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Central Blood Pressure in Young Kendo Athletes: Implications of Combined Anaerobic and Strength Training



Exercise training-induced adaptation of central Blood Pressure (BP) depends on exercise mode. Kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art, is a unique exercise mode because its training encompasses anaerobic and resistance training components. However, the effects of habitual kendo training on central BP have not been established.


The aim of this study was to compare the central BP of high-level kendo athletes and age-matched controls without exercise habits.


Thirty-six young university kendo athletes (the kendo athlete group) and 29 young sedentary individuals (the control group) participated in this cross-sectional study. Central hemodynamics were estimated from carotid arterial waveforms via a generalized transfer function. Stroke volume was computed from brachial arterial waveforms using the Modelflow method.


Central systolic BP and Central Pulse Pressure (cPP) were higher in the kendo athlete group than in the control group (both, p < 0.01). Central diastolic BP did not differ between the two groups. Stroke Volume Index (SVI; stroke volume adjusted for body surface area) and the maximum rate of aortic pressure rise during systole (dP/dTmax), which reflects left ventricle contractility, were significantly higher in the kendo athlete group than in the control group (p < 0.05), and these parameters showed a significant positive correlation with cPP (SVI: r = 0.34, p < 0.01; dP/dTmax: r = 0.79, p < 0.01).


These results suggest that habitual kendo training may increase central pulse pressure through increases in left ventricular systolic function.


  • Kendo is ideal for investigating of training adaptation since it induces the characteristics of anaerobic exercise training and resistance training; that is, kendo athletes had both high anaerobic capacity and high muscle strength compared with sedentary controls.

  • In the present study, central blood pressure (central systolic blood pressure and central pulse pressure) was significantly higher in the kendo athlete group than in the control group.

  • Stroke Volume Index (SVI; stroke volume adjusted for body surface area) and the maximum rate of aortic pressure rise during systole (dP/dTmax) but not augmented pressure in the kendo athlete group were also significantly higher than those in the control group.

  • In addition, SVI and dP/dTmax showed a significant positive correlation with central pulse pressure.

  • These results suggest that combined anaerobic exercise and muscular strength training may increase central blood pressure through increases in left ventricular systolic function.


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Correspondence to Seiji Maeda.

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Peer review under responsibility of the Association for Research into Arterial Structure and Physiology

Data availability statement: The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.

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Yoshioka, M., Tagawa, K., Tochigi, Y. et al. Central Blood Pressure in Young Kendo Athletes: Implications of Combined Anaerobic and Strength Training. Artery Res 27, 87–92 (2021).

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