2018, Volume 14
Fencing flèche performed by elite and novice épéeists depending on type of perception
Zbigniew Borysiuk1, Natalia Markowska2, Stanisław Czyż3, Mariusz Konieczny4, Paweł Pakosz4, Krzysztof Kręcisz4
1Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Opole, Poland
2Józef Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Katowice, Poland
3Physical Activity and Recreation Research Group, Nort West University of South Africa, Johanesburg, South Africa
4Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Opole, Poland
Author for correspondence: Zbigniew Borysiuk; Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Opole University of Technology, Opole, Poland; email: z.borysiuk[at]po.opole.pl
Background and Aim of Study: The effectiveness of a fencing competition is relative to the neuro-muscular coordination coupled with various types of perception. The objective of this study was the multi-faceted movement pattern of a fencing flèche depending on visual and tactile stimulation in a group of elite female épéeists and Physical Education students (the control group).
Materials and Methods: The testing procedure applied 11 female épéeists, average age 24.6 ±6.2, all members of the Polish national team. The control group comprised 10 female students of Physical Education course, average age 23.3 ±2.8. By application of EMG, the activity of the following 8 muscles of the lower and upper limbs was examined: biceps brachii (BB), triceps lateralis (TL), flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU), extensor carpi radialis (ECR), biceps femoris (BF), rectus femoris (RF), gastrocnemius lateralis (GL), gastrocnemius medialis (GM). The assessment of the ground reaction force of the forward and back legs applied a system comprising two combined Kistler force plates. The motion model was developed as a result of the application of 3D motion capture using 36 markers.
Results: The results of the study demonstrated a significant level of variety in the movement patterns followed by the subjects depending on the type of stimulation and level of performance among the female épée fencers and students in the control group. The analysis of the EMG signal demonstrates that the professional épéeists produce lower levels of bioelectrical signal in comparison to the students in the control group. With regard to the movement time (MT) and CRT (complex reaction time), the épéeists demonstrated considerably shorter response times (p = 0.00012).
Conclusions: In the light of the results, the sources of anticipation of tactile information include arm flexor and extensor muscles tension that is sensed as a result of the contact with the opponent’s blade. For the case of the visual information, anticipation is based on the activation level of gastrocnemius muscle in the back leg.
Key words: EMG, tactile stimulus, visual stimulus, movement pattern, reaction time