Br J Sports Med 35:231-234 doi:10.1136/bjsm.35.4.231
  • Original article

Aerobic and anaerobic power responses to the practice of taekwon-do

  1. A F Melhim
  1. Department of Exercise Science, Faculty of Physical Education, Yarmouk University, PO Box 5040, Irbid 21163, Jordan
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Melhim ayedm{at}
  • Accepted 3 May 2001


Background—Practising the martial art of taekwon-do (TKD) has been proposed to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular fitness as well as general physical ability. Furthermore, TKD masters and participants have promoted TKD as a total fitness programme. Research studies substantiating this, however, seem to be lacking, perhaps because TKD is recognised more as a method of self defence than a fitness programme.

Methods—Nineteen TKD practitioners with an average age of 13.8 years and 10.4 months of TKD training experience were recruited to participate. Measurements included resting heart rate, aerobic power, anaerobic power, and anaerobic capacity.

Results—Paired t test analysis showed no significant differences in either resting heart rate or aerobic power after training. However, significant differences were observed in anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity (p = 0.05). The increases in anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity were 28% and 61.5% respectively.

Conclusion—The practice of TKD promotes anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity, but not aerobic power, in male adolescents.