Academic taekwondo in Saint Petersburg: training systems and progress trends

PhD, Associate Professor A.V. Pavlenko1
Dr.Hab., Associate Professor G.V. Rudenko2
PhD, Associate Professor Yu.I. Vinogradov2
1Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg
2St. Petersburg Mining University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: taekwondo, students, progress trends, mental adaptation.

Background. Academic taekwondo WT has been on the rise in Saint Petersburg since the 2008 Russian Summer Olympics (RSO) [6] largely due to the Saint Petersburg University Championships and Regional Qualifiers for the Russian Summer Olympics on the odd (2013, 2015, 2017) and even (2014, 2016, 2018) years, respectively, with each of the tournaments having its specifics. The Saint Petersburg University Championships in taekwondo WT are run in the standard weight classes (8 men’s and 8 women’s) without prior qualification events. The Regional Qualifiers for the Russian Summer Olympics are run in four weight classes (4 men’s and 4 women’s). Both events offer individual and team competitions, with the individual scores summarized to produce the university team standings on the scoreboard to nominate the winners. The 2018 Regional Qualifiers for the Russian Summer Olympics were run under new (team competition TC-5) rules of competitions that imply team fights in a non-stop format with the team performance being scored and with the athletes substituted on the trainer’s signals. Each team includes 4 members (3 competitors and 1 backup) of different weight classes limited only by the team total weight.

Objective of the study was to make a statistical analysis of the Saint Petersburg academic taekwondo WT progress trends for the period of 2013-2018.

Methods and structure of the study. Competing in the above academic taekwondo WT events for the study period were 14 university teams on average per year: see Table 1.

Table 1. The Saint Petersburg academic taekwondo WT progress statistics for 2013-2018

Year

University teams

Individual competitors

Competitors’ qualifications

Men

Women

Class I-III

CMS

MS

WCMS

2013

 

16

59

9

47

13

8

0

2014  

 

14

19

11

15

10

5

0

2015  

 

12

33

29

49

7

6

0

2016  

 

15

28

26

41

11

2

0

2017

 

13

36

33

48

16

4

1

2018  

 

12

37

30

46

15

6

0

Most popular for the study period were the Saint Petersburg University Championships in the standard weight classes and the team competitions in TC-5 format. The same holds true for the Class I-III athletes whose participation was the highest for the same period (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018). Having analyzed the statistical data and the coaches’/ athletes’ questionnaire survey data, we found the academic taekwondo WT competitions in the standard weight classes and TC-5 format being the most popular in the municipal student communities at this juncture.

Expert monitoring of the academic taekwondo WT competitions made it possible to rate and analyze the students’ fitness. On the whole, the students were tested with inadequate special physical fitness and insufficient competitive mental control and adaptability rates [5], with the latter being the most detrimental, as we believe, for the competitive performance. It may be due to the academic taekwondo WT teams being too inconsistent in the individual physical and mental fitness rates, with some athletes being fairly skillful and physically and mentally fit for the competitions, whilst the others may be considered an amateur group tested with low mental control and competitive adaptability rates on average [4] and normally qualified Class I-III athletes. As a result, their competitive progress is hampered by the limited competitive motivations and vice versa. For the study period we have run a few questionnaire surveys of the taekwondo WT competitors to rate their sensitivity and adaptation to the external mental stressors. The sample was split up into the following two groups: health/ recreation taekwondo focused group; and the competitive success focused group; with both of the groups surveyed for the external competitive mental stressors [1-3]: see Table 2.

Table 2. 2012-2018 Saint Petersburg University Taekwondo Championships: external competitive mental stressors reported by the sample (n=50)

Stressor

Health/ recreation focused group, %

Rank

Competitive success focused group

Rank

Opponent’s physical pressure

40

1

29

2

Opponent’s emotional pressure

21

2

15

3

Biased refereeing service

14

4

43

1

Competitive environment

5

5

5

5

Pressure from the audience

20

3

8

4

As demonstrated in Table 1 above, ranked highest among the stressors reported by the health/ recreation focused group was the opponent’s physical (strikes, grappling) and emotional pressures followed by the pressure from the audience, whilst the biased refereeing service was ranked relatively low on the stress scale. The competitive success focused group was tested most sensitive to the biased refereeing service followed by the opponent’s physical pressure.

