Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

A non-competitive martial arts exercise program for health and fitness in the general population

Ming-Chien Chyu



Although traditional martial arts training focuses on defensive and offensive systems of physical techniques for combat, martial arts can be practiced as a physical activity for health and fitness, and are recommended as such by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  However, limited information on non-competitive martial arts exercise programs is available in the open literature. Compared with other modalities of exercise, martial arts exercise offers advantages in safety, no equipment required, flexible space requirement, adjustable intensity, comprehensiveness, individuality, exercise when watching television, and higher motivation of adherence.  This article introduces a structured, systematic, and comprehensive martial arts exercise program suitable for the general population of different age groups and physical conditions.  The curriculum features a non-competitive, non-contact, safe and fun personal/group exercise based on traditional martial arts training, covering a wide spectrum of techniques of hand strikes, kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes, blocks, their combinations, takedowns/throws, and self-defense, in addition to warm-up and cool-down.  The purpose is to provide an easy, safe, cost-effective (virtually no-cost) and user-friendly alternative exercise program to help the general population increase quality daily exercise.


Alternative exercise; Cost-Effective; Safety; Feasibility; Physical education


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