KINEMATIC ANALYSIS OF AN ELITE LEVEL FENCER

  • J. Schiffman
  • C. Zebas

Abstract

PURPOSE The purpose of the study was to provide a kinematic analysis of the lowerlimb motion during an actual fencing bout. Specifically, the lunge and certain movements preceding the lunge were examined. Additionally, it washypothesized that data gathered from an actual bout rather than a discrete laboratory trial would yield different results. METHODS The design of the study was an observational case study with all data collection taking place in a U.S. fencing club. The participant was an internationally top ranked Russian saber fencer. Kinematic data were collected and analyzed using the Peak 2D videography equipment operating at 120 Hz and its accompanying software package. Six lunge attacks and the preceding movement were digitized from the fencing bout. Variables investigated included: displacement of the forward heel, displacement of the hip, hip velocity, trunk angle, and hip and knee acceleration. RESULTS The length of the lunge attack (as measured by displacement of the heel) averaged 1.24 m with a range of '884 m to 1.86 m. The average amount of total vertical oscillation of the hip in the movement preceding thelunge was .034 m and the average change in vertical displacement as the fencer lunged was .I38 m. The average velocity of the fencer (as measured by the velocity of the hip marker) was 1.97 m/s with a range of 1.38 m/s to 2.22 mls. The average position of the trunk during the fencing movement and the lunge was a forward tilt of 17.46 degrees and the average amount of motion of the trunk during the footwork sequence was 7.48 degrees. The average peak acceleration for the hipand knee was 8.57 m/s/s and 21.65 m/s/s, respectively. The peak acceleration of the hip occurred at the end of the lunge while the peak acceleration of the knee occurred mostly during mid lunge. Furthermore, minimum acceleration of the hip occurred during mid lunge. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Control of balance (minimum vertical oscillation and trunk sway) may contribute to the abilities of an elite level fencer. Additionally, being able to accelerate quickly from the pre-lunge phase to the lunge may make the fencer attack more effective (increase Likelihood of closing distance very quickly and thereby scoring a touch). Lunge length and average velocity results in this study may differ from past studies due to the difference in designs (Klinger, Adrian, & Dee, 1985; Szilagyi, 1992). Past studies have asked participants to give a maximal effort when performing discrete fencing movements based on simple visual or auditory Wes. Often times lunging as long as possible or as quickly as possible may not be advantageous as much asrecognizing and manipulating the distance from the opposing fencer. REFERENCES Klinger, A., Adrian, M., & Dee, L. (1985). Effect of pre lunge conditionson performance of elite female ' fencers. In Terauds & Barham (eds.), Biomechanics in Sports 11. Proceedings of ISBS 1965, (p. 210-215). Greeley, Colorado: ISBS. Szilagyi, T. (1992). Examination of the velocity of fencing Lunge. In Rdano, R. (Ed.), ISBS 1992 Proceedings of the loth Symposium of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (pp. 71-73). Milan, Italy: ISBS.