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Injury and exposure data were collected at eight major U.S. taekwondo tournaments between 1988 and 1990, involving 5 682 competitors and a total of 5 566 bouts. There were 802 recorded injuries, 292 (36%) severe enough to cause time-loss of one day or more from further participation. Injuries were equally divided between the head and lower extremities, each accounting for about 40% of the injuries, with the remainder to upper extremities and the body. Cerebral concussions were among the most serious injuries observed, with 58 recorded or approximately 1 for every 100 participants. The total cerebral concussion rate was 5.2/1 000 athlete-exposures or 1.1/1 000 minutes of exposure. These rates of concussions for taekwondo are 3.1 times higher than seen in college football games based on number of exposures, and 7.9 times as high based on time of exposure.
cerebral concussion, taekwondo, martial arts, injury rates, epidemiology
President and Director of Research, Exercise Research Associates of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Research Associate, Exercise Research Associates of Oregon, Eugene, OR