Incidence and severity of karate injuries: a comparison between genders and age categories
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Martial arts are widely participated in worldwide, with a large number of participants focusing on karate. Due to the contact nature of the sport injuries undoubtedly occur. This study describes the incidence and severity of injuries sustained during karate competitions with comparisons being made between genders and age categories of junior and senior level. A questionnaire was designed and distributed during three Karate Union of Great Britain competitions in the competitive season of 2007. Injuries were recorded during each competition and the data was collected and analysed through Chi-Square, setting statistical significance at p < 0.05. Results showed that 147 injuries were recorded (male = 76, female = 71, junior = 70, senior = 77). The head sustained the most injuries (n = 103) with no significant difference being evident in genders or age categories (p > 0.05). The most common cause of injury was the punch (n = 96) with no significant difference occurring between genders (p = 0.248). However, a significant difference occurred between age categories (p = 0.022). The severity of injuries was mostly minor with 36 karateka requiring hospital treatment. There was no significant difference between genders (p = 0.882) and a significant difference occurred between age categories (p = 0.030). With reference to the results and previous literature it can be concluded that karate is a relatively safe sport, with severe injuries being rare in comparison to many other sporting activities.
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