Scientific Research in Martial Arts

We conduct research in sports and exercise science specialising in martial arts. Some of our recent research projects are listed below.

The effects of traditional martial arts-based breath control training on muscle strength and heavy load carriage performance (The Amplification of Biomechanical Force (ABF) Project)

This project is currently being undertaken in conjunction with the University of Southern Queensland as a part of Sherrilyn's Doctorate.

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Aims:

The overall aim of this projects is to investigate the effects of traditional martial arts-based breath control training on muscle strength and heavy load carriage performance. To achieve this the project will:

1. Report the results of interventions that have investigated techniques for improving the ability of individuals to undertake heavy load carriage using a systematic review and meta-analysis.

2. Investigate the effects of verbal instructions during acute (15 minutes) martial arts-based breath control training on neuromuscular activation and intra-abdominal pressures in young and healthy individuals using a randomised control trial. We aim to determine whether the instructions commonly used in martial arts training result in greater activation of key musculature and improved control of intra-abdominal pressure during breath control exercises in untrained individuals compared to placebo instructions.

3. Investigate the effects of chronic (12 weeks) martial arts-based breath control training in addition to resistance exercise training on limb muscle strength, endurance, and load carriage performance in young and healthy individuals using a randomised control trial.


Investigation into intra-abdominal pressure and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in traditional martial arts practitioners
Undertaken in 2019 - 2020

This project was conducted in conjunction with the University of Southern Queensland as a part of Sherrilyn's Master of Science (Research) degree.

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Summary:

The extent to which martial arts practitioners utilise respiratory pressures and neuromuscular activation during force production is not well known. This study investigated whether Chinese wushu (kung fu) practitioners utilise a greater proportion of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and neuromuscular activation of the respiratory and pelvic floor muscles to increase their force production compared to healthy control participants.

Conclusions:

Trained wushu practitioners appear to utilise IAP to a greater extent than untrained controls with similar physical activity levels to produce higher levels of force. These findings may have implications in a wide range of sports and activities, as these methods may be adapted and taught to individuals to improve performance, prevent injury or aid in rehabilitation.


Mission
Our primary goal and focus is on enhancing human health and performance, both physical and mental. We accomplish this through targeted research projects, training protocol development, technological advancement and innovative biofeedback systems. We hope to ensure human relevance and advancement by stimulating conscious and directed adaptation and evolution.
Who We Are
We are professional martial artists, self-defence experts, accredited coaches, scientists, and engineers dedicated to applying technology and the scientific method to pushing the envelope of human performance in a holistic and constructive way.
Technology
Human performance measurement and tracking has long been known to improve physical performance. However, up until recently, very little has been available in terms of performance measurement specific to combat. MARTEL has leveraged existing technology in new and innovative ways to develop unique test methods and equipment to address that shortfall.