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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Pre-competition habits and injuries in Taekwondo athletes

Mohsen Kazemi1*, Heather Shearer2 and Young Su Choung3

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical education, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 Clinical Sciences Resident, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3 former Canadian Taekwondo Team Head Coach, current Ontario Taekwondo Association President, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2005, 6:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-26

Published: 27 May 2005

Abstract

Background

Over the past decade, there has been heightened interest in injury rates sustained by martial arts athletes, and more specifically, Taekwondo athletes. Despite this interest, there is a paucity of research on pre-competition habits and training of these athletes. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess training characteristics, competition preparation habits, and injury profiles of Taekwondo athletes.

Methods

A retrospective survey of Canadian male and female Taekwondo athletes competing in a national tournament was conducted. Competitors at a Canadian national level tournament were given a comprehensive survey prior to competition. Items on training characteristics, diet, and injuries sustained during training and competition were included. Questionnaires were distributed to 60 athletes.

Results

A response rate of 46.7% was achieved. Of those that responded, 54% dieted prior to competition, and 36% dieted and exercised pre-competition. Sixty-four percent of the athletes practised between 4–6 times per week, with 54% practicing 2 hours per session. Lower limb injuries were the most common (46.5%), followed by upper extremity (18%), back (10%), and head (3.6%). The majority of injuries consisted of sprains/strains (45%), followed by contusions, fractures, and concussions. More injuries occurred during training, including 59% of first injuries.

Conclusion

More research needs to be conducted to further illustrate the need for appropriate regulations on weight cycling and injury prevention.