Effect of circuit training on fighting performance of young silat athletes - A case study

Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Jon Oliver, Peter O’Donoghue, Richard Tong


Background & Study Aim: The purpose of the current case study was to describe the activity pattern of individual exponents during competitive fights completed before and after six weeks circuit training programme. Material & Methods: Thirteen and 16-year-old experimental (E13 and E16) and control (C13 and C16) participants were paired and videoed with fighting before and after 6-week training. Exponents were chosen based on their age, maturation, weight, competitive standard (none had participated in an official silat match), and initial fitness performance. All matches were converted into .mpg files and analysed using the same procedure. The distribution of outcomes was analysed and used as an index of performance for more detailed analysis. Results: The E13 increased the frequency of kicking during competition post-training, which is suggested to reflect transference of improved fitness to competition. Both E13 and C13 improved the ability to dodge their opponent attacks, likely reflecting a response to technical coaching. The frequency of actions during competition generally decreased for both older participants, suggesting limited fitness transference to competition. All individuals demonstrated some meaningful improvements in fitness following the intervention period. However, these responses did not necessarily reflect the group finding. Conclusions: This was the first case study to examine the changes in competitive fighting performance of four young performers from experimental and control groups following a silat-specific circuit training programme. Therefore, fitness gains together with technical coaching may transfer to competition in younger exponents, while alterations in strategy may have been more decisive in the older group. The research has provided further insight of fitness development and trainability, and also transference fitness into competitive performance in youth silat which may help to facilitate coaches of the demands and requirements of the combat sport.


Circuit training, silat, fighting performance, Seni Silat Malaysia

Full Text:



Adamson, G. T. (1959). Circuit training. Ergonomics, 2(2), 183-186.

Amtmann, J. A, Amtmann, K. A, & Spath, W. K. (2008). Lactate and rate of perceived exertion responses of athletes training for and competing in a mixed martial arts event. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 22(2), 645-647.

Anuar, A. W. (1987). Silat Olahraga. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

Anuar, A. W. (1993). Silat Olahraga. The art, technique and regulations. 2nd ed Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

Aziz, A. R., Tan, B., & Teh, K. C. (2002). Physiological responses during matches and profile of elite pencak silat exponents. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 1(4), 147-55.

Balyi, I. & Hamilton, A., (2004). Long-term athlete development: trainability in childhood and adolescence. Windows of opportunity. Optimal trainability. Victoria: National Coaching Institute British Columbia & Advanced Training and Performance Ltd.

Beneke, R., Beyer, T., Jachner, C., Erasmus, J., & Hutler, M. (2004). Energetics of karate kumite. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 92(4-5), 518–23.

Bounty P. L., Campbell, B. I., Galvan, E., Cooke, M., & Antonio, J. (2011). Strength and conditioning considerations for mixed martial arts. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33, 56-67.

Brown, D. & Hughes, M. (1995). The effectiveness of quantitative and qualitative feedback on performance in squash. In: Reilly T, Hughes M, Lees A, editors. Science and racket sport, London: E & FN Spon; 232-37.

Buse, G. J. & Santana J. C. (2008). Conditioning strategies for competitive kickboxing. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 30(4), 42-8.

Callister, R., Callister, R. J., Staron, R. S., Fleck, S. J., Tesch, P., & Dudley, G. A. (1991). Physiological characteristics of elite judo athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 12(2), 196-203.

Crisafulli, A., Vitelli, S., Cappai, I., Milia, R., Tocco, F., Melis, F., & Concu, A. (2009). Physiological responses and energy cost during a simulation of a Muay Thai boxing match. Applied Physiology, Nutrient, and Metabolism, 34(2), 143-50.

Doria, C., Veicsteinas, A., Limonta, E., Maggioni, M. A., Aschieri, P., Eusebi, F., Fano, G., & Pietrangelo, T. (2009). Energetics of karate (kata and kumite techniques) in top-level athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 107(5), 603-10.

Douris, P., Chinan, A., Gomez, M., Aw, A., Steffens, D., & Weiss, S. (2004). Fitness levels of middle aged martial art practitioners. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(2), 143-147.

Francescato, M. P., Talon, T., & Prampero, P. E. (1995). Energy cost and energy sources in karate. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 71(4), 355-61.

French, K. E. & Thomas, J. R. (1987). The relation of knowledge development to children's basketball performance. Journal of Sport Psychology, 9(1), 15-32.

Guidetti, L., Musulin, A., & Baldari, C. (2002). Physiological factors in middleweight boxing performance. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 42(3), 309-314.

Hain, T. C., Fuller, L., Weil, L., & Kotsias, J. (1999). Effects of tai chi on balance. Archives of Otolaryngology -Head Neck Surgery, 125(11), 1191-95.

Heller, J., Peric, T., Dlouha, R., Kohlikova, E., Melichna, J. & Novakova, H. (1998). Physiological profiles of male and female taekwondo (ITF) black belts. Journal of Sports Sciences, 16(3), 243-49.

Kazemi, M., Waalen, J., Morgan, C., & White, A. R. (2006). A profile of Olympic taekwondo competitors. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 5(CSSI), 114-121.

Khanna, G. L. & Manna, I. (2006). Study of physiological profile of Indian boxers. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 5(CSSI), 90-98.

Melhim, A. F. (2001). Aerobic and anaerobic power responses to the practice of taekwon-do. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(4), 231-234.

Mirwald, R. L, Baxter-Jones, A. D. G., Bailey, D. A., & Beunen, G. P. (2002). An assessment of maturity from anthropometric measurements. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34(4), 689–694.

McPherson, S. L. & Thomas, J. R. (1989). Relation of knowledge and performance in boys' tennis: Age and expertise. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 48(2), 190-211.

Naughton, G., Farpour-Lambert, N. J., Carlson, J., Bradney, M., & Van Praagh, E. (2000). Physiological issues surrounding the performance of adolescent athletes. Sports Medicine, 30(5), 309–325.

Shapie, M. N. M, Oliver, J., O'Donoghue, P., & Tong, R. (2014). Fitness characteristics of youth silat performers. Malaysian Journal of Sport Science and Recreation, 10(1), 40-53.

Shapie, M. N. M., Oliver, J., O'Donoghue, P., & Tong, R. (2013). Activity profile during action time in national silat competition. Journal Combat Sports Martial Arts, 4(1), 81-86.

Shapie, M. N. M, Oliver, J, O'Donoghue, P. et al. (2011). Affect of circuit training on fitness development in youth silat. Poster presentation for 5th ISN International Sports Medicine and Sports Science Conference; Sept 27-30; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Smith, M. S. (2006). Physiological profile of senior and junior England international amateur boxers. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 5(CSSI), 74- 89.

Smith, R. E. (1988). The logic and design of case study research. The Sport Psychologist, 2, 1-12.

Thomas, K. T. & Thomas, J. R. (1994). Developing expertise in sport: the relation of knowledge and performance. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 25(3), 295-312.

Turner, A. N. (2009). Strength and conditioning for Muay Thai athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 31(6), 78-92.

Yoon, J. (2002). Physiological profiles of elite senior wrestlers. Sports Medicine, 32(4), 225-33.

Zabukovex, R. & Tiidus, P. (1995). Physiological and anthropometric profile of elite kickboxers. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 9(4), 240-42.

Violan, M. A., Small, E. W., Zetaruk, M. N., & Micheli, L. J. (1997). The effect of karate training on flexibility, muscle strength, and balance in 8 to 13-year-old boys. Pediatric Exercise Science, 9, 55–64.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15282/mohe.v7i1.199