Combat sports and martial arts as an element of health-related training

Robert Bąk
Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów, Poland

Background and Study Aim. As far as mission and goals of health-related training are concerned [1], body load with physical effort is the most significant health-stimulating factor. Nevertheless, an important criterion allowing for the use of a particular form of physical activity (sport) in health-related training is to reduce to a minimum the risk factors to the health or life of its participants [2]. Therefore, may forms of physical activity consisting in direct struggle of competing parties (units or teams) be applicable here if we assume that development of assurance habits, e.g. safe falling skill, control over fall of a person which was thrown off balance, are an important part of all combat sports and martial arts [3]? There are reports of beneficial rehabilitation effects [4] as well as positive impact of such actives on the mental sphere [5]. There is also a scientific basis for using combat sports and martial arts in counter acting aggression among children and adolescents [6,7] and in stimulating their development through use of fun forms of martial arts in sports training and physical education [8]. The aim of this study was to resolve the issue whether combat sports and/or martial arts may be, according to the self-defence instructors, recommended as elements of health-related training?
Material and Methods. The study involved participants of self-defence course (n=30, including men n=28 and women n=2). The studied group consisted of 22 people who are teachers or students of physical  education. The average age of respondents amounted to 26 years. All participants had experience in combat sports and/or martial arts and they have been practising such forms of physical activity on average for 4.5 years. They represented various types of combat sports and martial arts (Fig.1). This study uses the method of diagnostic survey with anonymous questionnaire as a research tool.
Results The majority of respondents (63%) preferred recreational types of combat sports or martial arts (Fig. 2). However, their reasons to undertake such physical activity included self-defence skills and high sports results (Fig. 3). From the perspective of several years of experience, they believe that combat sports and martial arts had impact on maintaining high physical fitness and shaping personality (Fig. 3). The majority of respondents (93%) think that combat sports and martial arts are an appropriate form of physical activity which may be used in health-related training (Fig. 3).
Conclusion. There are substantial grounds for recommending forms of physical activity considered as combat sports and martial arts as parts of health-related training with properly selected loads and the risk factor to health or life reduced to a minimum.
Key words: assurance ? health ? safe falling ? recreation ? training

Published online: 17 September 2015
Copyright: ? 2015 the Author. Published by Archives of Budo
Contributor: Robert Bąk conceived the study design, collected and analysed the data, prepared the manuscript and secured the funding.
Funding: The study was conducted within the research project Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów: ?Selection and prepare people to work in extreme conditions? (Resolution No. 5/12/2010 Bioethics Committee at the University of Rzeszów, Poland).
Conflict of interest: Author has declared that no competing interest exists
Ethical approval: approval of the Local Ethical Committee
Provenance and peer review: Under responsibility of HMA Congress
Corresponding author: Robert Bąk, Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów, Towarnickiego 3, 35-959 Rzeeszów, Poland; e-mail: robo[at]
Open Access License: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial 4.0 International (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license