So by all means train in martial arts, but be careful of the level of stress - physical and psychological - that you are using.
Hormonal response to Taekwondo fighting simulation in elite adolescent athletes
Exercise training efficiency depends on the training load, as well as on the athlete’s ability to tolerate it. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of fighting simulation (3 fights, 6 min each, 30 min rest between fights) on anabolic (IGF-I, LH, FSH, estradiol, and testosterone) and catabolic hormones (cortisol) in elite, male (n = 10) and female (n = 10) adolescent (12–17 years) Taekwondo fighters. Blood samples were collected before the first and immediately after the third fight. The fighting simulation practice led to significant (p < 0.05) decreases in IGF-I (males −27.1 ± 25.6, females −22.4 ± 36.3 ng/ml), LH (males −0.7 ± 1.2, females −2.3 ± 3.3 U/L), and FSH (males −0.9 ± 0.5, females −1.5 ± 1.1 U/L), and to a significant increase (p < 0.05) in cortisol (males 141.9 ± 30.1, females 64.1 ± 30.6 mcg/dL) in both genders. Fighting simulation decreases in testosterone (males −1.9 ± 1.6, females −0.02 ± 0.06 ng/mL), and free androgen index (males −20.1 ± 21.5, females −0.3 ± 0.5) were significant (p < 0.05) only in male fighters. Exercise had no significant effect on estradiol, sex-hormone-binding globulins or thyroid function tests. Our data demonstrate that the physiologic and psychologic strain of a Taekwondo fighting simulation day led to a catabolic-type circulating hormonal response.