Journal Article Perception of Affordances for Striking Regulates Interpersonal Distance Maneuvers of Intermediate and Expert Players in Kendo Matches

Okumura, Motoki  ,  Kijima, Akifumi  ,  Yamamoto, Yuji

29 ( 1 )  , pp.1 - 22 , 2017-01 , Taylor & Francis
In daily life and in many sports, people must adjust interpersonal distance between themselves and others based on task constraints and goals. For example, in martial arts such as boxing and kendo, players must adjust interpersonal distance before starting or defending strikes. However, it is not clear what players perceive and how players use this perceptual information to maneuver interpersonal distance and start strikes during real matches. We investigated players' perception of affordances and the criteria for perception and behaviors, and how these change with expertise, using real kendo matches as a one-on-one opponent task. Players perceived affordances for striking for themselves and for their opponent based on subtle interpersonal distance changes and clearly switched stepping forward and backward. In addition, players perceived affordances for strike success and entered closer interpersonal distance than the possible striking distance to increase their own striking ability and exited the closer distance to decrease their opponent's striking ability, respectively. Furthermore, expert players stayed in and moved into the critical interpersonal distance more frequently than intermediate players did. Our research indicates a relationship between action-scaled affordance perception of and maneuvers associated with interpersonal distance in one-on-one situations that occur in daily life and in many sports.

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