The practice of Karate-Do and cognition in older people: a narrative literature review

  • Brandel José Pacheco Lopes Filho Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Camila Rosa de Oliveira IMED/Faculdade Meridional
  • Irênio Gomes da Silva Filho Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Maria Gabriela Valle Gottlieb Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
Keywords: Aging, Martial Arts, Karate, Cognition, Health.


Aims: Present and discuss, through a narrative review, possible benefits of Karate-Dõ practice on cognitive abilities in aging. Source of data: Were consulted the databases MEDLINE, SportDiscus, LILACS and SciElo in the period of January to August 2015, with searches from 2000, in the languages Portuguese, Spanish and English, with the words “Karate”, “Tai Chi”, “Martial Arts”, “Older People”, “Elderly” and "Cognition", with the help of Boolean operators (AND and OR); brackets for ordering operators and quotes to identify compound words. Summary of findings: The aging process is associated with
several changes in the individual, as a reduction in physical abilities and cognitive aspects. This decrease is characteristic of aging, but it can be aggravated or mitigated due to lifestyle and physical activity has important role in maintaining this capabilities. Among the physical activities we highlight the use of martial arts as a means of systematic exercise, aimed at promoting health and (re)education of the body, both in the physical and cognitive aspects. The Karate-Dõ is a discipline of personal development that enables memorize and learn a large set of sequential movements and exercises, which indicates
the presence of a demanding cognitive task. Conclusions: The literature is scarce and controversial in this issue, however, when working kihon techniques
(fundament), kata (form) and kumite (fight/sparring), the karateka (fighter) is being encouraged to organize and maintain cognitive structures that facilitate
and fix their learning, suggesting potential benefit to cognitive function.


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How to Cite
Pacheco Lopes Filho, B. J., Rosa de Oliveira, C., Gomes da Silva Filho, I., & Valle Gottlieb, M. G. (2016). The practice of Karate-Do and cognition in older people: a narrative literature review. PAJAR - Pan American Journal of Aging Research, 4(1), 31-37.
Review Article