2021, Volume 17
The objective assessment of striking force in combat sports using sport-specific measurement devices – a review
Anna Akbas1, Anna Brachman1, Bartłomiej Gzik2, Bogdan Bacik1
1Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego im. Jerzego Kukuczki, Katowice, Poland
2Wydział Inżynierii Biomedycznej, Politechnika Śląska, Zabrze, Poland
Author for correspondence: Anna Akbas; Wydział Wychowania Fizycznego, Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego im. Jerzego Kukuczki, Katowice, Poland; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Throughout the literature, numerous measurement systems have been designed aiming to provide a point of reference to scale the intrinsic performance of combat sports athletes. However, magnitude of force exerted by the athletes varied greatly between studies and it is difficult to find consistencies in research in this area. Thus, the purpose of this study was to review recent research regarding the striking (punching and kicking) forces and usefulness of sport-specific measurement devices exclusively dedicated for combat sports athletes.
Material and Methods: The search of following databases: SPORTDiscus, Scopus, Google Scholar, PubMed and Springer were conducted using different combination of terms: (training simulator OR training device OR device) AND (combat sports OR martial arts OR judo OR karate OR taekwondo OR boxing OR mixed martial arts OR Thai chi).
Results: The literature search retrieved a total of 4028 and 9 of them met inclusion criteria. The target-based measurement devices: punching bags, manikins and impact platform, as well as wireless in-glove systems were used. Most of the included studies showed significant influence of gender, level of expertise and the striking technique on the impact forces associated with punching and kicking.
Conclusions: There are plenty of valid, accurate and reliable devices which opens up new possibilities in enhancing combat sport training and performance. Unfortunately, because of the large methodological and technological diversity, the results obtained by different studies cannot be directly compared. The future research perspectives should include the evaluation of diverse groups of athletes across different force measurement devices.
Key words: punching bag, punching, martial arts, kicking, impact force, force sensors, boxing manikin, strain gauge