Differences between Judo, Taekwondo and Kung-fu Athletes in Sustained Attention and Impulse Control


Attention processes are essential in athletic performance. Competition in combat sports requires high levels of attention, concentration and self-control. The aim of this study was to determine the differences in attention test performance among three groups of athletes from different disciplines of martial arts (judo, taekwondo and kung-fu). Twenty athletes with at least one year of experience in their respective sport were included in the study. The Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) was performed, and data for the standard and Z scores of the quarters, halves and totals of each variable were analysed. The kung-fu athletes showed better inhibition response than the judo and taekwondo athletes. Minor performance deterioration during the impulsivity test was identified in kung-fu athletes compared with taekwondo and judo athletes. Judo athletes showed higher variability in reaction times than kung-fu athletes. Our study suggests that kung-fu training improved attention skills more than the other two disciplines. This effect can be explained by the athletes’ dedication to kung-fu training and the sport’s promotion of discipline, self-control and meditation.

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Sánchez-López, J. , Fernández, T. , Silva-Pereyra, J. & Mesa, J. (2013). Differences between Judo, Taekwondo and Kung-fu Athletes in Sustained Attention and Impulse Control. Psychology, 4, 607-612. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.47086.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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