Visual, non-automated time-motion analysis has been used as a method of analysing performance in both competition and training conditions in a variety of sports, including combat sports, and is thought to have some utility in detecting change in performance as a result of training interventions.
Two separate studies were conducted on high-level Brazilian judo athletes. The first study had 25 male athletes perform 2 5-minute simulated matches, one week apart, and compared performance in these matches with measures of blood lactate and heart rate. The second study had 12 male athletes perform 4 5-minute simulated matches, 72 hours apart, and compared performance with blood lactate levels only.
The aspects of performance analysed in the time-motion analysis were
– Number, total time, and time per sequence in tachi-waza (standing fight)
– Number, total time, and time per sequence in ne-waza (groundwork fight)
– Time per combat sequence and total combat time
– Time per interval phase and total interval time
– Number of attacks
– Number of scoring actions
– Number of penalties received
– Efficiency (scoring actions expressed as a percentage of total attacks)
– Number of ashi-waza (leg techniques)
– Number of te-waza (arm techniques)
– Number of koshi-waza (hip techniques)
– Number of sutemiwaza (sacrifice techniques).
Variables were relatively constant across the testing periods, indicating that the athletes performed in a similar manner when matched against the same opponent. Time-motion analysis was able to detect moderate variation in time in tachi-waza and peak blood lactate, but for all other variables could only detect large variation.
The findings of this study suggest that time-motion analysis of simulated judo matches lacks the sensitivity to detect variance in performance.