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Thread: Brain Trauma - Martial Arts

  1. #1 Brain Trauma - Martial Arts 
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    Are there significant risks of brain trauma while training in martial arts full contact sparring which involves the head? (boxing, muay thai, mma) I am looking for reliable information and not just a guess.

    I looked around some martial arts forum about this but I can't help thinking there are large biases. I want to start going to a MMA gym but I'm afraid that this kind of sparring would negatively impact my future career as a researcher.


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  3. #2  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Yes.

    You can use the research which has been done with football if you need a larger sample.


    I actually just watched a PBS Frontline special this week on exactly that. You don't even need to get a concussion for the brain damage to be seen.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/football-high/


    Ultimately, it's up to you if the risk is worth it. I quite enjoyed my time training in martial arts, but I also wasn't taking a lot of head shots.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    After watching these I think I'm going to consider not going into MMA:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNjoM...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzHLE...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbX6AiUX33I

    Can I ask which styles you've trained in?

    Also, are there injuries that are cause by submissions? (Brazilian jujutsu)
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  5. #4  
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    I don't know of any research into this specific mechanism of injury. I have plenty of anecdotes though ( i both train in martial arts and work in accident and emergency - ER).

    Mostly depends on what level you want to train up to, and thus how you train. But there will always be a certain level of risk, no matter in what sport you engage. You just need to know exactly what you want to get out of your training and manage risks appropriately.

    Just as a side: apparently when gloves were first introduced into boxing the amount of deaths/serious head injuries actually increased. It's said that this is because people would most likely break their bare hands before causing any serious head trauma, but when wearing gloves the head got targeted more. Can anyone corroborate that story; sound feasible.
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  6. #5  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShouBox
    After watching these I think I'm going to consider not going into MMA
    A lot of it depends on how good your defenses are. If you are concerned, then don't do it. If you want to try, then try. Yes, there's a huge risk, but it's not like you're going to become an immobile drooling mental patient right away.
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  7. #6  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Just as a side: apparently when gloves were first introduced into boxing the amount of deaths/serious head injuries actually increased. It's said that this is because people would most likely break their bare hands before causing any serious head trauma, but when wearing gloves the head got targeted more. Can anyone corroborate that story; sound feasible.
    There is apparently a wiki entry on boxing gloves. It states the following:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_glove
    The impact of gloves on the injuries caused during a fight is a controversial issue. Hitting to the head was less common in the bare-knuckle era because of the risk of hurting the boxer's hand. Gloves reduce the amount of cuts caused, but British Medical Association research has stated that gloves do not reduce brain injuries and may even increase them, because the main cause of injury is acceleration and deceleration of the head, and fighters wearing gloves are able to punch harder to the head. Gloves may reduce the amount of eye injuries, especially if they are thumbless, but retinal tears and detached retinas still occur to boxers wearing modern gloves.[1][2] One large study has estimated the risk of death from bare-knuckle boxing at 14,000 deaths per million participants. This is 184 times more deaths per million participants than for modern professional boxing, which has 76 deaths per million participants (according to the same study).
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by ShouBox
    After watching these I think I'm going to consider not going into MMA
    A lot of it depends on how good your defenses are. If you are concerned, then don't do it. If you want to try, then try. Yes, there's a huge risk, but it's not like you're going to become an immobile drooling mental patient right away.
    Well.. In the long run I really don't want to risk losing part of my IQ. Because I want to be a research as long as possible. A self defense method which destroys me in the long run is a self defeating goal to me.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    I might actually consider doing sparring until I get KOed a certain amount of times.

    Or just train w/o stand up sparring to begin with.
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  10. #9  
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    What do you actually want to get out of your training? Martial arts provide different training methods; you should be able to find one to suit your needs without being KO'd every 5 minutes.

    Thanks inow. That BMA report is quite detailed, i'll have a look later. But i don't agree with the idea of banning boxing.
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  11. #10  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShouBox
    Well.. In the long run I really don't want to risk losing part of my IQ.
    Why, is it really that low to begin with... can't afford to make matters worse?


    The bigger effect from trauma will likely be to your memory, not your IQ. With lots of trauma, dementia will also be an issue in your later years... but remember that key word... Trauma. Not all training (in fact, not much) tends to lead to trauma.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    Yea, I really can't affording losing my short term memory. Mine is already below average. Thank you for all your help. I'll talk to my local doctor about this then make my final decision.
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  13. #12  
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    What? :P
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  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    omg... now I'm starting to read about brain trauma in judo...

    maby martial arts isn't right for me to begin with...
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  15. #14  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Do you ever drink alcohol?
    Have you ever smoked?
    Do you eat red meat?
    Do you enjoy ice cream?

    All of those things are dangerous. Why the neuroses with martial arts?
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  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman ShouBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Do you ever drink alcohol?
    Have you ever smoked?
    Do you eat red meat?
    Do you enjoy ice cream?

    All of those things are dangerous. Why the neuroses with martial arts?
    I don't drink. I've smoked before but stopped.
    I don't think red meat/ice cream is dangerous if you're doing things right.

    The point with martial arts sparring is that brain trauma is expected to happen after 10~20years of doing it. Apposed to something that can be stopped like bacterial infections from red meat.

    With red meat you have control over the situation, but with alcohol/smoking/sparring you can't do anything to prevent the damage as long as you're doing it.
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  17. #16  
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    Red meat is linked to bowel cancer.
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

    Fancy a game of chess?
    http://www.itsyourturn.com/
    Challenge me, Delphi, and join the Pythian games.
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  18. #17  
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    Check out Fight Science - MMA, they have really good graphics of what's going on! Have a search on google!

    AL.
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