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KAATSU Training

From Openwaterpedia
KAATSU Aqua Bands on the legs of a swimmer
KAATSU Aqua Bands on the arms of a swimmer
KAATSU user with pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands with sensors on his arms and holding a KAATSU Master device that monitors the optimal pressure for KAATSU Training
KAATSU user with pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands with sensors on his arms
KAATSU user with pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands with sensors on his arms
KAATSU user with pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands with sensors on his arms

noun - KAATSU Training or KAATSU (or 加圧トレーニング in Japanese), including KAATSU Aqua, is the original BFR and a patented exercise methodology and equipment developed by Professor Sir Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D., FNAI, the inventor of KAATSU Physiology of Medicine. There is mounting evidence that this training modality serves as a stimulator of muscle growth even when performed at low intensities.

KAATSU Training is a methodology that tightens designated areas of the body with the tightening belts and applies appropriate pressure to properly restrict blood flow in order to fatigue muscle and actively promote secretion of various hormones as well as strengthening muscles and causes many useful and effective results in human body (including all the training under the moderation of blood flow.


KAATSU (加圧) is a Japanese word and copyrighted brand that means "additional pressure" in English.

Introduction to KAATSU Training


Chris Morgan interview with Swimming World Magazine at the 2017 American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic

Local and Systemic Mechanisms of KAATSU

Dr. James Stray-Gundersen of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association explains the local and systemic mechanisms of KAATSU Training


Intellectual Property

KAATSU AQUA and KAATSU Training are protected under 47 patents and various copyrights and trademarks in several countries.


The patents cover various KAATSU equipment and methods utilized in KAATSU Training. These patents include Japanese Patent Numbers 3447701, 4361282, 4531337, 4028394, 4392187, 4426217, 4342849, 4322591, 4283065, 4597840, and 4688947, as well as a number of pending patent applications.

Patents issued in the United States include United States Patent #6,149,618 issued 21 November 2000, Tightening Tool for Muscle Training and Muscle Training Method Using Same.

Additional patents include European Union Patent #0654287, UK Patent #0654287, Germany Patent #69412210,6, France Patent #0654287, Italy Patent #0654287, and Australia Patent #740865 (87490/98).


United States copyright of KAATSU Training is No.1-9J5SPW: KAATSU and KAATSU Training. Similar copyrights are registered in Japan: No. 34795: KAATSU and KAATSU Training at the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The KAATSU Training copyright can be asserted in 163 countries around the world.


KAATSU Japan owns trademark registrations for the brand KAATSU.

KAATSU Technology

KAATSU Training means training with the addition of pressure on the upper arms and upper legs. The additional pressure is created through the use of special KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training arm and leg bands in an individually-tailored training or rehabilitation regimen.

The objective of applying pressure with a KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training belts at the upper arms and upper legs is to properly and safely moderate the flow of blood to the limbs. By applying an appropriate pressure, blood circulation to the arms and legs can be temporarily and safely regulated, particularly in terms of venous return. This enables a highly specialized environment for muscle training and rehabilitation. After the KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training is completed and the pressure is released, the blood circulates more freely in comparison with the period before the pressure was applied. This results in quicker recovery cycles and a lack of residual fatigue.

However, the frequency, intensity and pressure levels must be carefully monitored. In particular, selecting the optimal pressure for best results is of paramount importance.

Research has shown that KAATSU Training even at low-intensity levels sufficiently recruits both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. During KAATSU Training, much more numbers of muscle fibers, both fast-twitch and slow-twitch, are recruited unlike conventional low-intensity exercise where fast-twitch muscle fiber is not generally recruited.


KAATSU Training has proved an innovative training and rehabilitative methodology in Japan with over 20,000,000 training and rehabilitation sessions conducted to date, including at hospitals, clinics, sports teams and physical rehabilitation centers.


Research results have been published in several professional peer-review journals. KAATSU rehabilitation methodologies are accepted by Japanese medical community.


  • KAATSU Master
  • KAATSU Mini
  • KAATSU Nano
  • KAATSU Air Bands
  • KAATSU Aqua Bands
  • KAATSU Instructor Certification

Certified KAATSU Instructors

  • Steven Munatones (Huntington Beach, California)
  • Chris Morgan (Beverly, Massachusetts)
  • Chris Dahowski (Santa Clarita, California)
  • Commander Jason McMillen DPT (Tampa, Florida)
  • Travis Harvey, Ph.D. (Tampa, Florida)
  • James Stray-Gundersen, M.D. (Park City, Utah)
  • Paul Hannigan (San Diego, California)

External links