АНО ДПО "Национальный институт биомедицины и спорта"


(Vasilyev G. F. Priority issues of metodological and psychological provisions for combatants’ trening process [Text] / G. F. Vasilyev, O. V. Tiunova // Theory and practice of physical culture. - 2017. - №2 - pp. 20-22)

Associate Professor, PhD G.F. Vasilyev1

Associate Professor, PhD O.V. Tiunova1

All-Russian Research Institute of Physical Culture and Sport, Moscow 

Keywords: martial arts, mental conditioning, training process, control, tests. 

Background. Practical experience accumulated in any knowledge sector or industrial branch development process needs to be periodically revised and revaluated in the context of the newly emerging information, technologies and challenges, with the relevant professional discussions being encouraged for further progress. This year made a breakthrough in operations of the combat sport coaching and athletic communities and, hence, productive discussions are needed to address a variety of issues critically important for the progress in the national martial arts. We offer this article as a starting point for such a discussion.

Objective of the study was to identify the priority vectors for the theoretical and practical improvements in the training systems applied by martial artists of different skill levels.

Study results and discussion. The priority issues of the theoretical and practical improvements in the martial artists’ training systems may be classified into the general ones of concern to every process actor – and more specific issues which, when solved, are mostly beneficial in the practical domain as they give practical tools to improve the existing training systems. Let us consider first the general issues.

The highest priority will be given to an analysis of the global trends in every martial art, with due contributions from the relevant leading sport experts and analysts. Their recommendations are to be used to improve the theoretical and practical provisions for the training systems applied by the national teams and in every segment of the sport reserve training process. Traditionally this mission falls within the scope of responsibility of the research commissions under the relevant sport Federations and their Board members. Their decisions, however, need to flow downstream and evolve to specific practical recommendations for the relevant coaching teams and athletes. It may be pertinent to make a special emphasis in this context on the need for public committees, i.e. sport-specific athletic unions which role is still regretfully underestimated in fact. Such institutional initiative will help make operations of every Federation more transparent, democratic and effective.

A systemic analysis of the national teams’ accomplishments in the top-ranking international competitions will make it possible to highlight the competitive advantages and drawbacks in the leading athletes’ performances; discuss the ideas geared to excel their training systems; assess the current refereeing systems, put together recommendations for their improvement and submit them to the relevant international sport Federations; develop new guidelines for the next Integrated Target Program of the national team training system and update its practical content. Having such support, a new national team coach may, even after a serious defeat, design and manage further activity in a most rational and effective format.

Special role in the individual athletic training process is given to a retrospective competitive performance analysis based on a prudently selected set of statistical/ performance criteria [3]. This analysis is critically important not also in the practical aspect but also as a key instrument of the athlete’s mental conditioning since it may heavily contribute to the personal motivations, self-confidence and other important qualities building process. The retrospective competitive performance analysis makes it possible to lay a foundation for the competitive success forecasts that, in their turn, will also contribute to the due mental settings of the athlete [4].

Individual progress and success histories of the leading athletes may be applied as an excellent motivator for the sport reserve and, more specifically, as a benchmarking base for the coaching teams in the junior athletes’ training system designing and excelling efforts [2]. For example, analysis of the boxing finals of the Olympic Games for the period of 1996-2016 shows that 42% of the leading boxers tend to step up the intensities of the scoring punches from the first to third rounds [1]. Such an analysis in any other martial art will give the means for the coach to develop an individually beneficial fight control style for every competitor. A systemic analysis of the fight video captures supported by due statistical data of the technical and tactical actions in the competitive bouts will provide a priceless guidance for the coaches and athletes giving them the means to adjust the training process at the next stage with a special emphasis on the corrective actions and the competitive bout modelling tools. Clear-cut analysis of the toolkits actually used by the athlete in a bout versus the potentially applicable tools in his disposal may be highly beneficial both in the practical and psychological aspects.

The modern mental conditioning/ correction technologies to effectively rehabilitate an athlete after defeat may be designed based on a few methodologies [4] including at least the following:

ü    Revisions of the most successful actions, active mindsets and solutions found in the course of actual past competitive bouts; and

ü    Clear understanding by the athlete of the past drawbacks and errors followed by precise corrective settings for the upcoming competitions based on the duly designed corrective plans implementable in the pre-season training process.

Due consideration should be given to different traditional training models that have been formed for many centuries of the martial arts evolution history. Coach will reasonably design the training process depending on the specific sport conditions, situations, training stage, precompetitive circumstances and other important factors and apply a systemically structured approach in combining the relevant training methods, tools and forms. It is true that most of the coaches and other sport experts nowadays broadly apply such terms as individual and combined approaches, albeit it should always be remembered that they are implemented within the frame of the long-term multilevel training process control system [1]. The training workloads will be reasonably designed and managed based on the past workload and performance variation data to ensure that the current training volumes and intensities are reasonable and effective enough.

It should be underlined that the complicated planning process will start from the simplest competences spelled out by the coaching team, including the following: training load management schedule; current educational progress monitoring plan with the load ratings and task performance assessments; and with the necessary adjustments to the next-stage training plans.

Prudent design of the training process may be interpreted as an optimal combination of the individual and group practices with an emphasis on due versatility of the training tools considered as one of the core reserves for the training process efficiency improvement [3]. In this context, the elite martial artists’ training system improvements may be driven by the more efficient employment of the individual physical qualities and abilities and the target efforts to remove the limitations for the range of technical and tactical actions being fully mobilized in real competitive bouts [1].

