Martial arts-Research-Competition

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Research into different aspects of martial arts competition.

Review of MMA competition

No holds barred sport fighting: a 10-year review of mixed martial arts competition.
G. Buse
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006; 40:169-172

This study sought to identify the most salient medical issues that may be associated with mixed martial arts competition by determining the types and proportions of match stoppages.

Publicly available video footage of 1284 men competing in 642 consecutive televised matches from November 1993 to November 2003 was reviewed to determine the reasons for which matches were stopped. Matches were sanctioned by either a United States or a Japan based mixed martial arts organization.

Of the 642 matches, 182 (28.3%) were stopped because of head impact, 106 (16.5%) because of musculoskeletal stress, 91 (14.1%) because of neck choke, 83 (12.9%) because of miscellaneous trauma, 173 (27.0%) because of expiration of match time, and seven (1.0%) because of disqualification.

Conclusions. Blunt force to the head resulted in the highest proportion of match stoppages. Further research is warranted to delineate the morbidity associated with participation in mixed martial arts.

Effects of new karate rules

Effects of the new karate rules on the incidence and distribution of injuries.
J. Macan, D. Bundalo-Vrbanac, and G. Romici
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2006; 40:326-330

This study evaluated the incidence and distribution of injuries in karate before and after the implementation of new rules established by the World Karate Federation in 2000. Injury incidence was followed up during the official karate competition seasons of 1997 and 2002 in Croatia.

A questionnaire was used to collect data on the age and sex of the competitor, and localization and severity of the injury. Data were analyzed separately for female and male competitors and age categories <18 and ≥18 years.

The overall injury incidence rate was similar in 1997 and 2002. The relative risk of injury was significantly higher in 1997 than in 2002 for competitors younger than 18 years. The overall relative risk of head injury was significantly higher in 1997 than in 2002, but the relative risk of leg injury was significantly lower in 1997 than in 2002. Most injuries were categorized as mild in both periods studied.

Conclusions. The results confirm the importance of the new competition rules in the distribution and prevention of injuries in martial arts. Strict judging and heavy penalties for uncontrolled blows, particularly for the youngest competitors, can significantly decrease the risk of injury.

Safety in taekwondo competition

Effect of implementation of safety measures in taekwondo competition.
D. Burke, K. Barfoot, S. Bryant, J. Schneider, H. Kim, and G. Levin
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2003; 37:401-404

Previous reviews of taekwondo (TKD) tournaments have documented injury rates of 25/1000 to 12.7/100 athlete exposures. Most injuries have been reported to be to the head and the neck and are occasionally very serious. Many of these studies involved high-level TKD competitions with minimal safety precautions. Recently, safety measures have been implemented in many TKD competitions.

This study sought to evaluate retrospectively the incidence of injuries in TKD competitions involving a wide range of participants and featuring extensive safety precautions. A total of 2498 participants ranged in age from 18 to 66, included both men and women, and ranged in rank from yellow to black belt. Traumas, defined as any event requiring interaction with medical staff, were documented with respect to mechanism, diagnosis, treatment, and follow up recommendations. An injury was defined as a trauma that prevented a contestant from resuming competition on the day that the trauma occurred, according to National Collegiate Athletic Association criteria

The injury rate was 0.4/1000 athlete exposures. This is lower than reported in previous studies of TKD tournaments and in many other sports.

Conclusions. TKD tournaments that emphasize limited contact, protective equipment, and medical supervision are relatively safe and compare favorably with other sports.

Olympic taekwondo competitors

A profile of Olympic taekwondo competitors.
M. Kazemi, J. Waalen, Ch. Morgan, and A. White
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5 (CSSI), 114 - 121

The purpose of this study was to identify the profile of the Olympic champions and the other competitors who were involved in the Games.
One hundred and two taekwondo athletes competed (54 males and 48 females) in the Games.

Conclusions. Of 16 male winners, the mean average age was 24.4 years and the BMI (Body Mass Index) as 21.9, compared to 25.2 years and 22.8 for the 38 male non-winners. Of the 16 female winners, the mean average age was 24.9 years and the BMI was 20.8, compared to 24.9 years and 21.3 ± for the 32 female non-winners. For all four types of athletes, offensive kicks accounted for at least 52% of the techniques to score a point and 98% of all techniques used to score were kicks. Although not statistically significant, winners overall tended to be younger in age and taller with slightly lower BMI than their weight category average.

Bias in muay thai

Evidence of nationalistic bias in muay thai.
T. Myers, N. Balmer, A. Nevill, and Y. Al-Nakeeb
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5 (CSSI), 21 - 27

Muay thai is a combat sport with a growing international profile but limited research conducted into judging practices and processes. Problems with the judging of other subjectively judged combat sports have caused controversy at major international tournaments that have resulted in changes to scoring methods. Nationalistic bias has been central to these problems and has been identified across a range of sports. The aim of this study was to examine nationalistic bias in muay thai.

Data were collected from the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur (IFMA) World Championships held in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 2003 and comprised of tournament results from 70 A-class muay thai bouts each judged by between five and nine judges. Bouts examined featured 62 competitors from 21 countries and 25 judges from 11 countries.

Conclusions. Results suggested that nationalistic bias was evident. The bias observed equated to approximately one round difference between opposing judges over the course of a bout (a mean of 1.09 points difference between judges with opposing affiliations). The number of neutral judges used meant that this level of bias generally did not influence the outcome of bouts. Future research should explore other ingroup biases, such as nearest neighbor bias and political bias as well as investigating the feasibility adopting an electronic scoring system.

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