Determining the energy demands and contribution of the energy systems during self-defense in elite athletes

Document Type : original article


Faculty of Sports Sciences and Health, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the energy demands and contribution of the energy systems during self-defense in elite athletes. Twelve male self-defense elite athletes (age, 24 ± 1.4 yr, body mass: 78.1 ± 2.44 kg; percent of body fat, 16.83 ± 1.5 %) voluntarily participated in the study.
Methods: To estimate the energy contributions, and total energy cost of the fights, athletes VO2max, HRmax and HRmean, were obtained' using Bruce test on a treadmill. The athletes performed a simulated competition consisting of two (3 min) rounds with a (1 min) recovery in between each round. The combats were video recorded to quantify the actual time for fighting in each round. The contribution of the aerobic (WAER), anaerobic alactic (WPCR), and anaerobic lactic (W(La-1)) energy systems was estimated through the measurement of oxygen consumption during the activity and the fast component of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), and the change in blood lactate concentration were estimated in each round, respectively.
Results: The mean ratio of high intensity to actions of low intensity actions (attacks and no attacks) was 1:1.7. The WAER, WPCR and (W (La-1)) system contributions were estimated as 122 ± 11 kJ (56±4%), 69 ± 2 kJ (32 ± 0.2%), 24 ± 8 kJ (10 ± 3%), respectively.
Conclusion: Thus, training sessions for self-defense should be directed mainly toward improvement of the anaerobic alactic system (used with high intensity actions), and of the aerobic system (used with recovery between high-intensity actions).


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  • Receive Date: 30 May 2017
  • Revise Date: 19 July 2017
  • Accept Date: 30 July 2017
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2021
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2021