High-intensity interval training improves specific performance in taekwondo athletes





Combat sports, martial arts, taekwondo, HIIT, fatigue, athletic performance


Source of support, POSTDOC_DICYT, Code, 02164OD, Vicerrectoría de Investigación y Desarrollo, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, USACH, Chile.


Specific training methods is an important aspect in the preparation of taekwondo athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a short-duration high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program with specific taekwondo techniques on anaerobic performance. Twelve taekwondo athletes were randomized into a control (n=6) or experimental groups (n=6). The experimental protocol consisted of 3 blocks of 6 sets of 10s all-out effort, with 10s passive recovery between sets and 1-min rest interval between blocks, conducted 3 days per week during 4-weeks. A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) (group, set and moment) with repeated measurements in the two last factors was conducted to compare the performance during each set of the Frequency Speed Kick Test (FSKT), and an ANOVA two-way (group and moment) with repeated measurements was used to compare the total number of kicks and kick decrement index (KDI). Both groups maintained their regular taekwondo training, which was exactly the same. Before and after the training program the athletes performed the FSKT. The experimental group increased (p<0.01) performance in each of the five sets of the FSKT and in the total number of kicks (p<0.001). No statistical difference was observed in the control group after 4-weeks or between the control and experimental group in any moment. A short-duration HIIT program with specific taekwondo techniques improved anaerobic performance measured through the FSKT. However, the fatigue index did not change.


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Author Biographies

Diego Enrique Aravena Tapia, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Professor in Physical Education of the Autonoma University of Chile. Diploma in Sports Training and Specialty AM&DC at the University of Santiago de Chile. Studying Master in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at Santo Tomas University, Santiago, Chile. Currently serving as coach of the university team of Taekwondo at the Autonoma University of Chile, Santiago headquarters. In relation to Combat Sports, I present 4th dan of Taekwondo WT.

Valeria Roman Barrera, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Degree in Kinesiology, Autonoma University of Chile, Taekwondo athlete.

Jonatas Ferreira Da Silva Santos, Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys

PhD in Sciences. Adjunct professor at Physical Education Department, Health and Biological Science Faculty, Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys, Diamantina – Minas Gerais, Brazil. Sport Scientist and leader of Physical Training and Sport Performance Research Group. Develops researches involving combat sports.

Emerson Franchini, University of Sao Paulo

Associate Professor, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Brazil, Coordinator of the Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, Consultant of Judo Olympic and World Championship's medal winners, Judo Black Belt 2nd dan.

Pablo Valdés Badilla, Universidad Autónoma de Chile

Professor of Physical Education, Master in Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation and is finishing the PhD Program in Physical Activity Sciences of the Catholic University of Maule, Chile. He currently serves as Administrator ‐ Teacher of the Center for Sports and Health, and as a Teacher ‐ Researcher of the Pedagogy in Physical Education, all employees of the Autonoma University of Chile, Temuco headquarters, Chile. His main lines of research are active aging and AM&DC, with more than 60 indexed publications. In relation to the AM&DC, he has been a national Taekwondo technician and presents the 5th grade degree in the specialty.

Pedro Orihuela, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Doctor of Science, Associate Professor, Faculty of Chemistry and Biology of the University of Santiago de Chile. Head of Laboratory in Reproductive Immunology.

Tomás Herrera Valenzuela, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

PhD in Sciences. Assistant Professor, University of Santiago de Chile, and Santo Tomás University. Consultant of the High-Performance Centre of Chile (Government of Chile) on topics related to applied science in combat sports (Tokyo 2020 process). In relation to the combat sports, he has been a national coach of Taekwondo and presents the 4th grade.


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How to Cite

Aravena Tapia, D. E., Roman Barrera, V., Da Silva Santos, J. F., Franchini, E., Valdés Badilla, P., Orihuela, P., & Herrera Valenzuela, T. (2020). High-intensity interval training improves specific performance in taekwondo athletes. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 15(1), 4–13. https://doi.org/10.18002/rama.v15i1.6041




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