The Science Of Striking

Physical Preparation for Stand Up Combat Athletes

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COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 7 – TFCC injury

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The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) consists of a cartilaginous disc that lies between the ulnar and the triquetrum and lunate bones, the ulnar meniscus, the sheath of the extensor carpi ulnaris (one of the muscles responsible for extending and ulnar deviating the wrist), and several ligaments of the wrist and hand. The complex is loaded in movements that involve axial compression in a...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 6 – Thumb ligament injury

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  A common joint injury observed in boxing is a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (ULC) of the 1st ray metacarpophalangeal joint, the ligament that lies on the inside of the thumb (1). This ligament is often damaged when the thumb is caught and bent back during punching or defending. This is commonly referred to as a “skiers thumb” (when occurring acutely), or a “gatekeepers thumb” (when...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 5 – Bennett’s Fracture

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A Bennett’s fracture refers to a fracture of the base of the 1st metacarpal, the long bone that articulates with the thumb. As this is an intra-articular (occurring within the joint capsule), the injury often involves damage to the structures around the adjacent joint and the adjacent bone (the trapezium) (1). This injury typically occurs with excessive axial compression (compression down the...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 4 – Carpal Bossing Carpal bossing refers to disruption of the carpometacarpal joint (the joints between the second row of wrist bones and the long bones in the hand). This injury is typically caused by axial loading of the metacarpal bones. The joints of the wrist are very precise, like a lock and key, and excessive load in even...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 3 – The Boxer’s Fracture

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The boxer’s fracture is a fracture of the 5th metatarsal (little finger side). As this is obviously not the target area of contact with a punch, this injury is often caused by suboptimal punching technique. In a typical punch, the knuckles of the 2nd and 3rd rays should make contact, allowing for a smooth transfer of force across the joint. However, when contact is made with the 4th or 5th rays...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 2 – The Boxer’s Knuckle

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The boxer’s knuckle refers to an injury to the extensor mechanism of the fingers (the musculo-tendinous unit that allows the finger to extend) and is one of the more serious musculoskeletal injuries in boxing. During a punch, the metacarpophalangeal joint (the joint of the knuckle) is rapidly forced into flexion, stretching the surrounding soft tissue to its maximum tolerance. Over time this may...

COMMON HAND AND WRIST INJURIES IN STRIKING SPORTS – PART 1

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Due to the frequency of hand contact, the impact with which this contact occurs and the complexity of the region, injuries to the hand and wrist are by far the most documented injuries in striking combat athletes. The impact related to punching results in a positive remodelling of bone and soft tissue over time, causing the tissues to become stronger and more resilient. We refer to this process...

BRIEF REVIEW: FORCE AND VELOCITY OF UPPER LIMB STRIKES

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The force with which an upper limb striking technique such as a punch is delivered with is a major determinant of the impact of the strike and its potential for damage and effectiveness. Previous research has shown greater levels of mean and maximum punching force in winning vs. losing boxing contestants. A great variety of different upper limb striking techniques exist across a range of...

BRIEF REVIEW: TIME TO LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOLLOWING A STROKE

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Combative choking techniques (more accurately described as strangulations) are commonly used techniques in a wide range of combat sports and arts, as well as in law enforcement. The goal of a strangulation is to cause bilateral compression of the carotid artery and jugular vein, decreasing the cerebral perfusion pressure and leading to a loss of consciousness (LOC). An understanding of the likely...

BRIEF REVIEW: VELOCITY MEASUREMENT IN BOXING

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Linear Force Transducers (LFT) are devices designed to measure the displacement and velocity of movement via a tethered cord. They have been utilised extensively in a variety of different sports, and have been shown to be more reliable than accelerometers in measuring linear kinematics. At present, the effectiveness of LFTs in analysing punching technique has only been used in non-trained...

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