Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Type, incidence and causes of injuries in karate tournaments

Introduction: Karate is the world’s most popular martial art and like any competitive sport it focuses on high performance, and the health and safety of participants. Many sports injuries are reported in karate competitions. According to these reports, scientific advice is given to reduce and prevent injuries. Therefore this study was conducted in order to evaluate common injuries in the sport of karate.
Methods: In this research the most frequently occurring injuries at selected tournaments of the Iranian National Karate team in 2009 were evaluated. 385 competitions in seven weight categories of the best Iran karate athletes were held in these tournaments. An injury report form was completed and reviewed by researchers and a tournament doctor. Descriptive and inferential (chi- squared test) methods were used to analyze the data.
Results: results showed 143 injuries during the tournaments. 65.7% occurred in the evening. Trauma was the most common injury (74.8%). 69.9% of injuries occurred to the head and neck. 91.6% of injuries occurred to the upper limbs. The most injuries (50%) occurred in the second minute of the tournament and the cause of injuries in 65.7% was the opponent’s punch. 65.8% of injuries were treated by using ice packs and anaesthetic sprays and in only 3 cases were athletes transferred to hospital.
Discussion and conclusion: It seems that by the changing regulations and using head and face protective equipment and being aware of the common injuries in karate, we can reduce most injuries in this sport.