Psychiatry Investig.  2015 Jul;12(3):335-340. 10.4306/pi.2015.12.3.335.

The Effects of Taekwondo Training on Brain Connectivity and Body Intelligence

  • 1Department of Physical Education, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Physical Education LAB, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah, UT, USA.


Many studies have reported that Taekwondo training could improve body perception, control and brain activity, as assessed with an electroencephalogram. This study aimed to assess body intelligence and brain connectivity in children with Taekwondo training as compared to children without Taekwondo training.
Fifteen children with Taekwondo training (TKD) and 13 age- and sex-matched children who had no previous experience of Taekwondo training (controls) were recruited. Body intelligence, clinical characteristics and brain connectivity in all children were assessed with the Body Intelligence Scale (BIS), self-report, and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging.
The mean BIS score in the TKD group was higher than that in the control group. The TKD group showed increased low-frequency fluctuations in the right frontal precentral gyrus and the right parietal precuneus, compared to the control group. The TKD group showed positive cerebellum vermis (lobe VII) seed to the right frontal, left frontal, and left parietal lobe. The control group showed positive cerebellum seed to the left frontal, parietal, and occipital cortex. Relative to the control group, the TKD group showed increased functional connectivity from cerebellum seed to the right inferior frontal gyrus.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the effect of Taekwondo training on brain connectivity in children. Taekwondo training improved body intelligence and brain connectivity from the cerebellum to the parietal and frontal cortex.


Taekwondo; Body intelligence; Cerebellum; Brain connectivity; fRMI
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