Results and discussion. The study data and analyses made it possible to formulate the academic taekwondo progress trends for Saint Petersburg city and offer recommendations on how the training systems should be improved with a special emphasis on the mental conditioning aspects. First, we should underline that the 2012-2018 Saint Petersburg University Taekwondo Championships proved the growing popularity of the competitions in the standards weight classes and team bouts in TC-5 format. We believe that the popularity is due to the higher accessibility of the team format with its wider weight frame that allows varying the team competitiveness. Second, we found the Class I-III athletes dominating in the academic taekwondo system at this juncture. This group was found relatively low physically and mentally fit for the competitions and tend to prioritize the health/ recreational aspects of the taekwondo practices. And third, the study profiled the external competitive mental stressors of the student sample. Thus the health/ recreation focused group ranked highest the opponent’s physical (strikes, grappling) and emotional pressures followed by the pressure from the audience on the stress scale; and the competitive success focused group was tested most sensitive to the biased refereeing service followed by the opponent’s physical and emotional pressures.

Conclusion. The study findings on the whole and the rankings of the dominant mental stressors in particular are recommended being taken into consideration at the pre-season training stage for academic taekwondo WT competitions. The health/ recreation taekwondo focused groups shall be trained with a special priority to the mental conditioning for the bouts, with the improved mental controls expected to improve the competitive success rates on the one hand and the academic taekwondo team competitiveness, popularity and progress on the other hand.

References

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  2. Pavlenko A.V., Chistyakov V.A. Problematika psikhologicheskoy podgotovki tkhekvondistov v aspekte adaptatsii k negativnym faktoram poedinka [Problems of psychological training of taekwondokas in context of adaptation to negative factors of fight]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta im. P.F. Lesgafta. 2018. no. 9 (163). pp. 226-233.
  3. Pavlenko A.V. Psikhologo-pedagogicheskie osobennosti individualnoy adaptatsii sportsmenov-edinobortsev k usloviyam ekstremalnogo vzaimodeystviya v poedinke [Psychological educational features of individual adaptation of martial artists to extreme combat conditions]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta im. P.F. Lesgafta. 2017. no. 8 (150). pp.  85-92.
  4. Savelyev D.S., Sidorenko S.A. Vliyanie zanyatiy sportivnymi edinoborstvami na psikhofiziologicheskiy potentsial studentov – pervokursnikov [Effects of competitive martial arts on first-year students' psychophysiology]. Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. 2017. no. 5. pp. 42-45.
  5. Simakov A.M., Simakov D.A., Rudenko G.V. , Korostelev E.N. Metodika razvitiya skorostnoy vynoslivosti v tkhekvondo na etape sovershenstvovaniya sportivnogo masterstva (15-16 let) [Speed endurance building method in taekwondo at sports excellence stage (15-16 years)]. Uchenye zapiski universiteta im. P.F. Lesgafta. 2018. no. 2 (156). pp. 210-223.
  6. Simakov A.M., Pavlenko A.V. Problematika i perspektivy razvitiya nekotorykh sorevnovatelnykh formatov v studencheskom tkhekvondo [Problems and development prospects of some competitive formats in academic taekwondo]. Podgotovka edinobortsev: teoriya, metodika i praktika [Martial arts training: theory, methods, practice]. Proc. V nat. res.-pract. conf.. Tchaikovsky, TSIPC publ., 22.04.2016. pp.  128-131.

Corresponding author: box74-pavlenko@yandex.ru

Abstract

The article analyzes the modern training systems and progress trends in the academic taekwondo WT sport in Saint Petersburg for the period of 2013-18; discusses the special requirements to the academic taekwondo WT competitions and training systems; overviews the academic taekwondo WT progress trends versus changes in the rules of competitions for the period; and offers the ways to encourage and promote taekwondo sport in the Saint Petersburg academic system. A special emphasis is made on the mental conditioning tools to facilitate the competitive adaptation of the taekwondo Olympians.  

A questionnaire survey under the study made it possible to analyze and rank the external competitive stressors of special effect on the mental fitness of the taekwondo WT competitors – that shall be duly addressed by the precompetitive training systems. The health/ recreation aspects prioritizing taekwondo practices shall give a special attention to the precompetitive mental conditioning toolkit – for the competitive success and motivations on the one hand, and for the academic taekwondo competitiveness, growing popularity and progress, on the other hand.