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Marcos Gutiérrez-Davila, F. Javier Rojas, Carmen Gutiérrez-Cruz, Carlos García, and Enrique Navarro

The two-fold purpose of this study was to analyze the time required by a fencer to initiate a defensive action in response to a direct attack, which involves identifying when the defending fencer detects the just-noticeable difference, and, secondly, to assess the effect that an attacker’s rapid armed hand movement (feint attack) has on the time required to initiate a defensive move. Twenty-four elite fencers and a fencing master were included in the study. Four adapted force plates were installed on a scaffold used as a fencing piste. A 3D video analysis system recorded the location of 2 markers installed on the fencing master’s shoulder and sword. The results confirm that the defending fencer has a mean movement time of 0.353 ± 0.028 s to perform the defensive action, which provides an advantage over the attacking fencer. The velocity of movement in the peripheral visual field has no influence on the time required by elite fencers to initiate a defensive action. This confirms the crucial role that response inhibition processes play when nonrelevant actions are perceived. Kinematic analysis of markers suggests that the eye movements of elite fencers are not the only source of information used while observing an attack.

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Mero Antti, Paavo V. Komi, Tapio Korjus, Enrique Navarro, and Robert J. Gregor

This study investigated body segment contributions to javelin throwing during the last thrust phases. A 3-D analysis was performed on male and female javelin throwers during the finals of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The subjects were videotaped from the right sight of the throwing area by two NAC high-speed cameras operating at 100 frames per second. Both men’s and women’s grip of javelin and body center of mass displayed a curved pathway to the right from the left (bracing) foot during the final foot contact. The position of the body center of mass decreased at the beginning of the final foot contact, but after the decrease period it began to increase. Simultaneously with the increase, the peak joint center speeds occurred in a proper sequence from proximal to distal segments and finally to the javelin at release. Release speed correlated significantly with throwing distance in both male and females.