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  • Author: Montassar Tabben x
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Montassar Tabben, Laurent Bosquet and Jeremy B. Coquart

Purpose:

This study examined the effect of performance level on the validity and accuracy of middle-distance running-performance predictions obtained from the nomogram of Mercier et al in male runners.

Methods:

Official French track-running rankings for the 3000-, 5000-, and 10,000-m events from 2006 to 2014 were examined. The performance level was determined from the official reference table of the Fédération Française d’Athlétisme, and the runners were divided in 3 groups (ie, low, moderate, and high levels). Only male runners who performed in the 3 distance events within the same year were included (N = 443). Each performance over any distance was predicted using the nomogram from the 2 other performances.

Results:

No difference was found in low- and moderate-performance-level athletes (0.02 ≤ effect size [ES] ≤ 0.06, 95% limits of agreement [LoA] ≤ 6%). By contrast, a small difference in high-performance-level athletes (P < .01, 0.23 ≤ ES ≤ 0.45, 95% LoA ≤ 11.6%) was found.

Conclusion:

The study confirms the validity of the nomogram to predict track-running performance with a high level of accuracy, except for male runners with high performance level (ie, national or international). Consequently, the predictions from the nomogram may be used in training programs (eg, to prescribe tempo runs with realistic training velocities) and competitions (eg, to plan realistic split times to reach the best performance).

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Montassar Tabben, Bianca Miarka, Karim Chamari and Ralph Beneke

Purpose: To evaluate the concept of decisive moment (DM) as a novel analysis approach providing insights into factors leading to successful high-performance k umite karate outcomes using time–motion variables. DM represents the moment from which 1 of the 2 opponents uninterruptedly dominates the other until the end of the fight. Methods: A total of 120 elite seniors (60 men and 60 women) World Karate Federation combats were analyzed during 2 World Championships (2012 and 2014). Specific characteristics of karate combat (strategy, technique, tactic, target, and effectiveness) were evaluated and classified in 3 sections: at, before, and after DM. Results: DM occurred at about 49% (32.8%) of bout duration. Up to DM no clearly identifiable differences in performance characteristics were found between winners and losers. At and after DM, an offensive strategy with focus on upper-limb techniques, attack and counterattack, targeting the head showed highest potential to achieve and maintain dominance and to win. After DM, losers showed increasingly reactive techniques, mainly timed attacks and combinatory techniques. Conclusion: The DM concept presents a novel approach to time–motion analysis, which for the first time allowed identification of clear discriminating factors of success and defeat in kumite karate at the highest performance level.

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Montassar Tabben, Daniele Conte, Monoem Haddad and Karim Chamari

Purpose: To assess the technical and tactical demands of elite karate athletes in relation to 3 match sequences (ie, advantage, disadvantage, and drawing) and match outcome (ie, win/defeat).Methods: One hundred twenty elite seniors’ (60 men and 60 women) World Karate Federation combats were analyzed during 2 World Championships (2012 and 2014). Specific karate attributes (strategy, technique, tactic, target, and effectiveness) were evaluated and classified into 3 sequences: advantage, disadvantage, and drawing. Results: Karatekas performed more combination techniques in disadvantage sequences than in drawing sequences (P = .011). A higher number of timed-attack actions were reported during advantage sequences than during drawing sequences (P = .048). Winners of the whole combat had higher lower-limb technique rate (1.0 [0.9] vs 0.1 [0.3]; P = .044) and less rate of timed attack (0.3 [0.5] vs 0.6 [1.0]; P = .030) than defeated karatekas during advantage and drawing sequences, respectively. Conclusions: Winners used higher lower-limb technique and less timed-attack rates than defeated karatekas in advantage and drawing sequences, respectively. Indeed, using lower-limb technique during advantageous situations could be a powerful strategy to increase the lead. Therefore, it seems fundamental for coaches of top elite karatekas to put their athletes in simulated situations and push them to increase their use of lower-limb techniques.

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Montassar Tabben, Jeremy Coquart, Helmi Chaabène, Emerson Franchini, Karim Chamari and Claire Tourny

Purpose:

This study determined the validity and reliability of a new specific field test that was based on the scientific data from the latest research.

Methods:

Seventeen international-level karatekas participated in the study: 14 men (age 24.1 ± 4.6 y, body mass 65.7 ± 10.8 kg) and 3 women (age 19 ± 3.6 y, body mass 54.1 ± 0.9 kg). All performed the new karate-specific test (KST) 2 times (test and retest sessions were carried out on separated occasions 1 wk apart). Thirteen men also performed a laboratory test to assess maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).

Results:

Test–retest results showed the KST to be reliable. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak heart rate (HRpeak), blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived exertion, and time to exhaustion (TE) did not display a difference between the test and the retest. The SEM and ICC for relative and absolute VO2peak and TE were <5% and >.90, respectively. Significant correlations were found between VO2peak (mL · kg−1 · min−1) and TE measured from the KST (r = .71, 95%CI 0.35–0.88, P < .0001). There was also no significant difference between VO2peak measured from the KST and VO2max recorded from the cycle-ergometer laboratory test (55.1 ± 4.8 vs 53.2 ± 6.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively; t = –1.85, df = 12, P = .08, dz = 0.51 [small]). The Bland and Altman analyses reported a mean difference (bias) ± the 95% limits of agreement of 1.9 ± 7.35 mL · kg−1 · min−1.

Conclusions:

This study showed that the new KST test, with effort patterns replicating real karate combat sessions, can be considered a valid and reliable karate-specific field test for assessing karatekas’ endurance fitness.