To determine the performance aspects (time–motion and technical-tactical analysis) of top-level low-kick kickboxers according to gender, weight category, combat round, and match outcome.
Seventy-two kickboxers (44 male, 28 female) were studied. Thirty-six bouts (male = 61, female = 41 rounds) were analyzed using a time–motion system. Time structure was classified into 3 phases: preparatory-activity time (PT), fighting time (FT), and stoppage time (ST).
Referee decisions caused an overall effort:pause ratio (E:P) of ~1:1.5, with a significant difference between weight categories (light and middleweights = 1:1.5, heavyweight = 1:1). This ratio was ~1:6 when high-intensity actions–to-pause activities were considered. Significant differences were also observed between rounds (all P < .001), with 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-round E:Ps of 1:1, 1:1.5, and ~1:2, respectively. The relative times of FT and PT, total attacking actions, upper-limb actions, number of technical actions performed on the head, and the number of high-intensity actions were higher in males than females (all P = .05). Males performed more jab-cross actions and fewer low kicks than females (P < .001). Males used upper-limb (63.4%) more than lower-limb techniques (36.6%), targeting the head (56.9%) more than the body/leg (43.1%), with no significant difference from females (P > .05). E:P was similar between winners and losers. However, the numbers of technical actions performed on the head, counterattack actions, jab-cross technique, and total punches were higher in winners than losers (all P < .05).
Training programs need to be adapted to the specific requirements of kickboxers’ weight categories and gender to develop the technical-tactical abilities that improve athletes’ chances of winning.
Slimani and Chaabene are with the Sports Performance Optimization Research Laboratory, National Ctr of Medicine and Science in Sports, Tunis, Tunisia. Miarka is with the Superior School of Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Chamari is with the Athlete Health and Performance Research Ctr ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.