Physiological and Perceived Exertion Responses during International Karate Kumite Competition


Montassar Tabben 2 , * , Rim Sioud 1 , Monoem Haddad 3 , Emerson Franchini 4 , Anis Chaouachi 1 , Jeremy Coquart 2 , Helmi Chaabane 5 , Karim Chamari 6 , Claire Tourny-Chollet 2

2 CETAPS, University of Rouen, Mont Saint Aignan, France

1 Tunisian Research Laboratory Sports Performance Optimization, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia

3 University of Jandouba, ISSEP Kef, Tunisia

4 Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

5 University of Manouba, ISSEP Ksar Said, Tunisia

6 Research and Education Centre, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha

How to Cite: Tabben M, Sioud R, Haddad M, Franchini E, Chaouachi A, et al. Physiological and Perceived Exertion Responses during International Karate Kumite Competition, Asian J Sports Med. Online ahead of Print ; 4(4):34246. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34246.


Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 4 (4); 263-271
Published Online: October 2, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 14, 2013
Accepted: August 1, 2013


Purpose: Investigate the physiological responses and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in elite karate athletes and examine the relationship between a subjective method (Session-RPE) and two objective heart-rate (HR)-based methods to quantify training-load (TL) during international karate competition.

Methods: Eleven karatekas took part in this study, but only data from seven athletes who completed three matches in an international tournament were used (four men and three women). The duration of combat was 3 min for men and 2 min for women, with 33.67.6 min for the first interval period (match 12) and 14.53.1 min for the second interval period (match 23). HR was continuously recorded during each combat. Blood lactate [La-] and (RPE) were measured just before the first match and immediately after each match.

Results: Means total fights time, HR, %HRmax, [La-], and session-RPE were 4.71.6 min, 1829 bpm, 913%, 9.022.12 mmol.L-1 and 4.21.2, respectively. No significant differences in %HRmax, [La-], and RPE were noticed across combats. Significant correlations were observed between RPE and both resting HR (r=0.60; P=0.004) and mean HR (r=0.64; P=0.02), session-RPE and Banister training-impulse (TRIMP) (r=0.84; P<0.001) and Edwards TL (r=0.77; P<0.01).

Conclusion: International karate competition elicited near-maximal cardiovascular responses and high [La-]. Training should therefore include exercise bouts that sufficiently stimulate the zone between 90 and 100% HRmax. Karate coaches could use the RPE-method to follow competitor's competition loads and consider it in their technical and tactical training.

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