2014, Volume 10, Issue 1

Technical and Tactical Characteristic of Japanese High Level Women Kendo Players: a Comparative Analysis

Mitsuru Nakamura1, Yukiko Takami2, Masaki Nakano3, Kiyoshi Ito4, Naoya Maekawa1, Masahiro Tamura5

1Graduate School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, Chiba, Japan
2Seiwa University, Chiba, Japan
3School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, Chiba, Japan
4Fuji University, Iwate, Japan
5Teikyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan

Author for correspondence: Mitsuru Nakamura; Graduate School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, Chiba, Japan; email: mtnakamu[at]juntendo.ac.jp

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Background and Study Aim: Female kendo practitioners’ technical and tactical abilities have steadily improved since the 10th World Kendo Championship held in 1997, when a dedicated women’s competition class was created. However, exercise methodologies and injury prevention techniques have not evolved in tandem. The current study is meant to provide kendo practitioners, coaches, and managers with information essential to tailoring their exercise and injury prevention programs to female kendo practitioners. The aim of the study is to assess whether women differ from men in terms of technical and tactical aspects of competition outcomes.
Material and Methods: Sixty matches from the 50th All Japan Women’s Kendo Championship and 60 men’s matches from the 45th All Japan Men’s Kendo Championship were analyzed using DVDs. Specifically, the following aspects were analyzed: technique categories, spatial distance, counter attack, datotsu-bui (target points), body and shinai (bamboo sword) movement, and ratio of points awarded based on the total number of attacks. These data were analyzed by three kendo experts who hold 7th ,5th ,4th dan.
Results: Point scoring attacks were comparatively fewer in women’s competitions than in men’s. Female competitors also attacked in closer spatial distance relative to their male counterparts. Finally, women attacked primarily by stepping forward in a defensive stance while waving the shinai side to side in close proximity to the opponent’s body.
Conclusions: Women’s tactics differed markedly from that of men’s. It is recommended that female kendo practitioners employ an exercise regimen that accounts for the fundamental differences between the male and female physique.

Key words: combat sport, competiton analysis, physiological characteristics, sexual distinction, spatial distance, tactics