Don Williams said...
Thought I would give you a heads up regarding NY Times report about new medical findings re mental problems that can crop up in mid-old age due to repetitive concussions experienced while young from sports like boxing. Something to watch in sparring.
Looks like damage can occur but not be evident until a decade or so later.
This is a quote from the link above:
“Repetitive head injuries can have very serious long-term consequences, regardless of how you get them.”
I’d say repetitive impacts (not necessarily injuries) to the head is enough to have long term consequences.
The problem with professional boxers isn’t that they get KO, the problem is that they don’t get KO enough.
You see, with boxing gloves, boxers can keep hitting each other for unnaturally extended periods of time. The constant punches to the head, while in some cases not enough to knock you down, will has long term consequences. Constant shock to the head will do that, even if you never go down.
Meanwhile in UFC matches, this does not occur that much. A couple punches, even a single good punch to the face will drop the other guy.
The sport itself may look more brutal than boxing, but in reality its much more natural. Guy gets clocked, he goes down. Same on street fights. But in boxing, they spend maybe half an hour punching each other on the head, and a KO is much less likely unless there’s a very accurately placed punch to the jaw, stomach or kidney, or a very powerful blow to the head.
Something similar happens for example when comparing Football with Rugby. The protection allows people to take greater punishment sometimes, but the shock is still there. If you think about it its like wearing a helmet when riding a bike. You wear it in case there’s an accident, you don’t buy a helmet so you can smash your head against a wall a couple hours a day.
Having said all this, this is mostly a problem for pros or serious amateur fighters that compete and train a lot.
For most of us, training and occasionally fighting, even participating in informal competitions once in a while, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Id recommend at least once a year, measuring your skills against others in full contact self defense. At least to know where you’re standing really. Sparring once or twice a week isn’t a problem either, if you do it with like minded people. Most of these problems are concerns for professional fighters.
For most of us, the health benefits alone greatly out weight the risks, and I’m not even getting into self defense.
Don’t let this be an excuse to become a blob of lard sitting in a cushion “No, I don’t do sports or fight because of head trauma” and then cholesterol and your overweight kills you by the time you’re 50, if not sooner.