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DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A NOVEL TAEKWONDO CHEST PROTECTOR TO IMPROVE MOBILITY WHEN PERFORMING AXE KICKS

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Author(s): Ji Hea Woo | Jooyeon Ko | Young Eun Choi | Her Jin Gang | David M. O’Sullivan

Journal: Biology of Sport
ISSN 0860-021X

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: axe kick | individual protectors | taekwondo combat

ABSTRACT
The axe kick, in Olympic style taekwondo, has been identified as the most popular scoring technique aimed to the head during full contact competition. The first purpose of this study was to identify and investigate design issues with the current World Taekwondo Federation approved chest protector. A secondary purpose was to develop a novel chest protector addressing the identified design issues and to conduct a biomechanical analysis. Fifteen male elite Taekwondo players were selected to perform three different styles of the axe kick, i.e., front, in-out, and out-in axe kick five times each for a total of 45 kicks. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed significant differences between the novel and existing chest protector conditions for vertical height of the toe, downward kicking foot speed, hip flexion angle and ipsilateral shoulder flexion extension range of motion (ROM) (p0.05). These results indicate that the novel chest protector interferes less with both the lower and upper limbs during the performance of the axe kick and provides a more natural, free-moving alternative to the current equipment used.

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