Taekwondo Injury Rate & Distribution

“Taekwondo Injury Rate & Distribution”. An excerpt from the book “What Makes a Successful Sparing Taekwondo Athlete?” by Dr. Kazemi – Doctor of Chiropractic

Until recently, there has been very little research available regarding the injuries that Taekwondo athletes might expect to suffer. It has been suggested that numerous factors can affect the Taekwondo injury rate including age, experience and previous injuries (Pieter 1996; Kazemi and Chudolinski et al. 2009; and Kazemi 2012). Having been involved in Taekwondo as both an athlete and health practitioner during 1980’s and 90’s, I found the level of health care to be minimal and it was imperative to elevate the level of care to at both the Provincial and National level. As a first step, it was important to accurately and systematically record injuries, which led to the creation of the Injury Report Form (IRF, Appendix 2; Kazemi and Pieter 2004). This process of recording injuries began at the 1997 Canadian National TKD Championships making injury rates and incidence easily obtainable and as a result, the first paper of its kind was published on this topic (Kazemi and Pieter 2004). For the purposes of these studies, an athlete was considered injured if any of the following conditions applied (Lindenfeild et al. 1994): 1) any circumstance that forced the Taekwondo athlete to leave the competition; 2) any circumstance for which the referee or athlete had to stop competition; 3) any circumstance for which the athlete requested medical attention. In other words, the definition included so-called time-loss injuries (stoppage of a bout) as used in the NCAA Injury Surveillance System.

Therefore, the purpose of this prospective study was to assess the injury rates of Canadian Taekwondo athletes (219 males, 99 females) relative to total number of injuries, type and body part injured. Injuries and treatment were recorded on the IRF by the health care team. As there was a paucity of information with respect to injury rates in Canadian Junior Taekwondo athletes, we furthered our study to include this population (Pieter and Kazemi 2007).

In addition, there are a number of speculations, myths and hearsays about injuries with respect to colour-belt (beginners and novice). It has been suggested that colour-belt TKD players sustained more injuries than black belts due to lack of control and experience. Previously, there existed no data in this area to prove or disprove these conjectures. Having collected IRFs for over 9 years and covering over 58 competitions, it was decided that there was sufficient data to enable a study of Taekwondo injury rate, incidence, type, location and the severity with potential factors such as age and experience as well as attainment in the discipline (i.e. Black belts and colour-belts: Kazemi, Chudolinski et al. 2009).

Finally, an unexplored research area of TKD competition is the effect of pre-competition and intra-competition injury and how it might influence an athlete’s performance. As a personal observation, elite athletes were able to continue competing with certain types of injury and potentially medal. However, the literature in this area is scarce (Feehan and Weller1995). To meet the requirement of a Master’s degree being pursued at that point, it was decided that I examined the IRF for the Canadian National TKD team at international championships over a span of ten years to determine any 33 relationships between medalling as a means of success and type, frequency, location and severity of injury considering age and gender of the athlete (Kazemi 2012).

Purchase and download the complete eBook “What Makes a Successful Sparing Taekwondo Athlete?” by Dr. Kazemi – Doctor of Chiropractic
A completion and reflection on 20 years of research in Taekwondo and his PhD thesis with his revolutionary replacement for Taekwondo weight classification to abolish the burden of weight loss in Taekwondo.


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