The purpose of this study was to investigate the duration of each series of offensive and defensive techniques and the cardiovascular, metabolic, and perceptual responses during 2- and 3-minute bouts of simulated karate sparring. Six young men (age, 18-20 years) and 6 boys (age, 16-17 years) participated in this study. We formed 3 pairs of men and 3 pairs of boys to create a demanding competitive environment. After a rest period, each pair performed a 2-minute bout of sparring, sat quietly for 60 minutes, and then performed 3-minute bout of sparring. We measured oxygen uptake (V̇o2), heart rate (HR), and blood lactate responses and ascertained the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and energy expenditure (EE) during these sparring bouts. The ventilatory threshold was estimated from ventilatory equivalent and V̇o2 obtained during the treadmill test. The duration of each series of offensive and defensive techniques was videotaped. During the 2- and 3-minute bouts of sparring, the duration of longest series of offensive and/or defensive combination techniques performed were 2.1 ± 1.0 and 1.8 ± 0.4 seconds, respectively; the mean total times of performing offensive and defensive techniques were 13.3 ± 3.3 and 19.4 ± 5.5 seconds, respectively. The mean oxygen uptake (V̇o2), the percentage of maximum oxygen uptake (%V̇o2max), HR, percentage of maximum HR, RPE, and EE for a 3-minute bout of sparring were significantly higher than for a 2-minute bout of sparring. The mean %V̇o2max values for these bouts of sparring were below the ventilatory threshold. It is recommended that karate practitioners perform more specific weight training, plyometric exercises, and interval training to increase the ability to buffer acid muscle and blood concentrations and to build lean body mass, strength, and power to develop the specific motor skills required in sparring.
1Department of Nutritional Sciences, Nakamura Gakuen University, Fukuoka, Japan; 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Beppu University, Beppu, Japan; 3Faculty of Health and Welfare, Nishikyushu University, Saga, Japan
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