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Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture
Concussion within combat sport

Hi all I came across this interesting article, it is a part one, but I think it's worth reading


Kind regards Les

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

A good article on an important topic. Thanks for sharing Les.

All the best,


Tau's picture

The most current and thorough professional article on this topic. Essential reading for anyone involved in full contact martial arts:


Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Thank you Tau

JD's picture


Interesting post and article, I've been a karate ka since I was 8 years old, I started out as most kids doing the basics and very light sparring and then as things progressed with age and abilty I would engage in more aggressive sparring/Kumite but under the semi contact (touch contact) rules, that most traditional jap karate (shoto kan, wado etc.) practise. Some contact inevitably happens, even under ''pull off'' rules, I'm sure we've all being there and accidently knocked someone a bit forcefully unintentionally, although it's fun and can be taken to a fast paced level, it isn't the same nor a substitute for realistic full contact. 

Myself and some other higher grade pupils and instructors have set aside times where we agree to use our karate but with contact, pressure test what we learn but under sensible third party supervision and with some techniques left out for obvious safety reasons, we even grapple on the floor and carry on due to the realism it offers, but maintain the mission of getting back to standing as soon as possible of course. Do I enjoy it? Yes, it's great fun catching someone right (not so much when you're getting caught back) and testing your abilities, covering, holding/clinching, kicking/punching with full exertion and of course grasping the feeling of balance, timing and being efficiently evasive. 

Do I practise a lot of full contact? No, why? Because of the very reason this article and many others try to stress! Coming home after a contact fight against a decent opponent and feeling that muggy headache is your body/brain telling you ''you might feel great, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as you think''. 

I've practised enough full contact to benefit from what it offers. I believe that's what makes karate great, there's more than just gloving up and going at it, it's a way of conduct for a lot of people, karate has the ability to run deeper and be more meaniful than other ''arts'', combat systems and sports, by all means dabble in the full contact world, but don't set up camp there, that's my train of thought anyway.

Too many hits or one bad shot can lead to health hassle in a world that throws enough hardship at you already, self defense combined with self preservation is the balanced cocktail in my eyes. 

All just my opinion though, I/We all wear an RDX head guard you can buy off amazon for circa £25, different colours etc. but the best part is these guards come with a very durable (thoroughly tested I assure you :-) ) removable face grill that doesn't impede vision, giving you the ability to return home with your nose still looking straight after a bout. 

Thanks again for posting the article, I enjoy reading bits on health regards martial arts training. 

Best regards - JD

Marc's picture

From the article Les linked to: "Not a single piece of our anatomy protects us from those types of collisions."

Well, have you met Graham, the only person designed to survive on our roads?


Take care,


Marc's picture

Tau wrote:

The most current and thorough professional article on this topic. Essential reading for anyone involved in full contact martial arts:


Thanks for the link. It's an interesting read.

As far as I saw, the document does not include anything on the question of accumulated brain injury through repeated minor concussions over a longer period of time, which would be an interesting aspect for light contact sparring in martial arts. - But I did not read every single word, maybe I skipped over it?