Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Sport injuries in Portuguese female and male karateka a retrospective study

Background. Karate is a combat sport in which, as in all sports, there are risk factors that lead to injuries to its practitioners.
Problem and Aim. Little is known about injuries in Portuguese karateka. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the type and incidence of injury in both female and male Portuguese karate practitioners. Material and Methods. The sample was composed of 490 karate practitioners from nine different karate styles, 105 females and 385 males. In this retrospective study a questionnaire of morbidity was applied, in which participants recorded their demographic data and injury episodes occurring in the last three sports seasons.
Results. Of the full sample, 51.8% (n=254) reported one or more injuries. No statistical differences were found between the sexes. Most frequent injuries were fractures (16.1%) and trauma (15.6%) in both sexes and occurred in the lower limb (64.3% in females and 52.0% in males). The mechanism responsible for most of injuries in females were falls (12.5%), while in males it was punch actions (10.3%). Injuries were reported as moderate to severe, causing inactivity of practice of between 8 and 21 days and higher, respectively. Most injuries occurred in the preparatory period (63.6% females, males 53.2%), and mainly occurred in training (85.5% in females and 84.5% in males).
Conclusions. Coaches should analyse the specificity of the gender training process to prevent the appearance of injuries, and increase the use of preventive processes, such as the use of protection or practice in place, and with safe equipment.