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Effects of Olympic-style taekwondo kicks on an instrumented head-form and resultant injury measures
  1. Gabriel P Fife1,2,
  2. David M O'Sullivan3,4,
  3. Willy Pieter5,
  4. David P Cook6,
  5. Thomas W Kaminski7
  1. 1Department of Physical Education, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Department of Physical Education, Dong-A University, Busan, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Department of Physical Education, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Republic of Korea
  4. 4Department of Physical Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  5. 5Department of Taekwondo, Keimyung University, Daegu, Republic of Korea
  6. 6Department of Academy of Sport, London South Bank University, London, UK
  7. 7Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor David M O'Sullivan, Department of Physical Education, College of Sport Science, Chung-Ang University, 72-1 Naeri Daedeokmyeon, Gyeonggido Anseong 456-756, Republic of Korea; tkd4{at}


Objective The objective of this study was to assess the effect of taekwondo kicks and peak foot velocity (FVEL) on resultant head linear acceleration (RLA), head injury criterion (HIC15) and head velocity (HVEL).

Methods Each subject (n=12) randomly performed five repetitions of the turning kick (TK), clench axe kick (CA), front leg axe kick, jump back kick (JB) and jump spinning hook kick (JH) at the average standing head height for competitors in their weight division. A Hybrid II Crash Test Dummy head was fitted with a protective taekwondo helmet and instrumented with a triaxial accelerometer and fixed to a height-adjustable frame. Resultant head linear acceleration, HVEL, FVEL data were captured and processed using Qualysis Track Manager.

Results The TK (130.11±51.67 g) produced a higher RLA than the CA (54.95±20.08 g, p<0.001, d=1.84) and a higher HIC15 than the JH (672.74±540.89 vs 300.19±144.35, p<0.001, ES=0.97). There was no difference in HVEL of the TK (4.73±1.67 m/s) and that of the JB (4.43±0.78 m/s; p=0.977, ES<0.01).

Conclusions The TK is of concern because it is the most common technique and cause of concussion in taekwondo. Future studies should aim to understand rotational accelerations of the head.

  • Concussion
  • Head injuries
  • Martial Arts

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