Purpose. The aim of the present study was to assess the morpho-functional characteristics of male jiu-jitsu practitioners against a sample of strength-trained university students. Methods. The all-male research sample included 49 jiu-jitsu competitors and 30 university students actively involved in strength training. Measures of body mass and height, lower extremity length, sitting height, arm span, trunk width, skeletal breadths, circumferences and skinfold thicknesses of the trunk and extremities were collected. Body tissue composition was assessed using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Somatotype was classified according to the anthropometric method of Heath and Carter. Participants also performed three motor tests composed of the standing long jump, flexed arm hang, and sit-ups and two dynamometer tests measuring handgrip and back muscle strength. Differences between the measured characteristics in both samples were analyzed using Student’s t test. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to the determine the relationships between the morphological characteristics and the results of the motor tests. Results. The jiu-jitsu sample was slightly smaller than the strength-training students. In contrast, body mass was almost identical in both groups. The remaining length, height, and skinfold characteristics also did not differ significantly between the groups. Only hip breadth was significantly larger in the jiu-jitsu sample. No between-group differences were noted in the levels of endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy. The composite somatotype of the jiu-jitsu athletes (2.1-5.8-2.0) was very similar to that of the strength-trained students (2.1-5.9-2.4). Statistically significant differences were observed in the tests assessing muscle strength. Handgrip and back muscle strength was greater in the strength-training students, whereas the jiu-jitsu athletes performed better in all three motor tests. Conclusions. The minor morphological differences between the jiu-jitsu and strength-training groups may be due to the different sporting level of the participants. Whereas the intense weight training regime of the strength-training students allowed them to achieve higher results in the dynamometer tests, the more multidimensional aspect of jiu-jitsu training was reflected in achieving better results in the motor tests.
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