Comparing the Effectiveness of Shotokan-Karate vs. Tai Chi on Balance and Quality of Life in Parkinson's Disease


Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre




Parkinson Disease


Other: Tai-Chi
Other: Shotokan-Karate

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The following study will be a comparison of balance and quality of life in Tai Chi training programs and Shotokan-Karate training programs in individuals with Parkinson's Disease. The following study will be a 12-week program which will assess whether or not Shotokan-Karate betters balance and quality of life even more than Tai Chi. Both Tai Chi and Karate will be taught by a professional instruction at the Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders and Rehabilitation Centre located in Waterloo, Ontario.

Full description

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system which affects movement. Some signs and symptoms of PD include; tremors, rigidity, gait impairments, and balance disruption. Individuals with PD experience substantially impaired balance ultimately affecting their functional abilities. With this, individuals with PD may also experience lower quality of life due to these diminished determinants. Currently, there are medications which have proven to mask the symptoms of Parkinson's such as levodopa. There are also exercise programs which have proven to improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease such as resistance based exercises and Tai Chi.based on the proven benefits of balance and overall quality of life through Shotokan-karate training, the purpose of this study will be to compare Shotokan-karate training versus Tai Chi on balance and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Based on the literature available on the benefits of shotokan-karate on balance and quality of life in the elderly, it is hypothesized that shotokan-karate will improve balance and quality of life due to its high intensity, increased engagement and similarities to everyday movements. If the following hypothesis is supported, the present study will allow for individuals with Parkinson's disease to engage in an exercise program that shows vast improvements in their postural stability and overall quality of life. In addition, participants will be able to engage in an exercise program which will provide them with long term benefits and they will be able to implement this in their everyday lifestyle.


60 estimated patients




Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Eligibility criteria involved a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, stable medication use, ability to comprehend English, ability to stand without aid and walk with or without assisted aids.

Exclusion criteria

Exclusion criteria for participating in this study included any participation in current studies, which involve behavioural, cognitive or pharmacological interventions. In addition, individuals with impaired vision, impaired behavioural and cognitive abilities, and those who are unable to participate in this study due to unavailability and those with scheduling conflicts will also be apart of the exclusion criteria.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

60 participants in 2 patient groups

Experimental group
The protocol for Shotokan-karate training will involve a one hour training session which will be broken down into 3 major components. The training program will consist of warm-up exercises, katas (choreographed karate movements), and cool-down exercise.
Other: Shotokan-Karate
Experimental group
The protocol for Tai Chi will involve a one-hour training session which will be conducted by an instructor at the Sun Life Financial Movement Disorders and Rehabilitation Centre.The following program will be held three times per week.
Other: Tai-Chi

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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