International Journal of Exercise Science 15(3): 1430-1443, 2022. The present scoping review focused upon the functional benefits of hard martial arts training for older adults. The AXIS Critical Appraisal Tool was used to appraise all studies included in the review. A systematic literature search identified 265 papers via electronic database and ten papers from additional sources. Of these, six studies featuring 240 participants were included in the final scoping review. Of the included studies, three were randomized control trials and three were comparative studies with concurrent controls. The available studies outlined improvements in functional fitness parameters for older adults participating in hard martial arts training (strength 9.3–34%; mobility 9.5–13.6%; aerobic endurance 13.4%; flexibility 11.1–316.7%; balance 20.5%). However, inconsistencies in training stimulus and a limited number of studies highlight the need for further research before hard martial arts can be recommended for older adults. Based upon the limited available literature, to improve functional fitness, hard martial arts training should be conducted for 60 to 90 minutes, at least twice a week for a minimum of eleven weeks.

Supplementary Material 1 - Search Strategy for functional benefits.docx (18 kB)
Supplementary material 1 as referenced within the method section of the manuscript