A hand notation system designed to record strike type and strike frequencies in Muay Thai (Thai Boxing)
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is considered a 'fringe' sport in the U.K. originating from Thailand. Successful and unsuccessful fighters were compared using a new prototype hand notation system developed by the author based on the Benesh and Labnotation systems of dance notation. It was used to investigate patterns of fighting to ascertain and evaluate whether a difference existed in the frequency of strike category employed by each fighter, the difference in the type of strike employed by each fighter and to investigate consistent errors or successes within contests. The confidence levels of 5% error set for measuring reliability for this prototype hand notation system were not met, achieving a 9% intra-operator error; however, it was accepted for the purpose of testing the hand notation system. No predominant technique was identified as being employed by the winners against the losers using the Chi-square test of independence (P>0.05), however, there was a difference in frequency across all strikes and strike category employed by each fighter from round 1 to round 5 (P<0.05). Key areas were identified post-analysis that require modification to the initial system. These areas include reduction of the number of strikes requiring identification in order to help reduce observer error levels, developing a method to record the strikes thrown in combinations and recording grappling within a contest. The current system is cumbersome and will need to be modified in order to increase overall accuracy. However, the potential of this system as a template for post-event combat sports includes the ability to record strike frequencies over time frames to all areas of the body and the ability of the system to be used for other martial sports, a feature not expressed by other more specific hand notation systems. Recommendations for further research would be a retest of a modified system including inter and intra-operator reliability testing and to test the systems effectiveness against other more established combat hand notation systems to ascertain its reliability and versatility.
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