Martial Arts

Martial Arts Fitness Training

Martial Arts Description

Martial arts can be an excellent way to improve one's level of physical and mental fitness. Flexibility, skill, quickness and strength are all important requirements to participate in martial arts. There are many types of martial arts to choose from. If you are interested in participating, seek out an experienced and qualified instructor from a reputable martial arts studio. Risks and

Martial Arts Risks

  • Muscular strains of groin, shoulders, lower back or hamstrings
  • Joint problems such as elbow injury (epicondylitis), hand/tendon inflammation (tenosynovitis) or knee inflammation
  • Cuts, bruises or scrapes from falls, poor blocks, blows or mat burn
  • Broken fingers, toes, nose, teeth
  • Throat damage; injury to trachea/larynx area­possibly fatal
  • Stomach injuries from blows and strikes include ruptured spleens, damage to the kidney and concussion of the solar plexus

Martial Arts Sport-specific applications

  • Non-contact karate tournaments (uses little protective gear)
  • Light-contact (point karate) tournaments (protective gear used)
  • Full-contact (foam rubber foot pads and "boxing" gloves)
  • Forms competition (empty-handed or with weapons­all techniques)
  • Judo is an Olympic sport
  • Taekwondo is an Olympic exhibition sport

Martial Arts Equipment required

  • Most of the various kinds of martial arts require a different type of equipment
  • Clothing: loose-fitting cotton jacket and pants (Gi with belt)
  • Footwear: specially designed for light-contact and full-contact
  • Protective gear: allowed in some competition, not others; recommended when practicing with others; may include hand and foot pads, shin pads, mouth guard, athletic cup (for men), breast protector (for women)
  • Weapons (form competition): could include Bo staff, Nunchuku, Kama, Tonfa, Sai, Jo

Martial Arts Applicable substitutions

  • Boxing/shadowboxing/sparring
  • Yoga (astanga style)
  • Wrestling
  • Gymnastics

Martial Arts Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • The USA Karate Federation: 1300 Kenmore Boulevard, Akron, OH 44314, (216) 753­3114
  • U.S. Taekwondo Union (USTU): 1750 E. Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909, (719) 578­4632
  • United States Judo, Inc. (USJ): PO Box 10013, El Paso, TX 79991, (915) 565­8754
  • Karate Everyone, Mike Sawyer, Hunter Textbooks, Inc. 823 Reynolds Rd., Winston­Salem, NC 27104, 1985


Cardiorespiratory: Interval

Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 3
  • Flexibility 5
  • Muscular Strength 3
  • Muscular Endurance 4
  • Body Fat Recution 3

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 1
  • Flexibility 3
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 2
  • Coordination/Skill 4

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: quadriceps, shoulders, upper back (latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius), chest, obliques, abdominals, forearms, biceps, triceps and lower back (erector spinae) Assistance muscles: hamstrings, hip abductors (gluteal muscles, tensor fasciae latae), hip adductors, hip flexors and calves

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.088 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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