Original paper

Sportanthropologische Untersuchungen zur Konstitutionstypologie von Elitekarateka

[Sports anthropological investigations on somatotypology of elite karateka]

Fritzsche, Jürgen;Raschka, Christoph

Abstract

The goal of this work was to find differences between the somatotypes of elite karateka. For this purpose the somatotypes of Conrad, Heath & Carter were used. This sports anthropological study was carried out on the assumption that constant karate training causes changes in body composition. It should clarify whether different body types, including sexual dimorphism, are to be found in people practicing the karate disciplines kata and kumite. 80 male and female elite karateka were tested. As a comparison group,62 leisure sports persons and 66 hobby karateka were used as control groups. The measurements were taken under standardised conditions and the results were examined statistically (ANOVA). The body types of Conrad, which were confirmed by the somatocharts of Heath & Carter, showed differences between the elite karateka in comparison to the control group. According to this, the typical elite karateka is more athletic and smaller. He weighs less than the sports persons of the comparison fitness group. Moreover, within the karate disciplines, the kata practisers are more endomorph than their colleagues. The kumite athletes take more ektomorph positions in the somatocharts(Heath & Carter,1990). On the basis of these results the assumption of a differentiated somatotype can be confirmed in the two groups and also within karate between the disciplines kata and kumite. This study concludes that there is both a kata and a kumite somatotype among karate practisers. Further research is required regarding longitudinal measurements of the change in body composition of young karateka in the course of their competitive careers. The career-affecting factors of training frequency, training age, and frequency of injury, related to the level of achievement, leave room for further investigation. This also applies to possible ethnic bodybuild differences and the athletes'level of achievement.

Keywords

Sports anthropologykaratemartial artsbody compositionkinanthropometrysomatotypetalent