Biomechanics of Human Motion: Applications in the Martial Arts

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ISBN 9781466563230
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  • Examines biomechanics and human motion studies through the lens of martial arts
  • Includes examples from a number of different schools such as judo, karate, boxing, and more
  • Emphasizes sports biomechanics
  • Contains end-of-chapter problems and extensive references


Biomechanics of Human Motion: Applications in the Martial Arts delineates the general laws governing the human biomechanics through an extensive review of martial arts techniques and references to fundamental theory. Using straightforward mathematics and physics, the book covers in depth the anatomical foundation of biomechanics, the biomechanical and physiological foundation of human motion, and the fundamentals of biomechanics.

Divided into four parts, the book covers:

  • The musculoskeletal anatomy of the major muscles, their functions, and the different roles of the muscles in human mechanics
  • The biomechanical and physiological foundations of human motion, including the very basic conceptions about lever systems, center of gravity, kinematic chain systems, and Newton’s laws
  • Kinematics and kinetics via complex examples from martial arts and their comparison to different sports techniques
  • The biomechanical principles and analysis of the martial arts, including anatomical and physiological considerations, and the analysis of the physical properties of a range of techniques

Focusing on martial arts and sports activities, this book is designed to be used by undergraduate and graduate students of human movement science, physical education, and fitness, as well as college instructors and martial artists.

Table of Contents

The Anatomical Foundations of Biomechanics
What Is Biomechanics?
Importance of Biomechanics
Biomechanics and Its Division

The Anatomy of Human Motion
Bones (Osteology)
Joints (Arthrology)
Muscles (Myology)

Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
The Head
The Neck
The Shoulder Complex
The Muscles of the Arm
The Elbow and the Radioulnar Complex
The Wrist and the Hand Unit
The Vertebral Column and Its Region
The Thoracic Region
The Hip Girdle
The Thigh
The Knee and the Leg
The Leg
The Ankle and the Foot

The Biomechanical and Physiological Foundations of Human Motion
The Concept of Muscular Mechanics
Lever Systems, Center of Gravity (CoG), Center of Mass (Com), Base of Support (BoS)
Kinematic Chain
Static Activity
Dynamic Activity and Newton’s Law

Movement Control (Muscular Physiology)
Muscular Control
Neurological Control

The Fundamentals of Biomechanics
Kinematics in Linear Motion
Distance and Displacement
Speed and Velocity
Motion with Constant Acceleration
Scalars and Vectors
Measurement of the Vectors
Methods of Solving Vector Components
Trigonometry Basics
Study Questions

Kinematics in Angular Motion
Distance and Displacement
Circles, Quadrants and Their Angles
Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration
Study Questions

Kinetics in Linear Motion
Inertia, Mass, Weight, and Force
Impulsive Forces, Collisions (Impact)
Energy, Work, and Power
Muscle Power
Study Questions

Kinetics in Angular Motion
Center of Mass
Torque and Lever
Moment of Inertia
Parallel Axis Theorem
Angular Momentum
Angular Momentum, Moment of Inertia, Impulse, Energy and Power Relationship
Study Questions

Martial Arts Biomechanics
The Biomechanics of Throwing Arts
Judo: Throwing Techniques (Nage-waza)
Jujutsu and Sambo: Throwing (Nage) and Take-Down Techniques (Hiki-otoshi-waza)
Amateur Wrestling: Take-Down and Throwing Techniques
Ground Techniques (Ne-waza): Judo
Ground Techniques (Ne-waza): Jujutsu and Sambo
Ground Techniques: Wrestling
Aikido and Aikijujutsu: Throwing and Immobilization Techniques
Aikido Immobilization Techniques (Katame waza)

The Biomechanics of Striking, Kicking Arts

The Defense and Attack on Vital Points (Kyusho): Finger(s) Manipulation
Biomechanical Analysis of the Techniques

The Biomechanics of the Sword Art
Modern (Olympic) Fencing
Biomechanics of the Knife (Tanto) Defense

Appendix A
Musculo-Skeletal Figure Representing the Most Important Vital Points: Front Part of the Body
Back Part of the Body

Appendix B
Kinematic (Muscular) Chains of Different Technical Executions

Appendix C
Establishing the Center of Masses (CoM) of Two Karateka Being in the Position of Semi -Permanent or Permanent/Contact Link, Described in the Summary of Part IV

Appendix D
Standard International (SI) Units, Symbols, Physical Properties, and Quantities

Author Bio(s)