Better body control and increased flexibility can result budo training. Stroke patients can take advantage of that.

Budo helps stroke patients

Published: 2 December 2013

Japanese researchers and practitioners from around the world are turning to Luleå University to learn more about how budo training can be developed to help peoplethat have had stroke.
LTU researchers Annika Näslund and Agneta Larsson, together with colleagues, conducted an acclaimed pilot study in which stroke patients rehabilitated with the help the japaneese martial art.

LTU researchers are of great interest for enriching the International Budo University in Tokyo and Annika Näslund has also been nominated for a record in the Japanese Academy of Budo. Swedish television company SVT and the program Ask the doctor has noticed the work of the scientists in  Luleå.
- What is unique is that we work with a special form of martial arts called MARS. Here we combine several different martial arts in budo such as judo, karate, kendo and jujitsu, on the same patient. It provides a unique opportunity to individualize workouts for disabled people, says the researchers who work in the department of physical therapy at the university.
A group of six stroke survivors have been practicing martial arts for some time and interviews and analysis shows good results. Someone in the test group were able to get up off the floor without help and another could
toss the cane he has needed to get around and then went one kilometer in snow, without support.
- Increased energy and self conficence, better body control and increased flexibility and balance are positive results from training. The group also felt that the fear of falling over had fallen significantly. MARS works for both the body and the soul, says Agneta Larsson.
The great international interest in LTU's research in physiotherapy Annika Näslund thinks has to do with that one sees a need to use budo in new ways. Besides the cooperation with the International Budo University is a new cooperation agreement with Kokushikan University in Tokyo coming soon.
- We have some martial arts knowledge but we have expertise around rehabilitation and disability. This is a combination that the Japanese researchers see that they need, explains Annika Näslund.