Regretfully, for the last few years we have seen a negative trend of the overall and specific physical fitness tests being on decline in application to the junior athletes’ training systems. It should be noted in this context that the applied sets of tests should be designed both in compliance with the relevant metrological standards regulating the test process and provide for the valid standard tests being applied in the process. Unless the team progress and individual progress of athletes is duly tested by a set of periodic general and special physical fitness tests, it effectively undermines the athlete’s responsibility, commitment and motivation for the training process and the individual self-confidence.

We are in the study process to both formulate the key components of the psychological and educational provisions for the training systems and identify the issues of variance for the coach and athlete. These contradictory issues need to be addressed first of all to find solutions or at least partially agree upon them since they may be viewed as a potential resource for improvement of the individual competitive efficiency. To give a few cases in point, we would mention the cases of haphazard application of video replays; negligent attitudes to training process logbooks; unclear spelling of competitive progress plans by the coaches etc.

It should be noted that such notions as competitive success, technical, tactical competency and mental fitness of athletes are closely interrelated in fact [1]. Special attention in martial arts should be paid to practical aspects of the competitive technique excelling process, with due emphasis on versatility of the techniques dictated by multiple responses and other counteractions of the opponents [3]. These aspects may be addressed by special flip-charts to rate the individual biomechanical qualities of the applied techniques and model one or another competitive situation [1]. The necessary inputs for the flip-chart analysis may be provided by special biomechanics video-capturing and analysing equipment to acquire snapshots of the movement performance sequences. The performance tracking data are later on compared with those in the competitive bouts. The training loads are also modelled with due consideration for the competitive performance data and analyses. It should also be mentioned that the technical and tactical skills demonstrated in competitive bouts closely depend on the individual mental fitness too [2].

The staged, current and process tests applicable in the national team training process are no less important for the club teams and junior athletic teams. It should be noted that the testing activity should not necessarily require high-cost equipment served by highly competent personnel. Good results may be obtained by the traditional educational test systems including fitness rating tests and bodily responsiveness to training load rating tests. When tests are not applied for some reason, the training process should start from mental conditioning of the athlete to ensure or reinstate his/ her due understanding of the training process logics.

The psychological training module in the staged, current and process tests was tested in the period of 2009–2016 [4]. It was recommended for application in the elite martial artists’ training systems. We acknowledge the need to come back to the sport logbook keeping practice albeit its format and content should be revised to include the sections related to living basics, sport basics, training process, mental conditioning, precompetitive training, competitive records and comprehensive analyses of the successes and defeats [4].

The psycho-physiological tests of adolescent martial artists give the means to select prospects at early training stages. In our studies of boxers, for instance, the minimal variation of the individual performance rates versus the group average ones was found the most important prognostic factor. The initiatives to model psycho-physiological rates of athletes are still ranked among the top priority ones as they help not only select the most promising athletes but also customize the long-term training process to their individualities to avoid the motivations for the sport career being totally lost in the adolescent/ junior age. Our long experience of psychological support to junior athletes shows that the most vulnerable element of their motivations is the poor understanding of the training process missions and unclear prospects for the individual sport careers [4].

Rules of competitions are being revised, the theoretical and practical provisions for the picked teams’ training process are being persistently improved and the modern foreign training systems are being closely studied in the modern national martial arts. The sport science still gives a high priority to coaches’ knowledge and skills improvement mission despite the modern sport sector demand for information being totally satisfied. Highly critical, authentic and practice-centred data and analyses are still in high demand by the sector.

Conclusion. As provided by one psychological law, missions and goals of any process may be spelled out only when due conditions and implementation resources are found for them… We have formulated some issues that need to be solved by cooperative efforts of all the relevant parties in charge of the financial, theoretical, practical, medical, biological, psychological and informational provisions for the sport sector. The issues have been outlined, and we are ready for discussion! 


Vasilyev G.F., Novikov А.А., Krupnik E.Y., Tiunova O.V. Otsenka sorevnovatelnoy deyatelnosti kak osnova prognozirovaniya rezultatov v sportivnykh edinoborstvakh [Еvaluation of a competitive activity as a basis for predicting results in sport martial arts]. Vestnik sportivnoy nauki, 2016, no 5, pp. 3-8.

Gorin V.V., Dementiev V.L., Isaev S.V. Formirovanie sostoyaniya boevoy gotovnosti sportsmena-edinobortsa [Formation of the state of combat readiness of single combatant]. Moscow: Fizicheskaya kultura, 2009, 204 p.

Taktiko-tekhnicheskie kharakteristiki poedinka v sportivnykh edinoborstvakh [Tactical and technical characteristics of fight in martial arts]. Moscow: Fizkultura i sport, 2007, 224 p.

Tiunova O.V. Psikhologicheskoe obespechenie sportivnoy podgotovki sbornykh komand Rossii (vozmozhnosti i perspektivy) [Psychological support of training of national teams of Russia (opportunities and prospects)]. Sports-35.  2015, no. 7(1), pp. 24-25. 

Corresponding author: Адрес электронной почты защищен от спам-ботов. Для просмотра адреса в вашем браузере должен быть включен Javascript. 


It is a common knowledge that an individual development in any sector and field of activity requires the relevant accumulated experience and applied technologies being regularly revised and revaluated and the relevant professional discussions being encouraged. The article overviews the priority vectors of the theoretical and practical improvements in the training systems applied by martial artists of different skill levels. The study identified a few bottlenecks in the modern sport development process and offered some practical solutions based on the long-term personal experiences of the authors in the theoretical and practical training and mental conditioning domains. The article was primarily designed to encourage a productive discussion in the professional sport communities and at the same time support the relevant research and coaching activities. 

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Работаем в спортивной отрасли с 1982 года


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