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Michael Kirkham, from Gaston, S.C. was pronounced dead this morning at Aiken Regional Medical Center. He was struck in the head several times during the bout, was unresponsive when transported and never regained consciousness before dying from a brain hemorrhage, according to WRDW.

Read the rest here.

Follow the link to a British Journal of Sports Medicine article on rates of injury  occurrence within a group of 152 Muay Thai practitioners. The link will only take you to the abstract, to read the full article you’ll have to register, which is free. Not surprisingly, lower leg and head trauma lead the pack.

British Journal of Sports Medicine:  Injury and injury Rates in Muay Thai Kick Boxing

Here is a a note of caution for all of those enchanted by plyometrics from the Sports Injury Bulletin site.


Plyometric training can improve speed, strength and power. But can it also cause serious injury? Here’s a review of the literature:

An athlete’s hunger for success is fuelled by a constant supply of new products and training principles. During the past decade plyometric training has increased in popularity and is now considered to be an essential training method for athletes competing in a wide variety of sports. Donald Chu, one of the most prolific writers in this area, considers plyometrics to be the ‘icing-on-the-cake’ that can enhance an athlete’s ability, allowing him or her to remain at the cutting edge of their sport (1992). Donald Chu is not alone in this and many other respected coaches believe that, when performed correctly, plyometrics can improve speed, strength, acceleration and explosive power.

Click here to read the rest.

A few years ago I found myself cooling my heels in the cardiac unit of a local hospital after a training session/workout. I was fairly young at the time (early forties), I did not smoke, drank only on rare social outings, as a lifelong vegetarian I had avoided the pitfalls of the American fast food dietary time bomb, and I led an active life. How I ended up in that hospital had a lot to do with my attitude toward health and training.

My family has a very rare, almost unique health condition, we develop rheumatic symptoms in reaction to a host of triggers, the most common one is cold. The cold does not have to be very severe either, just working in an air conditioned office can result in high fevers, swollen joints, uncontrolled shaking, lose of fine motor control, and all sorts of other nastiness. Other triggers include exercise, and trauma (think ude tanren, or even the joint locks of aikido).  Because our condition is so rare it is only now starting to get the kind of systemic investigation that allows our doctors and us to begin to understand the disease. Treatments are finally  being developed and we are gaining important information about how the disease works which helps us manage it.

I used to be ashamed of the welts that would raise over my skin as a reaction developed, I would go to great lengths to hide them. I felt weak willed when, in the course of a developing reaction I could no longer stand in a front stance because of the pain in my ankles and knees. I often felt humiliated when I would begin to shake and loose fine motor control during winter training. I would gut it out, feeling incredibly frustrated, and go home to collapse while my fever would shoot up, often to 103f for hours.

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BBC news article covering a new study on the long term effects of concussion.

What follows is an excerpt from the Peak Performance On-line site.

Martial arts injuries

Martial arts injuries: When males and females take up martial arts, who gets hurt?

As crime rates have expanded in Great Britain and the United States, concerns about personal safety have increased, and many people have decided to learn self-defence techniques by studying the martial arts. In the United States, for example, the number of martial arts enthusiasts has climbed past 200,000 and is still rising, even though very little information has been available concerning the actual safety of the sport itself. Some critics, sceptical of the merits of martial arts training, have suggested that you’re more likely to be seriously hurt during a martial arts workout than you are to be hit on the head by a mugger.

Click here for the remainder of the article.

The CDC has a good pack on Concussion in Youth Sports, as part of their campaign to raise awareness about Traumatic Brain Injury. It includes check-lists of what look for and how to respond if someone gets hit in the head, as well as information on how quickly an athlete should return to the fray, and when to send them to a doctor. If you’re a coach for youth sports (or even a karate instructor with some youngish students) you can get the pack for free from this website. They can also send posters, fridge-magnets and a funky looking Concussion Clip-board.


"Try to see yourself as you truly are and try to adopt what is meritorious in the work of others. As a karateka you will of course often watch others practice. When you do and you see strong points in the performance of others, try to incorporate them into your own technique. At the same time, if the trainee you are watching seems to be doing less than his best ask yourself whether you too may not be failing to practice with diligence. Each of us has good qualities and bad; the wise man seeks to emulate the good he perceives in others and avoid the bad."
Funakoshi Gichin


November 2019
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