Does Physical Fitness Predict Future Karate Success? A Study in Young Female Karatekas

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Objective: To assess the discriminative ability of several fitness dimensions and anthropometric attributes for forecasting competitive success in female karate athletes. Methods: Fitness and anthropometric data from 98 female junior karatekas obtained during the training camps of the Spanish National Karate Federation between 1999 and 2012 were used. Binary logistic-regression models were built to ascertain whether the set of fitness and anthropometric variables could predict future sporting-performance levels. For this purpose, participants were classified as elite (medalist in World or European Championships in the senior category) or subelite (at least a medalist in Spanish National Championships in cadet or junior but not included in the elite group), according to the results achieved up to 2019. Results: Participants who were subsequently classified as elite karatekas showed significant differences in agility, upper- and lower-body muscle power, and general fitness in comparison with those who were classified as subelite in the senior category. A total of 57 junior female karatekas who were subsequently classified as elite (7) or subelite (50) were included in the binary logistic-regression analysis. Resultant models showed significant capacity to predict karate performance. Conclusions: Assessing physical fitness in junior categories can be a useful resource to determine future karate success. Coaches in this sport should pay special attention to the levels of muscle power and agility shown by their athletes, as both fitness dimensions could be indicators of future sportive success.

Martínez de Quel is with the Faculty of Education, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Ara is with GENUD Toledo Research Group, University of Castilla–La Mancha, Toledo, Spain. Izquierdo is with the Dept of Health Sciences, Public University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Ayán is with the Well-Move Research Group, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.

Martínez de Quel (odequel@ucm.es) is corresponding author.
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