Thinking of Doing Combat Sports? Here are 5 Injury Risks to Be Aware Of

Combative sports have been popular over the years. They offer an excellent sports choice that has many physical and psychological benefits and can help the players become more self-disciplined. However, just like any other sport, there are risks associated with combat sports.

Here are some of the common combative sports injuries you should be aware of before picking your favorite sport.

Skin injuries

Skin injuries such as lacerations, abrasions, bruises, conditions, and hematomas are prevalent in all combative sports. Nevertheless, different types of skin injuries may manifest in specific combat sports on different scales depending on the style used.

The good thing about skin injuries is that they usually don’t require treatment. Home remedies like rest, placing ice on the affected part, and compression are often enough. Where the injuries are more severe, seeking medical treatment would be the best thing to do.

Head and neck injuries

The opponent’s target that earns the most points in sports like boxing, taekwondo, and kickboxing is the head. However, a strike in the head poses a serious risk of brain trauma which could have long-lasting consequences like concussions.

Concussions that persist for weeks or months after a mild traumatic injury are referred to as a post-concussion syndrome. Although it is a serious condition, it is treatable, but the healing process may depend on whether there was an underlying condition.


Fractures also occur in combative sports from time to time, with the most incidences being reported in strike sports such as boxing and taekwondo. In fact, fractures in these two sports have an incidence rate of up to 67% and 54%, respectively.

Usually, fractures occur due to poor kicking techniques, strikes from opponents, among others. They often affect the legs and the hand, although, in rare circumstances, ribs, pelvic bone, nose, and skull fracture occur.

Fractures to the head usually accompany brain trauma which has the potential of causing post-concussion syndrome. Although treatable, concussions have the possibility of causing permanent problems that an individual has to live with for a lifetime.

Soft tissue injuries.

Soft tissue injuries are common in all sports and include injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In combative sports, the most common soft tissue injuries include joint strains and sprains, contusions, and tendinitis.

Soft tissue injuries usually occur due to kicking, maneuvering, and other extreme positions and movement, which are part of combative sports. These injuries can sometimes require a prolonged period to heal and call for time off from the active sport.


Dislocation injuries in combative sports are not uncommon during training and in competition. In non-strike combative sports like judo and wrestling, joint dislocations have an incidence rate of 17%.

Most dislocations happen due to falling, overextending limbs while throwing kicks, kicks from the opponents, and poor defense techniques. A dislocated joint usually takes a considerable amount of time to heal, and it is always best to consult a doctor whenever you suffer a joint dislocation.

Virtually any sport poses serious injury risk, and combat sports are no exception. However, you need to bear in mind that the potential injuries highlighted above are not meant to instill fear against taking up combative sports but rather highlight the possibility of their occurrence. With proper training, the risk of injuries can be reduced significantly, making combative sports safe even for children.

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