The Science Of Striking

Physical Preparation for Stand Up Combat Athletes

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SHORT REVIEW: DISORDERED EATING IN COMBAT SPORTS ATHLETES

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Given that most combat athletes compete in weight divisions and are often forced to adjust dietary habits in order to make weight, the risk of developing disordered eating behaviours is elevated. This study sought to identify trends between sport-specific self-confidence, pre-competition weight loss, and disordered eating.    Elite and sub-elite MMA (n=47) and BJJ (n=64) practitioners were...

BRIEF REVIEW: RECOGNITION OF CONCUSSION IN COMBAT SPORTS

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Concussions are a major issue within combat sports and can lead to serious and long-term negative health consequences. Within many combat sports, a bout may be stopped due to a TKO, where the athlete is determined to not be in a position to safely defend themself, or at risk of harm should the bout continue. A fight being stopped too late may result in serious damage, unnecessary concussion, or...

Aerobic Exercise for Post Concussion Syndrome

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Concussion is common in contact sports, especially combat sports, and can result in an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury, as well as further concussion. The latter can have serious consequences.    Whilst concussions typically resolve in 1-2 weeks, in some instances symptoms can persist for much longer (Post Concussion Syndrome), in which case secondary effects such as headache...

BRIEF REVIEW: Injury rates in olympic combat sports

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A knowledge of injury epidemiology in specific sporting populations is important in understanding injury risk and instigating preventative measures.    Injury rates from the last 3 summer olympic games (Beijing, 2008, London, 2012, and Rio De Janeiro, 2016) were compiled for boxing, wrestling, judo and taekwondo. The data was collected using the IOC injury & illness surveillance system...

BRIEF REVIEW: THE IMPORTANCE OF LANGUAGE IN THE MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE INJURIES

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Language has been a major focus in recent times in regards to chronic pain management, however its relevance to acute injuries is often under appreciated. This editorial proposes 8 recommendations in terms of language used in the case of acute injury.   In the absence of trauma, do not assume that pain indicates tissue damage Assuming the presence of tissue damage may cause an athlete to...

BRIEF REVIEW: ELBOW MUSCLE IMBALANCE IN BJJ ATHLETES

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The sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) requires both fast, explosive actions, as well as maximal force contractions, often at ends of ranges. An imbalance between elbow flexor and extensor strength may predispose the athlete injury in this area, due to reduced joint stability.   In this study, 23 male BJJ athletes first underwent strength testing of the elbow muscles in an isokinetic...

BRIEF REVIEW: A Novel Test for Assessing Kick Capacity in Taekwondo

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As Taekwondo (TKD) competition is primarily composed of a succession of short-duration, high-intensity interactions, it is important for tests designed to measure the repeat effort ability of its athletes to assess these characteristics.    Previous TKD-specific tests, such as the Frequency Speed of Kick Test (FSKT) have used metrics such as the total number of kicks in a certain amount of...

BRIEF REVIEW: WHAT IS ANIMAL CONTEST THEORY

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WHAT IS “ANIMAL CONTEST THEORY”? Animal contest theory assumes that animals possess accurate information about their own fighting ability or resource-holding potential (RHP) and, under some models, that of their opponent. In the animal model, defeat is often indicated when one animal surrenders and retreats. RHP may also be applied to humans, and in a combat sporting environment is not just only...

BRIEF REVIEW: What are the odds of the “puncher’s chance”

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THE PUNCHER’S CHANCE In combat sports, the puncher’s chance refers to the scenario whereby a combatant who is thought to be inferior in ability prior to a bout, or who is being outclassed during a bout, still has the ability to win the bout via KO or TKO.   Researchers in Australia analysed the statistics from all UFC bouts between 1997 and June 2020 that ended in KO and TKO. These...

BRIEF REVIEW: Beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation in combat sports

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Due to the repeat high intensity burst nature of combat sports, they are highly reliant on glycolytic mechanisms for energy production. Glycolysis results in intramuscular H+, which needs to be buffered via intracellular (phosphates, carnosine) and extracellular (bicarbonate) buffers and a dynamic buffering system.  Supplementary Sodium Bicarbonate and Beta Alanine have both been shown to...

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