Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Practicing Karate May Improves Executive Functions of 8-11-Year-Old Schoolchildren

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Practicing Karate May Improves Executive Functions of 8-11-Year-Old Schoolchildren

Article excerpt


Executive functions refer to the subject's ability to engage in goal-oriented behavior, performing voluntary, independent, self-organized and goal-directed actions (Ardila & Ostrosky-Solís, 1996), statements that denote the importance of these functions. Therefore, changes in executive functions have been shown to be related to various cognitive and psychiatric disorders resulting from lesions or neurological dysfunctions, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Barkley, 1997).

Studies demonstrate that exercise is capable of promoting improvements in executive functions in healthy people of different ages (Padilla, 2016; Verburgh, 2012) and recent studies have focused on the positive influence of regular physical activity on executive functioning in children. Recreational activities are also capable of modifying functions such as memory and conflict resolution (Liu-Ambrose, 2015). It is assumed, therefore, that the physical exercise may assist in the development of cognition, memory, selective attention and motor reaction time (Padilla, 2016; Verburgh, 2012), especially in children (Diamond, 2011). Alesi and Bianco (2016) in their stud show that a football exercise program to children there were significant differences between sport and sedentary groups in coordinative skills and executive functions as visuo-spatial working memory, attention, planning and inhibition corroborating with Alesi and Bianco (2016).

Schmidt and Jäger (2015) in a group-randomized controlled trial stud affirm that the inclusion of cognitive engagement in physical activity seems to be the most promising type of chronic intervention to enhance executive functions in children, providing further evidence for the importance of the new studs. In general the activities and programs that improve children's executive functions (Hillman and Kramer, 2008) improving the 8-12 year-olds' cognitive flexibility and creativity, and significantly more so than did standard physical education (Diamond and LEE, 2011; TUCKMAN, 1986). Another authors postulate that bimanual coordination (CASTELLI and Hillman, 2007), resistance training (Coe, 2006), several sports practice that requiring sustained attention, work memory, and disciplined action may improve the executive function (Diamond and Lee, 2011) in this context the Karate practice deserve more investigations about their effects upon this functions.

Traditional martial arts emphasize self-control, discipline (inhibitory control), and character development. Children getting traditional Tae-Kwon-Do training were found to show greater gains than children in standard physical education on all dimensions of executive functions studied (e.g., cognitive [distractible- focused] and affective [quitting-persevering]) (Lakes, 2004). Tuss, studies indicate that practicing Karate provides one with benefits such as: (i) greater concentration, (ii) focus, (iii) self-control, (iv) calmness, as well as physical improvements such as cardiorespiratory functioning, bone and muscle health, immunity and increases the organism's resistance in general (Rodrigues, 2013; Prado, 2009; Ferreira, 2006). However, it is well known that individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive skills and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and specialization (Sanchez-Lopes, 2014).

Demands on mindfulness increased over time as the first and third parts lengthened and the more goaldirected and less-reflective middle portion became briefer. Skills practiced in Parts 1 and 3 involved top-down control of attention (bringing attention to the present moment, noticing when attention had wandered [monitoring], and bringing it back non-judgmentally to the intended target (Flook, 2010).

Is important note that another factors may have influence upon the executives functions like the age and the aging. Frederico (2016) show that the aging may influence the attention skills and Sastre-Riba (2016) about the intellectual capacity, for exemple, So, thus, is important consider this variable in the investigations about the executive function. …

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