper understanding of such practices so appropriate advice can be given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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