A prospective study of injuries sustained during competitive Muay Thai kickboxing

Clin J Sport Med. 2005 Jan;15(1):34-6. doi: 10.1097/00042752-200501000-00007.


Objective: To investigate prospectively the type and rate of injuries sustained during amateur Muay Thai competition.

Design: Prospective cohort study collection of data following clinical examination.

Setting: Amateur Muay Thai competitions in the United Kingdom organized by the International Amateur Muay Thai Federation.

Participants: Amateur Muay Thai boxers. Both sexes. Lightweight to super heavyweight.

Results: There were 92 participants, 12 females and 82 males. The average age was 17.3 years, and the average previous number of bouts was 3.9. A total of 588.5 minutes of competition time was assessed during a total of 10 events. Injury rates were 1.3 injuries per 100 minutes of competition in the lightweight category, 2.25 per 100 minutes of competition in the middleweight category, 30 per 100 minutes of competition in the heavyweight category, and 2.54 per 100 minutes of competition in the super heavyweight category.

Conclusions: Compared with other reported martial arts, the injury rates are higher in Muay Thai. The head was shown to be the most common site of injury in amateur fighters, but there was an almost complete absence of lower limb injuries, which again is at variance with reported figures for other martial arts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Martial Arts / injuries*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Devices
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology