The Risks of Combat Sports: A Guide to Learning Striking Online

Many sports enthusiasts prefer to choose to learn martial arts like Boxing, Taekwondo, or Jiu-Jitsu. As satisfying as it is to train your body, beginners practicing martial arts or learning striking online must understand that there are risks involved in combat sports.

It’s inevitable to get hit by an opponent while learning combat sports because of the full contact. These striking, grappling, and other attack movements cause the risks of injuries to the body. Even in learning combat martial arts online, you also have to keep injuries from happening by following the instructions closely and carefully.

How Dangerous Are Combat Sports?

Combat sports come with risks, mainly in injuries sustained in the body. As you may have observed during professional fight tournaments featuring the best athletes – these risks and injuries still happen, especially if the fighters made a wrong move. There is still a risk when doing fights despite being in a controlled environment.

Clinical studies, such as the one from Macquarie University on the Epidemiology of injuries in full-contact combat sports, provide a more definitive view of the injuries based on a survey of 1,000 athletes.

By looking into the incidence of injuries per 1,000 athletes doing full-contact combat sports, we can see the various ranges of injuries according to each type of activity:

  • Judo – range of 41.2 to 115.1
  • Taekwondo – range of 19.1 to 138.8
  • Karate – range of 45.2 to 214.3
  • Kickboxing – range of 109.7 to 155.4
  • Boxing – range of 77.7 to 250.6
  • Mixed martial arts – range of 85.1 to 280.7

Among these combat sports, those with primary grappling styles like Judo have less risk of injuries. Striking styles in Karate or Boxing have more tendencies to cause injuries. Meanwhile, the hybrid format of MMA or mixed martial arts brings a higher risk of injury due to the combined fighting techniques.

The study included athletes doing full-contact combat sports. They may be doing regular training. However, martial arts activity still brings the risks of injury.

Beginners, including those learning striking online, will need to be more careful in executing a fight. They need to know, all the more, what injuries they will be facing and how to counter them.

Common Risks in Injuries

Head injuries

Attacks to the head are common risks that cause head injuries to those doing martial arts. Some of these head injuries even lead to further damage to the brain if it was a brutal blow.

There is the risk of brain injuries from severely hitting the nerves or brain tissue. Injuries to the head are common in combat sports like boxing, where the use of strength comes from the arms and primarily hitting the head.

Professional boxers are at a greater risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in which they have impaired memory and behavioral changes. The repeated trauma to the head causes this condition to develop in boxing athletes.

Spinal cord injury

The spinal cord is a sensitive part of the body that is more likely to suffer from injuries, particularly in Jiu-Jitsu, where grappling techniques require intense control of the neck and back area.

When spinal cord injuries or SCIs happen, there is a risk of affecting the nervous system or risk of breaking the bones protecting the spinal cord. In worse cases, this could lead to either partial or full-body paralysis.

Neurologic impairment is one of the common risks once the spinal cord has been injured. The combined velocity of a strike and coming in contact with a collision hitting the back area is where combat sports enthusiasts need to be careful in protecting the body part.

Internal bleeding

Hemorrhage or internal bleeding is another risk that martial arts practitioners need to know. Internal bleeding happens when a blow or attack on the body causes damage to the internal organs. Combat sports aim to hit almost every body part, increasing the risk of internal bleeding from the attacks.

Internal bleeding is dangerous as there is no outlet for the blood. The blood is trapped inside instead of releasing them via open wounds. One of the common features of this injury can be bruises in the affected body part. The hemorrhage could also happen in the head or brain, which may not outright show the bruises immediately.

While other injuries are easier to spot due to the open wound, internal bleeding is harder to locate unless there are visible bruises or pain. This type of injury could potentially get worse if there is no immediate action to remedy the bleeding inside a body part or organ.

Eye injuries

Fighting actions, where the opponent’s strike lands on the eyes, are also potential harm that combat sports students have to be careful of.

The eye injury could either be abrasions, penetrating injuries, or blunt trauma. Once a striking attack hits the eyes, it can cause any of these eye injuries. Combat sports athletes and beginners will find it difficult to see clearly. Some will experience loss of vision if the eye injury worsens or have extreme damage to the organ.

A heavy blow that lands on the eyes is common in boxing, where the eyes are inflamed. Eye injuries are also possible risks in other combat sports like Jiu-Jitsu, where fighters commonly have wounds near the eyes. As martial arts rely on visibly seeing the opponent’s attack, this organ needs to be protected from the risk of injuries.

What Beginners Have To Remember

Part of learning combat martial arts online is knowing how to minimize the risks that you will encounter when fighting. As beginners looking to execute combat sports, you need to know how to strike, grapple, or attack while keeping injuries at bay. It’s possible by following a few of these reminders:

Proper training instructions

Improper training is among the leading causes of injuries, particularly for beginners in combat sports. Prevent the risk from happening by following correct and careful training methods.

There is a standard way of doing the fight in any combat sport. As a beginner who wants to execute all these fighting stances, you need to determine the safety of the training procedure while improving your skill as well.

Experienced coaches

Another aspect to counter the risks is the quality of learning beginners will get from their coaches. It’s a critical factor as the student will be following whatever combat sports action the coach teaches.

This is why professional athletes are only as skilled depending on the instructions they get from their coach. Martial arts practitioners have to carefully choose which coach they will train from for them to do the fights safely and reduce the risks.

Learn from watching

Watching actual fights and combat sports demonstrations – whether in a tournament, gym, or online – is essential in observing what goes wrong. It will then be easier to pinpoint which fighting tactic to modify to reduce the risk of injury.

Being attentive to what injuries happened in a fight can help one become a better fighter. There is always a better and safer way to execute moves in whatever martial arts you practice. You have to take notice of them when learning striking online.

While the risk of suffering from injuries is inevitable, you can take action towards reducing your probability of getting injured. Take extra precautions by understanding the mechanics behind the movement or knowing effective ways to block an attack and defend your body. This is why it’s important to complement your gym training by learning striking online. When you are learning combat martial arts online, you have supplementary instructions to aid in your striking execution, allowing you to do an attack while considering safety.

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