The International Taekwondo Research Consortium is a group developed to promote scientific development and collaboration of academic disciplines in taekwondo. ITRC members comprise psychologists, sociologists, historians, physiologists, medical physicians, physiotherapists, performance specialists, epidemiologists and other academic professionals involved in the most current scientific study of taekwondo.
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.
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 50th 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 (eta2=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.