European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 1221–1228 | Cite as

Energy demands in taekwondo athletes during combat simulation

  • Fábio Angioluci Diniz Campos
  • Rômulo Bertuzzi
  • Antonio Carlos Dourado
  • Victor Gustavo Ferreira Santos
  • Emerson FranchiniEmail author
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to investigate energy system contributions and energy costs in combat situations. The sample consisted of 10 male taekwondo athletes (age: 21 ± 6 years old; height: 176.2 ± 5.3 cm; body mass: 67.2 ± 8.9 kg) who compete at the national or international level. To estimate the energy contributions, and total energy cost of the fights, athletes performed a simulated competition consisting of three 2 min rounds with a 1 min recovery between each round. The combats were filmed to quantify the actual time spent fighting in each round. The contribution of the aerobic (W AER), anaerobic alactic (W PCR), and anaerobic lactic \( (W_{ [{\rm La}^-]}) \) energy systems was estimated through the measurement of oxygen consumption during the activity, the fast component of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and the change in blood lactate concentration in each round, respectively. The mean ratio of high intensity actions to moments of low intensity (steps and pauses) was ~1:7. The W AER, W PCR and \( (W_{ [{\rm La}^-]}) \) system contributions were estimated as 120 ± 22 kJ (66 ± 6%), 54 ± 21 kJ (30 ± 6%), 8.5 kJ (4 ± 2%), respectively. Thus, training sessions should be directed mainly to the improvement of the anaerobic alactic system (responsible by the high-intensity actions), and of the aerobic system (responsible by the recovery process between high-intensity actions).


Oxygen consumption Blood lactate Energy systems Heart rate 



We would like to thank all of the athletes who participated in the study and National coach Fernando Madureira. We also thank Dr. Luiz Claudio Reeberg Stanganélli and Dr. Ronaldo José Nascimento for helpful technical suggestions and Felipe Nunes Rabelo and Bruno Natale Pasquarelli for discussing the data.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. This study received no financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fábio Angioluci Diniz Campos
    • 1
  • Rômulo Bertuzzi
    • 2
  • Antonio Carlos Dourado
    • 3
  • Victor Gustavo Ferreira Santos
    • 4
  • Emerson Franchini
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Research Group in Endurance Performance, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Center of Physical Education and SportState University of LondrinaLondrinaBrazil
  4. 4.Sports Science Research GroupFederal University of AlagoasMaceioBrazil

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