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Reid Reale, Gary Slater and Louise M. Burke

aerobic performance 8 and greater magnitudes impact anaerobic performance 9 – 11 in other sports, these findings may not be relevant to combat sports that allow recovery from dehydration post weigh-in. However recent research suggests seasoned combat sport athletes experienced in RWL may not suffer

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T. Christopher Greenwell, Jason M. Simmons, Meg Hancock, Megan Shreffler and Dustin Thorn

their participation in a violent combat sport challenges traditional gender roles ( Greenwell, Hancock, Simmons, & Thorn, 2015 ). Similarly, the use of sexuality in advertising may be problematic as it may undermine their accomplishments as athletes. For example, UFC fighter Mike Brown stated that if he

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Joseph J. Matthews, Edward N. Stanhope, Mark S. Godwin, Matthew E.J. Holmes and Guilherme G. Artioli

positive energy balance (postcompetition) ( Mendes et al., 2013 ). The duration of each cycle is dependent on the type of combat sport and competition format. For example, MMA athletes typically compete in single-bout events and may undergo RWL and RWG two to four times per year ( Andreato et al., 2014

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Ciro José Brito, Aendria Fernanda Castro Martins Roas, Igor Surian Souza Brito, João Carlos Bouzas Marins, Claudio Córdova and Emerson Franchini

The aim of this study was to investigate the methods adopted to reduce body mass (BM) in competitive athletes from the grappling (judo, jujitsu) and striking (karate and tae kwon do) combat sports in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. An exploratory methodology was employed through descriptive research, using a standardized questionnaire with objective questions self-administered to 580 athletes (25.0 ± 3.7 yr, 74.5 ± 9.7 kg, and 16.4% ± 5.1% body fat). Regardless of the sport, 60% of the athletes reported using a method of rapid weight loss (RWL) through increased energy expenditure. Strikers tend to begin reducing BM during adolescence. Furthermore, 50% of the sample used saunas and plastic clothing, and only 26.1% received advice from a nutritionist. The authors conclude that a high percentage of athletes uses RWL methods. In addition, a high percentage of athletes uses unapproved or prohibited methods such as diuretics, saunas, and plastic clothing. The age at which combat sport athletes reduce BM for the first time is also worrying, especially among strikers.

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Reid Reale, Gregory R. Cox, Gary Slater and Louise M. Burke

Purpose:

Combat-sport athletes acutely reduce body mass (BM) before weigh-in in an attempt to gain a size/strength advantage over smaller opponents. Few studies have investigated these practices among boxers and none have explored the impact of this practice on competitive success.

Methods:

One hundred (30 women, 70 men) elite boxers participating in the Australian national championships were weighed at the official weigh-in and 1 h before each competition bout. Regain in BM after weigh-in was compared between finalists and nonfinalists, winners and losers of each fight, men and women, and weight divisions. Boxers were surveyed on their pre- and post-weigh-in nutrition practices.

Results:

The lightest men’s weight category displayed significantly greater relative BM regain than all other divisions, with no difference between other divisions. BM prebout was higher than official weigh-in for men (2.12% ± 1.62%; P < .001; ES = 0.13) and women (1.49% ± 1.65%; P < .001; ES = 0.11). No differences in BM regain were found between finalists and nonfinalists, winners and losers of individual bouts, or between preliminary or final bouts. BM regain was significantly greater (0.37% BM, P < .001; ES = 0.25) before an afternoon bout compared with a morning bout.

Conclusions:

Boxers engage in acute BM-loss practices before the official competition weigh-in, but this does not appear to affect competition outcomes, at least when weight regain between weigh-in and fighting is used as a proxy for the magnitude of acute loss. While boxers recognize the importance of recovering after weigh-in, current practice is not aligned with best-practice guidance.

