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Effects of taekwondo kicks on head accelerations and injury potential : a pilot study : original research article

  • Journal Title: International SportMed Journal
  • Volume: Volume 14
  • Issue:  Issue 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 53  - 66
  • Authors:  Gabriel P. Fife;  David O'Sullivan;  Willy Pieter;  Thomas W. Kaminski;
  • ISSN: 15283356
  • Abstract:  Background : In taekwondo (TKD), the incidence of concussion is four times greater than in American gridiron football. Biomechanical studies of concussion in taekwondo are scarce.
    Research question : To assess the effect of head impact biomechanics as a result of taekwondo kicks.
    Type of study : Between-groups design.
    Methods : Two male (22.0±0.0 years, 184±0.0cm, 81.3±1.8 kg) and two female (0.0±2.8 years, 171.0±1.4 cm, 63.0±5.2 kg) elite taekwondo athletes participated in this study. Head linear acceleration (RLA) and head injury criterion (HIC) data were collected from five different head kicks randomly performed five times. A Hybrid II Crash Dummy head (H2D) was instrumented with a tri-axial accelerometer.
    Results : Significant differences were found between kicks in RLA (eta2=3.8) and HIC (eta2=4.6) in the men and women (RLA, eta2=4.5 and HIC, eta2=4.7). Post-hoc analyses showed differences in RLA between the jump back kick (61.6±31.0 g) and clench axe kick (33.3±11.1 g) in males (ES=0.9). HIC analysis revealed differences between the jump back kick (556.8±679.2) and jump hook kick (191.0±37.2) (ES=0.7) and in head velocity between the turning kick (5.0±0.5 m.s-1) and jump hook kick (3.2±1.3 m.s-1, ES=1.1) in the males. In the females, there was a difference between the jump back (HIC: 236.8±104.3) and clench axe kicks (22.2±11.2) (ES=1.2) and in foot velocity between the turning (15.7±1.2 m.s-1) and clench axe kicks (9.1±2.3 m.s-1) (ES=1.2).
    Conclusions : Previous research reported RLA values of 67.0 g (HIC=167) in boxing compared to 72.8 g (HIC=667) in TKD. These high magnitudes of injury-related measures highlight the need for the implementation of more safety precautions.
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