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Exerc Sci > Volume 31(2); 2022 > Article
Exercise Science 2022;31(2): 230-237.
Possible Concussions Related to a Direct Head Kick Among College Taekwondo Athletes
Hye-Jin Kim, Jae-Ok Koh
Department of Sports Science, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Jae-Ok Koh , Tel: +82-2-970-6248, Fax: +82-2-972-9763, Email: jok@seoultech.ac.kr
Received: January 26, 2022;  Accepted: April 14, 2022.  Published online: April 26, 2022.
Executing a head kick (HK) in sparring-taekwondo (S-TKD) is a common, legal move and is promoted by competition rules by awarding higher points. The objective of this study is to determine the incidence of HKs and concussions and to analyze the possible related risk factors.
A prospective design was utilized. A total of 327 athletes participated in this tournament with 311 matches held in 2019 in South Korea. HK recipients were interviewed immediately after the match. HK and concussion rates were correlated and risk factors associated with concussions were analyzed using the binary logistic analysis. Also, descriptive statistics were reported.
Of the 167 HK recipients that were identified using our criteria, only 109 participated in the study. Overall, the incidence of HKs was 175 and 35 for concussions per 1,000 athlete exposures. Logistic analysis showed that concussions were associated with competitors who did not recognize an HK and did not use blocking maneuvers as a result (OR, 5.96; 95% CI, 1.61-21.98, p<.05).
The incidence of HKs and concussions is high in S-TKD competitions. Of 109 college taekwondo athletes who received an HK during this tournament, 20% developed a concussion. Greater promotion of blocking maneuvers may decrease concussions resulting from HKs.
Key words: Sparring-taekwondo, High kick, Mild head injury, Traumatic brain injury, Head blow
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