Content Analysis Of Some Doctoral Thesis Studies Carried Out In Turkey On The Branch Of Taekwondo In The Field Of Sports Sciences

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Sevinç Yılmaz D.

European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science, vol.7, no.4, pp.21-39, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


aekwondo is an old martial art with a Korean origin that is performed with hands and

feet, where several combined techniques are used together, and nerve-muscle use levels

are high (Mark, 1984; Kim et al., 2011). The history of taekwondo may be traced back to

centuries ago. Initially, this branch used to be taught for the person to defend themselves.

Afterwards, throughout the centuries, it has been spread around the world as an artistic

form. In addition to having an artistic form, the branch of taekwondo also requires high

competitive strength. Taekwondo is a competitive sport that requires the displacement

of the body parts of the opponent. As words, ‘tae’ means foot strike, ‘kwon’ means hand

strike, and ‘do’ means philosophy (Kazemi et al., 2006). Taekwondo competitions are

divided into two categories as sparring and poomsae. Sparring is performed against an

opponent, while poomsae (imaginary sparring) is a branch where a single person

performs. Taekwondo that is known as a demonstration sport showed itself for the first

time in the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Its inclusion in official competitions

occurred in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (Kazemi et al., 2004; Gupta, 2011).

Taekwondo as an Olympic sport is a branch performed by 75-120 million individuals in

more than 140 countries (Razi, 2016). Innovations made in equipment in time, changes in

rules, safety measures, organization of competitions, and its prominent media- and

education-related aspects have increasingly raised the interest in this branch and helped

it gain its popularity today. With the increase in the popularity of the branch and the

prominence it has gained in the Olympics, World Taekwondo has recently made some

changes in the rules. Some changes may be listed as changes in the scoring system

(increase in the point score of techniques applied on the head region), smaller game

dimensions, enaction of the 10-sec rule and changes in penalty points (Moenig, 2015).

Competitions are held in the form of 3 rounds of 1.5 minutes each for the Juniors and

Teens categories and 3 rounds of 2 minutes each for the Youths and Adults categories, with 1 minute of rest between the rounds (Birrer, 1996; Toskovic et al. 2004; Heller ve ark.,

1998). Competitions consist of various techniques applied on the head and torso regions.

These techniques may be applied in the form of attack, counterattack and combined

techniques. Athletes are scored based on the region on which they apply the techniques

and the degree of difficulty. For athletes to receive points, they need to have multiple

physical qualities. For competitive performance, taekwondo requires various factors

including physical (Heller ve ark., 1998; Gao, 2001; Melhim, 2001; Ball et al.,2011; Estevan

et al., 2011), psychological (de Prado, 2012), technical (Bridge et al., 2011; Cular et al.,

2011) and tactical (Falcó et al., 2009; González et al., 2011) factors. This is why taekwondo

training has been structured in a way to target these specific performance mediators

(Heller et al., 1998; Gao, 2001). From this perspective, the purpose of taekwondo training

is to prepare athletes in terms of both their physical activities and meeting of the

physiological demands of competition (Marković et al., 2005; Pieter, 1991; Casoline et al.,

2012). As strikes are important in taekwondo, athletes need to have explosive leg

strength, aerobic resilience, balance and flexibility (Heller et al., 1998; Marković et al.,

2005). Taekwondo athletes must have the capacity to rapidly produce muscle strength

through kicks, because 80% of taekwondo skills are related to kicking (Shirley, 1992).

Although these characteristics are not the only determinants of performance, they are

among helpful pieces of information for trainers. There are studies in the literature on the

physical and physiological characteristics of athletes. Nevertheless, it is important to

increase the number of these studies and select the suitable training method