2019, Volume 15
The issue of early specialization in karate: the same pool of katas in all top-level WKF competition age categories
Dusana Augustovicova1, Milos Stefanovsky1, Jaroslava Argajova2, Tomas Kampmiller1
1Faculty of physical education and sports, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
2Sport school karate, Prievidza, Slovak Republic
Author for correspondence: Dusana Augustovicova; Faculty of physical education and sports, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic; email: email@example.com
Background and Study Aim: The issue of early specialization occurs in many sports. Since it has been announced that karate will make its first appearance at the Olympic Games in 2020, a number of karate competitors, especially in youth age categories keeps rising. Considering children and youth should be protected from the risks of the early specialization. The aim of the study is the knowledge of whether karatekas in individual age groups compete with the same pool of katas and whether there are any differences in performance scoring.
Material and Methods: To compare the kata sports performance in individual age categories, we chose four top-level WKF karate competitions (Youth League and Karate A Series). The sample consisted of 1,348 athletes (551 seniors, 241 juniors, 327 cadets and 229 young cadets).
Results: Out of the overall number of 102 official katas in the WKF list there was performed 37 katas (36%). There was no significant difference among age categories in the choice of kata χ2 (27, n = 1,956) = 24.50, p = 0.60. We determined significant differences in technical, athletic and total score (p<0.01); however, there was an only small or almost medium effect.
Conclusions: To prevent early specialisation and all the issues connected to it, we recommend to distribute katas age-appropriately based on technical and athletic demandingness.
Key words: martial arts, youth, seniors, burnout, risk of injury, depletion