Impact of martial arts (Judo, Karate, and Kung Fu) on bone mineral density gains in adolescents of both genders: 9-month follow-up

Igor H. Ito*, Han C.G. Kemper, Ricardo R. Agostinete, Kyle R. Lynch, Diego G.D. Christofaro, Enio R. Ronque, Rômulo A. Fernandes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To compare bone mineral density (BMD) gains in adolescents of both genders stratified according to different martial art styles in a 9-month follow-up study. Methods: The longitudinal study consisted of 29 adolescents of both genders and age between 11 and 17 years stratified into a control group (not engaged in any sport) and 50 fighters (kung fu/karate, n = 29; judo, n = 21). All 79 subjects underwent anthropometric measures (weight, height, leg length, and height set) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (BMD, in g/cm2) at 2 moments, baseline and 9 months later. Maturity offset (age at peak height velocity), lean soft tissue, chronological age, and resistance training were treated as covariates. Results: Male judoists presented higher gains in BMD-spine [0.098 g/cm2 (95% confidence interval, 0.068–0.128)] than control group [0.040 g/cm2 (95% confidence interval, 0.011–0.069)] (post hoc test with P = .030). There was no effect of martial art on BMD gains among girls. Independently of gender, in all multivariate models, lean soft tissue constituted the most relevant covariate. Conclusions: Judo practice in adolescents affected the bone accrual significantly after 9-month follow-up compared with controls, mainly in boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-503
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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