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New Investigation or Diagnostic Strategies and Advances in Concussion Management
How the new taekwondo rules have decreased the injuries and concussions since 2008
  1. Paul Viscogliosi
  1. Medical Committee of World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)


Before 2008, the rules of taekwondo to score points required powerful feet or hand movements to the trunk and feet movements to the head. Under this system the insurance statistics (Statistics of Mutuelle des Sports France) showed that taekwondo was a safe sport and that concussion was rare.

The rules were changed 2 years ago with the adoption of an electronic scoring system for the trunk hits and valid head scoring with light feet taps only (without power).

The electronic trunk protector's scoring system scores relative power in relation to the weight category.

Statistics from three competitions that took place during 2011 and 2012 were analysed including the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World championships, the WTF World qualification tournament for the Olympic Games and the European Qualification tournament for Olympic Games and then compared to an earlier WTF World qualification tournament for Olympics Games ruled by the previous rule system (2008).

Under the old system, we determined that out of 380 fights analysed, 55 injuries occurred, 3 were knocked down; which equates to 14.5% injuries and 0.8% KO.

Under the new rules, we found that out of 1180 fights, there were 15 injuries and 2 knock down; which equates to 1.3% injuries and 0.17% KO.

Conclusion With the new rules, the injuries were 11 times less likely to occur and the KOs 5 times less likely to occur.

The next step for 2016 is to adopt an electronic headgear to make the sport of taekwondo even safer.

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