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2017 | 5 | 146-154
Article title

Influence of a 9-week training intervention on the reaction time of fencers aged 15 to 18 years

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The purpose of the present study was to determine if it is possible to affect the level of simple (SRT) and choice (CRT) reaction time of fencers with a specific 9-week (in total 350 minutes) training intervention. The research sample consisted of 19 healthy fencers (12 boys, 16±1.1 years and 7 girls, 16.4±0.9 years). Five of the tested subjects were selected as the control group that did not participate in the reaction time training. The training of the experimental group was conducted on an Electronic Fencing Target (EFT-1). All tested individuals completed an entrance and exit reaction time test on the Fitrosword device, which consisted of hitting the target with an epée from the guard position after lighting of an LED light (green, red, yellow) by using various motor responses of the armed arm. No difference in reaction time (SRT, CRT) was found between the experimental and control groups for the entrance test. A significant difference between groups was found for results of the CRT (p = 0.116, d = 0.722) after the 9-week training. A significant difference in CRT was also found between the entrance and the exit tests in the experimental group (p = 0.013, r = 0.469). This difference was not significant in the case of the control group (p = 0.345, r = 0.298). Based on these results, we can assume a positive impact of specific reaction time training on response speed. We can use these results in the training process to improve reaction time, which is an important component of overall sports performance in many combat disciplines, such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, judo, and fencing, as well as motorsports, ball games, etc.
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