How to Prevent Martial Arts Injuries

Updated on December 10, 2021

Accidents are inevitable in martial arts – from simple wear and tear to more severe pains. That said, some injuries are more common than others, as martial arts use different muscle groups than other sports.

Here is a compilation of frequent injuries in martial arts and how to prevent them.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains frequently occur in martial arts. The ideal way to relieve yourself of the pain caused by sprains is by using ice and cold packs. You also have to take a break from any physical activities until the pain and swelling reduce significantly. It’s also essential to see a doctor who specialises in such injuries. 

Groin Strain

Groin injuries are common in martial arts as the sport involves a lot of kicking. Muscular tears in your groin are the reason behind this type of injury. You might experience muscle spasms, tenderness, and tightness. 

If you want to prevent groin strains, warm up before you start practising. Also, cool down after completing every session. 


Concussions happen when you hit your head against an object or a hard surface. These injuries usually affect concentration and memory. Since they’re functional, concussions aren’t visible in CT and MRI scans. 

When you experience a concussion, visit a medical professional immediately. Mild concussions heal in one week, but it’s advisable to return to daily activities gradually. Don’t resume total activity unless you get clearance from your doctor. 

Hamstring Injuries 

Like groin strains, hamstring injuries occur when martial artists perform high kicks. When such accidents occur, the best solution is to perform hamstring stretches. You can also make your muscles more robust and resistant by cross-training, focusing on cardio exercises.

Stress Fracture

Stress fractures occur when you put too much pressure on the bones. Although this is a common problem with runners, it also affects martial artists. 

Treatment mainly focuses on resting and takes at least eight weeks to heal. If you want to prevent fractures, avoid setting unrealistic objectives. More importantly, stop training whenever you start feeling pain. 

Bumps, Cuts, and Bruises

Because of contact with other players, cuts and bruises are common in martial arts. The depth of a cut determines your next course of action – if it’s deep, you might need stitches. Otherwise, a bandage can do.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains usually seem unserious but can transform into recurring injuries if left untreated. The treatment for this condition focuses on decreasing swelling, increasing motion, and improving strength and balance. You might also need a brace to prevent the recurrence of the injury.

Cauliflower Ear

Blunt trauma to the ear can cause injuries. As you heal, the ear might shrivel and fold in on itself, a condition known as cauliflower ear. Besides being painful, this injury can temporarily cause hearing loss and headaches. 

The best way of preventing injuries is by wearing helmets. Additionally, it’s vital to wear gloves when practising to avoid hurting other players. Also, stay away from striking the sides of the head when sparring or competing. 

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re learning to compete or for self-defence, the last thing you want is to injure yourself when practising martial arts. The secret to avoiding injury is using proper equipment and techniques. Additionally, ensure that you learn from the right instructor.

Martial arts have multiple benefits – it improves muscle and bone strength, enhances flexibility, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Because there are many types, it’s vital to understand the risks of each before enrolling in classes. For instance, karate and jiu-jitsu have different risks.

Lastly, always warm-up before practices and cool down after exercising. These reduce the risk of muscular injuries. 

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