Head injuries in sports and in martial arts

August 1999 was the last time AKBAN practitioners did sparring with a knock-out option. Ever since AKBAN instructors have been emphasizing full contact sparring with no injuries. A novice martial artist might think that a head punch with gloved hand is harmless and is not considered as injury - that's a mistake! Many clinical studies support our old conclusion: even one major punch to the face raises the chances for post concussion syndrome, or Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome. Many martial arts forbid hand punches to the head, one can hit the body with great force without risking head injury - not so in our school. In Ninjutsu we aim to spar in realistic, full-contact fights and we hit the face so that practitioners will get in the habit of defending the head area. Punching the face must be gentle enough even if boxing gloves are used. Our old conclussions gain crdibility from findings in other sports. The danger is not only old age neurological syndromes (Mohamad Ali) but near and immediate danger to the practitioner. AKBAN students that had a minor head injury, even while playing soccer weeks ago, do not participate in sparring that has a chance for head punching. Mr. S. said, on many occasions: "The most important thing is the student's safety. We (AKBAN Instructors) must learn all the time, use academical studies and clinical articles in sport medicine and physiology to raise our students' professionalism and keep them safe." This explains the meticulous and slow way we developed the AKBAN fitness program for more then ten years. "Fitness is our safety envelope." To superb fitness we add correct sparring rules and etiquette, just so that we'll be able to work in the Dojo for many years. image