3.The importance of the investigated scientific area, previous findings and continuation of previous research

Kinesiology as a science that studies, among other things, the laws of controlling the process of exercise and consequences for human organism which follow those processes (Mraković, 1992), should offer some answers on numerous questions which could help to understand the laws that rule each sport. Special interest of kinesiology lies in the relations between sports activity and sport success and some characteristics of man. This refers to motor-functional abilities and morphological characteristics, given that they are greatly responsible for quality acquisition and realisation of various movement structures (Malina and Bouchard, 1991). To achieve top results in sport, it is necessary to possess scientific knowledge on character of the sport, as well as the influence of certain factors on success in that sport. Scientific approach implies thorough and successive monitoring and testing of the overall anthropological status of an athlete through all stages of his/her sports career. Motor-functional abilities and morphological characteristics of athletes are the most frequently tested segments of anthropological status. The reason for this is that the measuring instruments for assessing those characteristics have good metric characteristics, and therefore the results obtained are also exact and interpretable and are of great importance for success in almost every sport (Krstulović, 2006). Combat sports are, from the global point of view, one of the most popular and increasingly growing sport groups in the world (Birrer, 1996), and kicking combat sports hold a significant place within that group. Out of the 25 permanent “core” sports included in the programme of the summer Olympics, four are combat sports (http://www.olympic.org), two of which belong to the kicking combat sports family (taekwondo and boxing). About 25% of all medals in the summer Olympics are won by competitors from combat sports. World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is one of the largest world organisations in terms of the number of members, with 205 countries included in the membership (www.wtf.org). Aside from the kicking combat sports included in the programme of the Olympics, the “non-Olympic” sports Karate and Kickboxing are prevalent and popular global sports (Nikolaïdis et al., 2011) and serious candidates for entering the programme of the Olympics, with their World Federations including 188, i.e. 125 countries. In terms of result success, Taekwondo is the most successful Croatian Olympic combat sport which confirmed the status of Croatia as a world combat superpower by winning a medal in the 2012 Olympics. There are 125 taekwondo, 177 karate and 150 kickboxing clubs in Croatia which employ a great number of coaches for whom scientific findings are essential to achieve top athletic results. Movement structures that include the use of leg and arm techniques, feinting, skipping, and sliding in a fighting stance, rectilinear and lateral moves in the battleground, in addition to circular moves (Marković 2003), as well as the dynamics and ratio of rest and fighting are characteristics which, with minor deviations, connect (Kuleš, 1980; Kuleš, 1990) and characterize kicking combat sports which are the subject of the proposed research. Many previous studies have concluded that a high level of motor-functional abilities, with emphasis on speed, power and anaerobic capacity, is important for success in kicking combat sports (Beneke et al., 2004; Blažević et al., 2006; Bouhlel et al., 2006; Bridge et al., 2009; Buse et al., 2009; Butios et al., 2007; Crisafulli et al., 2009; Čular et al., 2013, Doria et al., 2009; Francescato et al., 1995; Heller et al., 1998; Marković et al., 2005 and 2008, Jukić et al., 2012, Katić et al., 2009 and 2010; Matsushigue et al., 2009; Ravier et al., 2003; Zabukovec and Tiidus, 1995;). Despite the great popularity of sports included in this research, and primarily due to the amateur approach related to modest financial resources for scientific research, as well as the demanding nature of their performance, we can agree with conclusions drawn by Marković, 2003; Čular et al., 2011; Yuin, 1999 and Kazemi, 2009 indicating that quality studies of relations and influence of anthropological characteristics and efficiency are rather a rareness than a rule in the area of kicking combat sports. Thus, we have not succeeded in finding any articles in relevant scientific database in which specific measuring instruments for detecting the level of specific anaerobic capacity were constructed and validated for the area of kicking combat sports. There are many tests of anaerobic capacity that require a single burst of activity, such as: 30-second Wingate test, 10 & 30-second tri-level anaerobic tests, Cunningham-Faulkner test, 300 yard Shuttle, 60 Yard Shuttle (NFL), 300m run and 800m run. (Draper and Whyte, 1997; Zacharogiannis et al., 2004; Bosco et al., 1983; Harman et al., 1991; Johnson and Bahamonde, 1996; Keir et al., 2003; Sayers et al. 1999; Dawson et al., 1991). These tests have their uses, but are not specific to the demands of some interval type sports like kicking combat sports. Testing anaerobic capacity is designed to measure not only anaerobic power, but also to measure ability to recover from these bursts of high intensity exercise. There are a few tests of repeat sprint ability, using a maximal sprint over a set distance or time with minimal rest periods. Example of such tests are: Sprint Fatigue Test – 10 x 30m sprints, Phosphate Recovery Test – 7 x 7 second sprints, RAST – 6 x 35m sprints, AFL Sprint Recovery Test – 6 x 30m sprints. The problem with the above tests is that they do not closely replicate the demands of the kicking combat sports. Limitations in the application of the mentioned tests for the needs of detecting anaerobic capacities in the area of kicking combat sports lie in the variety and non-specificity movement structures of sprinting or jumping, which differ significantly from movement structures characterized by sports investigated in this research. The second, but not less important limitation is the lack of results on testing metric characteristics on a subject sample of kicking combat sports, stratified according to sport, gender and age. The proposed project represents a logical sequence and builds on the results of research in previous projects: Anthropological systems in athletes (MZOŠ RH No:0177190. 2002-2005) by Prof. Ratko Katić, PhD, Field and specific-situational measuring instruments in kinesiology (MZOŠ RH No: 315-1773397-3407, 2008-2013), by Prof. Damir Sekulić, PhD, Measuring motor skills in kinesiology (MZOS RH No. 315-1773397-333, 2010–2013), by Prof. Đurđica Miletić, PhD. The obtained findings and experiences of the projects mentioned, as well as the results of the papers published within the projects, were used in planning and preparing this proposal.