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Mathew Hillier, Louise Sutton, Lewis James, Dara Mojtahedi, Nicola Keay and Karen Hind

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport, with bouts defined by weight divisions ( Reale et al., 2017 ) with the aim of endorsing balanced and stimulating matches while reducing potential injuries that may result from substitutional differences in weight ( Mendes et al., 2013 ). For the athlete

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Reid Reale, Gregory R. Cox, Gary Slater and Louise M. Burke

We examined the relationship between the regain of body mass (BM) after weigh-in and success in real-life judo competition. Eighty-six (36 females, 50 males) senior judoka volunteered for this observational study of an international judo competition. Subjects were weighed at the official weigh-in and one hour before their first competition fight (15–20 hr later). Regain in BM after weigh-in was compared between medal winners and nonmedalists, winners and losers of each fight, males and females and across weight divisions. Heavyweights were excluded from analysis. Prefight BM was greater than BM at official weigh-in for both males and females, with % BM gains of 2.3 ± 2.0 (p ≤ .0001; ES= 1.59; CI95% [1.63, 2.98]) and 3.1 ± 2.2 (p ≤ .0001; ES = 2.03; CI95% [2.30, 3.89]), respectively. No significant differences were found between weight divisions for post weigh-in BM regain. Differences in post weigh-in BM regain were significantly higher in medal winners than nonmedalists for males and females combined (1.4 ± 0.4% BM; p = .0026; ES= 0.69; CI95% [0.05, 2.34]) and for males alone (1.5 ± 0.6% BM; p = .017; ES= 0.74; CI95% [0.02, 2.64]), but not for females (1.2 ± 0.7% BM; p = .096; ES = 0.58; CI95% [-0.02, 2.31]). Differences in BM regain after weigh-in between winners and losers were significant across all fights (0.9 ± 0.3% BM; p = .0021; ES= 0.43; CI95% [0.31, 1.41]) but not for first round fights (0.8 ± 0.5% BM; p = .1386, ES = 0.38; CI95% [-0.26, 1.86]). Winners showed a greater regain in BM post weigh-in than losers. This may reflect the greater magnitude of the BM loss needed to achieve weigh-in targets which also relates to the experience level of successful athletes.

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Philip Davis, Anna Wittekind and Ralph Beneke

An activity profile of competitive 3 × 2-min novice-level amateur boxing was created based on video footage and postbout blood [La] in 32 male boxers (mean ± SD) age 19.3 ± 1.4 y, body mass 62.6 ± 4.1 kg. Winners landed 18 ± 11 more punches than losers by applying more lead-hand punches in round 1 (34.2 ± 10.9 vs 26.5 ± 9.4), total punches to the head (121.3 ± 10.2 vs 96.0 ± 9.8), and block and counterpunch combinations (2.8 ± 1.1 vs. 0.1 ± 0.2) over all 3 rounds and punching combinations (44.3 ± 6.4 vs 28.8 ± 6.7) in rounds 1 and 3 (all P < .05). In 16 boxers, peak postbout blood [La] was 11.8 ± 1.6 mmol/L irrespective of winning or losing. The results suggest that landing punches requires the ability to maintain a high frequency of attacking movements, in particular the lead-hand straight punch to the head together with punching combinations. Defensive movements must initiate a counterattack. Postbout blood [La] suggests that boxers must be able to tolerate a lactate production rate of 1.8 mmol · L−1 · min−1 and maintain skillful techniques at a sufficient activity rate.

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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.

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Joseph John Matthews and Ceri Nicholas

There is a lack of research documenting the weight-making practices of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) competitors. The purpose of the investigation was to quantify the magnitude and identify the methods of rapid weight loss (RWL) and rapid weight gain (RWG) in MMA athletes preparing for competition. Seven athletes (mean ± SD, age 24.6 ± 3.5 yrs, body mass 69.9 ± 5.7 kg, competitive experience 3.1 ± 2.2 yrs) participated in a repeated-measures design. Measures of dietary intake, urinary hydration status, and body mass were recorded in the week preceding competition. Body mass decreased significantly (p < .0005) from baseline by 5.6 ± 1.4 kg (8 ± 1.8%). During the RWG period (32 ± 1 hr) body mass increased significantly (p < .001) by 7.4 ± 2.8 kg (11.7 ± 4.7%), exceeding RWL. Mean energy and carbohydrate intake were 3176 ± 482 kcal・day-1 and 471 ± 124 g・day-1, respectively. At the official weigh-in 57% of athletes were dehydrated (1033 ± 19 mOsmol・kg-1) and the remaining 43% were severely dehydrated (1267 ± 47 mOsmol・kg-1). Athletes reported using harmful dehydration-based RWL strategies, including sauna (43%) and training in plastic suits (43%). Results demonstrated RWG greater than RWL, this is a novel finding and may be attributable to the 32 hr duration from weigh-in till competition. The observed magnitude of RWL and strategies used are comparable to those which have previously resulted in fatalities. Rule changes which make RWL impractical should be implemented with immediate effect to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of competitors.