Diminished impact attenuation properties of taekwondo and boxing headgear

Br J Sports Med. 2014 Apr;48(7):652. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093494.246.

Pieter W1O’Sullivan D2Fife G2

1Keimyung University, Daegu, South, Korea
2Chung-Ang University, Anseong, South, Korea

BACKGROUND: Only one study reported the impact attenuation of taekwondo headgear. Although Olympic boxing has discontinued the use of head protectors, similarities in designs are suggested to provide a framework for improving taekwondo helmets as a previous report determined poor testing results.

OBJECTIVE: To assess attenuation of taekwondo and boxing headgear.

DESIGN: Between-groups.

SETTING: Impact biomechanics laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Helmets approved by the World Taekwondo Federation and those by the International Boxing Association.

RISK FACTOR ASSESSEMENT: A standardized (ASTM F-2397) martial arts headgear striker was used to impart impacts to a 50(th) Percentile Male Hybrid III Dummy (Hybrid III) head and neck complex. All impacts were imparted with a terminal striking velocity of 5.0 m/s (max-min=5.15-4.75 m/s). Each headgear model (boxing: Adidas and Green Hills; taekwondo: Adidas and Nike) were fitted to the Hybrid III and impacted a total of 60 times to the left side of the headgear.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Resultant linear acceleration (RLA).

RESULTS: There was a significant difference in RLA between helmets (eta(2)=0.963, 95% CI: 0.881-0.987). Pairwise comparisons showed differences between the taekwondo Nike (129.48±8.18g) and boxing Green Hills helmets (109.48±10.11g) (d=2.19, 95% CI: -4.98-11.05). The boxing Adidas helmet (75.42±9.99g) recorded a higher RLA than its taekwondo counterpart (d=2.09, 95% CI: -6.67-5.82).

CONCLUSIONS: Both boxing and taekwondo helmets have a limited lifespan.”

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