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Rafael L. Kons and Daniele Detanico

This study aimed to verify the behavior of physiological, perceptual, and performance responses during a high-intensity exercise in judo athletes and to identify if this protocol is able to discriminate athletes from different levels (national vs. state). Forty-five male judo athletes participated and were divided into two groups: state (age 24.2 ± 3.7 years) and national (22.1 ± 3.3 years). Judo athletes performed a judo-specific protocol contained high-intensity intermittent exercise consisted of 12 sets of 20 s in all-out intensity. During the protocol, the repetitions and heart rate were assessed over the sets, and at the end of the protocol, the rate of perceived exertion was measured. The results showed that the national group presented higher repetitions (29 ± 4 repetitions) during the high-intensity intermittent exercise compared with state (22 ± 2 repetitions). However, the national group showed a progressive decrease of repetitions up to the middle of the protocol, which coincided with higher values of heart rate compared with state (first and second sets). There was a decrease of repetitions from the first set (p < .001) and similar values of heart rate from the third set in the state. In conclusion, the performance (in repetitions) during the high-intensity intermittent exercise was able to discriminate athletes from different competitive levels. National athletes presented better performance, but worse pacing strategy compared with state.

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Rafael L. Kons, Kai Krabben, David L. Mann, Gabriela Fischer, and Daniele Detanico

In judo competition for visual impairment, athletes of different classes compete against each other in the same category; B1 athletes are totally blind, whereas B2 and B3 athletes are partially sighted. To test for potential competition disparities due a single category of athletes, this study aimed to compare competitive and technical–tactical performance in visually impaired judo athletes with different degrees of visual impairment. The authors analyzed 340 judo matches from the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. The scores, penalties, efficiency index, and types of medals were examined, as well as the technical variation and temporal structure. The main finding was that blind judo athletes presented lower scores (p < .05; effect size [ES] = 0.43–0.73), medals (p < .05), and efficiency (p < .05; ES = 0.40–0.73); different patterns of play; and a shorter time to lose than partially sighted athletes (p = .027; ES = 0.10–0.14). However, the penalties were similar between classes (p > .05; ES = 0.07–0.14). The odds ratio of a winning medal was 3.5–8 times less in blind athletes than in partially sighted athletes (p < .01). In conclusion, blind judo athletes presented lower competitive and technical–tactical performance than athletes with some residual functional vision. These findings provide support for the development of new evidence-based criteria for judo classification based on vision impairment.