Karate: historical perspective and injuries sustained in national and international tournament competitions

Am J Sports Med. 1983 Sep-Oct;11(5):320-4. doi: 10.1177/036354658301100507.


Karate injuries sustained in three national and three international tournaments were reviewed. Two hundred and eighty-four athletes participated in 309 matches. Athletes had an average age of 25.5 years, average years of karate practice of 7.7 years, and average years of competitive experience in tournaments of 3.1 years. Athletes were mostly black belts with gradation from brown belt to fourth degree black belt. There were 82 injuries sustained by 76 athletes within 309 matches, with an incidence of one injury in every 3.7 matches or 0.3 injuries per match. There were more injuries among the lower ranked and less experienced athletes, indicating that injuries became less frequent with increased tournament experience. Punches caused more injuries than kicks. Only 16 of the 76 injured athletes were forced to discontinue competition; one athlete was admitted to the hospital for 1 week due to a cerebral concussion.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Canada
  • China
  • Female
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Sports / history*
  • United States