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Gabriel P. Fife, 1Thomas W. Kaminski, 2David O’Sullivan, 3Willy Pieter, 4Isshin Shin, 5Taehee Lim
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware USA
Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
University of Asia and the Pacific, Pasig, Philippines
Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Yongin University, Yongin, South Korea
email: fifeg@udel.edu

Accepted for poster presentation at the 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics
INTRODUCTION peak foot velocities. A Mann-Whitney U test was
used to compare the linear velocities of the axe
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention kicks and RLA within men and women. The level
refer to concussion as a “silent epidemic” of significance was set to 0.05.
(300,000/year) [1]. In Taekwondo (TKD),
concussion incidence is three times greater than in
American football [2,5]. To this date a RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
biomechanical analysis of TKD head kicks and
head injury outcomes does not exist. The purpose of Table 1 displays the descriptive statistics of peak
this investigation was to assess the effect of various foot velocity by type of axe kick as well as RLA. In
kicks on resultant head linear acceleration (RLA), the men, there was a significant difference in RLA
change in head velocity and peak foot velocity of as a result of the kick with the clench axe kick
kicks. scoring higher (p = 0.016, ES = 1.70). In the
women, the foot velocity was higher for the clench
METHODS axe kick (p = 0.025, ES = 1.58).
Two males (22.00+0.0 years, 184+0.0cm, A previous investigation by Viano [5] report
81.30+1.8 kg) and two females 20.00+2.8 years, kinematics of a Hybrid III Crash Test Dummy head
171.0+1.4 cm, 63.00+5.2 kg) elite TKD athletes and RLA with a high average head RLA of 71.2g
were recruited for this pilot study. Resultant linear with the hook and a low of 24.1g with the uppercut
head acceleration (RLA) data were collected from punch. These values were averaged across all
five the axe kick (FA) and clench axe kick (JH) participating weight divisions and only observed
randomly performed five times. A Hybrid II Crash head injury characteristics as produced by Olympic
Dummy head (H2D) and neck were instrumented male boxers. Our results indicate a mean RLA
with a tri-axial piezoelectric accelerometer, PCB produced by elite TKD athletes of the head
Piezotronics 356A66 (Depew, New York) mounted comparable to that of the boxing uppercut. A
at the head center of gravity. The change in head previous live competition analysis [3] conclude the
velocity was observed by placing a reflective axe kick variations are high culprits for concussion
marker at the apex of the H2D head. The H2D was in TKD although other kicks are used but not
fixed to a height adjustable frame and fitted with a always resulting in concussion.
protective TKD helmet (LeCAF - Seoul, South
Korea). Acceleration data were captured at 10,000 CONCLUSIONS
Hz using Qualisys Track Manager (Gothenburg,
Sweden) and processed in accordance with SAE As our initial pilot study is the first of its kind to
J211-1. Each subjects’ foot was marked with observe head RLA on an instrumented head form
reflective markers at the heel and between the first and peak foot velocities of kicks it is recommended
and second metatarsals to allow for determining that future studies include analysis of a larger
Fife, G. P., Kaminski, T. W., O’Sullivan, D., Pieter, W. and Lim, T. H. (2010), Velocity of the taekwondo axe kick and resultant linear acceleration, 2010
Annual American Society of Biomechanics Meeting, Providence, RI, USA, August 18-21.
subject pool including other kick techniques 4.Pieter, W. The 2nd International Symposium for
commonly reported to cause concussion in Taekwondo Studies, Seoul: Daekyung Books, pp.
taekwondo. 110-117, 2009.
5. Viano et al. Neurosurgery. 57, 1154-1172,

1.Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Prevention; 2003.
2.Delaney JS. Clin J Sports Med. 12, 80-70, 2004. We would like to thank Mike Gratopp of Denton
3.Koh JO. Cassidy JD. Clin J Sports Med. 14(2), ATD Inc. (Rochester Hills, MI USA) for their
72-79, 2004. contribution in donating the H2D device

Table 1: Linear velocity (m*s-1) and magnitude as a function of axe kick in elite taekwondo athletes

Clench axe kick Men Women

Foot velocity (m*s-1) 9.70 ± 2.16 9.10 ± 2.33
Head velocity (m*s-1) 3.90 ± 1.33 2.93 ± 0.55
Resultant Head Linear Acceleration (g) 33.28 ± 11.09 18.22 ± 4.84
HIC 62.20 ± 39.90 22.17 ± 11.22
Front axe kick
Foot velocity (m*s-1) 8.48 ± 1.86 6.21 ± 0.98
Head velocity (m*s-1) 3.63 ± 1.10 3.11 ± 0.50
Resultant Head Linear Acceleration (g) 20.66 ± 7.03 18.48 ± 7.20
HIC 23.52 ± 11.47 24.57 ± 17.91

Fife, G. P., Kaminski, T. W., O’Sullivan, D., Pieter, W. and Lim, T. H. (2010), Velocity of the taekwondo axe kick and resultant linear acceleration, 2010 Annual
American Society of Biomechanics Meeting, Providence, RI, USA, August 18-21.

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