Youth participation and injury risk in martial arts

Rebecca A. Demorest, Chris Koutures, Cynthia R. LaBella, Margaret A. Brooks, Alex Diamond, William Hennrikus, Michele LaBotz, Kelsey Logan, Keith J. Loud, Kody A. Moffatt, Blaise Nemeth, Brooke Pengel, Andrew Peterson, Joel S. Brenner, Amanda K Weiss Kelly, Andrew J M Gregory, Mark E. Halstead, David Bernhardt, Neeru A. Jayanthi, Jeff MjaanesAnjie Emanuel, Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The martial arts can provide children and adolescents with vigorous levels of physical exercise that can improve overall physical fitness. The various types of martial arts encompass noncontact basic forms and techniques that may have a lower relative risk of injury. Contact-based sparring with competitive training and bouts have a higher risk of injury. This clinical report describes important techniques and movement patterns in several types of martial arts and reviews frequently reported injuries encountered in each discipline, with focused discussions of higher risk activities. Some of these higher risk activities include blows to the head and choking or submission movements that may cause concussions or significant head injuries. The roles of rule changes, documented benefits of protective equipment, and changes in training recommendations in attempts to reduce injury are critically assessed. This information is intended to help pediatric health care providers counsel patients and families in encouraging safe participation in martial arts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20163022
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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