Physical fitness predicts technical-tactical and time-motion profile in simulated Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches

PeerJ. 2018 May 25:6:e4851. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4851. eCollection 2018.


Background: Among combat sports, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) present elevated physical fitness demands from the high-intensity intermittent efforts. However, information regarding how metabolic and neuromuscular physical fitness is associated with technical-tactical performance in Judo and BJJ fights is not available. This study aimed to relate indicators of physical fitness with combat performance variables in Judo and BJJ.

Methods: The sample consisted of Judo (n = 16) and BJJ (n = 24) male athletes. At the first meeting, the physical tests were applied and, in the second, simulated fights were performed for later notational analysis.

Results: The main findings indicate: (i) high reproducibility of the proposed instrument and protocol used for notational analysis in a mobile device; (ii) differences in the technical-tactical and time-motion patterns between modalities; (iii) performance-related variables are different in Judo and BJJ; and (iv) regression models based on metabolic fitness variables may account for up to 53% of the variances in technical-tactical and/or time-motion variables in Judo and up to 31% in BJJ, whereas neuromuscular fitness models can reach values up to 44 and 73% of prediction in Judo and BJJ, respectively. When all components are combined, they can explain up to 90% of high intensity actions in Judo.

Discussion: In conclusion, performance prediction models in simulated combat indicate that anaerobic, aerobic and neuromuscular fitness variables contribute to explain time-motion variables associated with high intensity and technical-tactical variables in Judo and BJJ fights.

Keywords: Athletic performance; Martial arts; Physical education and training; Physical effort; Software validation.

Grants and funding

The authors received no funding for this work.