What are some disadvantages of martial arts

Martial arts can be dangerous for children - careful selection required

19.01.2017

Martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, and judo can improve fitness, motor skills, emotional development, and self-esteem, but are also associated with an increased risk of injury. Before making a decision to participate in such a sport, parents should make sure that their child is old enough and that the sport is safe enough.

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Some martial arts are riskier than others, American pediatricians (American Academy of Pediatrics - AAP) warn against this. "There are so many different types of martial arts for families to consider. With regard to the risk of injury, a distinction must be made between the various non-contact martial arts and those with physical contact," explains author Dr. Chris Koutures in an AAP press release. Some clubs sponsor competitions, others don't. Koutures is a member of the Sports Medicine and Fitness Committee at AAP. Pediatricians can help families choose the most appropriate sport for their child.

Bruises and sprains are the most common injuries that occur while engaging in a martial arts sport. But more serious injuries can also occur.

Mixed martial arts allow a lot

Mixed martial arts (MMA for short) with full contact, for example, carry a particularly high risk of concussion, spinal damage, vascular or head and neck injuries, according to the Society of American Pediatricians. In mixed martial arts, fighters use the techniques of different martial arts. For example, they use punching and kicking techniques from boxing, kickboxing and taekwondo as well as elements of ground and wrestling.

Particularly risky: blows to the head

Movement patterns that are particularly susceptible to injury are direct or repeated blows to the head and contact of the head with the ground. Techniques that cause shortness of breath sometimes pose a risk of suffocation, warned the AAP.
Injury rates range from 41 to 133 injuries per 1,000 fights, depending on the type of martial art, the Pediatric Association estimates.

"Practices and rules can have a profound effect on a participant's safety," Koutures said. The Society recommends that adolescents should only participate in contests and physical contact martial arts if they are sufficiently physically and emotionally mature and have received sufficient basic, non-physical training Parents should keep in mind that head and mouth protection cannot fully protect children from concussion, even if they reduce facial injuries. It is advisable to choose training in which a child receives safety training with defense techniques and blockages as a priority (competition -) Rules must be strictly adhered to by the sports school. In order to reduce the risk of injury, a child should not exercise too much, as more than three hours a week can lead to overload.

Source: MedicalXpress / HealthDay, AAP, Pediatrics