Received: 6 March 2015Accepted: 4 May 2015Published online: 16 May 2015
To evaluate health-related physical fitness in martial arts and combat sports practitioners.
935 adult, male practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, kung-fu, and taekwondo were evaluated using the fitness assessment tests proposed by the American College of Sports Medicine. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correspondence analysis, and analysis of variance, with a significance level of 5 % in all analyses.
Most subjects had a body mass index between overweight (karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo) and normal (kung-fu and taekwondo). Waist–hip ratio and body fat percentage indicated moderate risks for all groups. Regarding VO2max, the kung-fu group showed lower scores compared to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo groups, although all groups were above average in comparison with the standard population. Furthermore, most practitioners were classified as below average concerning muscle strength in all styles, while the kung-fu group was rated as poor. Concerning strength endurance all groups were classified as above average, and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu group showed higher scores when compared to taekwondo and judo groups, the latter showing lower scores than the kung-fu group. Flexibility was classified as average in all groups, and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu group had lower scores when compared to the karate, taekwondo, and kung-fu groups, with this last one showing better results when compared to the judo group.
Instructors should create strategies to improve muscle strength and body composition or practitioners should engage in other physical activities to achieve a better result in these components, the only ones not above average.