While some competitors in the BFR market claim that BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) training started in the 1930’s, it is interesting to read the original United State patent on KAATSU bands and KAATSU training.
KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato (see brief summary of history here) submitted his original patent filing in November 1993: Tightening tool for muscle training and muscle training method using same. The patent submission was granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office in November 2000 in the United States and other countries.
The original patent (read here) describes
“a tightening tool including an elastic body in the form of a belt, rope, tube, etc. for forming a tightening loop adapted to surround a desired part of muscles and tighten it, and locking means for holding the tightening loop at a desired size. A muscle training method for accelerating enlargement and strengthening of the muscles can be practiced by the tightening tool to temporarily block the flow of blood to the desired part of the muscle.”
Dr. Sato’s original KAATSU elastic, stretchable bands and the concept of using bands to strengthen muscle were revolutionary then – and remains so even now as the KAATSU technology, equipment and protocols have advanced many iterations after decades of dedicated research by academics, and clinical testing by physiologists, cardiologists, internists, and physical therapists, and practical applications by coaches, athletes, sedentary individuals, cardiac rehab patients, and individuals up to the age of 104 years.