How Do You Stay Safe in Taekwondo?

Taekwondo involves both punches and kicks, and with kicks, you are allowed to kick the face and head. So, how do you stay safe in Taekwondo?

Stay safe practicing Taekwondo by wearing padded helmets and torso pads and by focusing initially on the precision of hits more than power and speed. Power and speed are natural byproducts of precision. And with that also comes improved reflexes and conditioning, which also help with safety.

Taekwondo is a reasonably safe martial art to practice.

This is especially true when compared to many other martial arts that feature numerous head hits. Head hits are one of the leading causes of brain damage in MMA fighters and athletes alike.

However, this does not imply that Taekwondo is absolutely risk-free or that you should attend training without taking any precautions.

Still, in this post, we will attempt to compare the number of injuries in different sports and martial arts and provide a basic overview of the dangers of practicing this combat style.

If you’re intrigued, keep reading!

Do you get bruises from Taekwondo?

Practicing Taekwondo entails kicks to the body and head and punches and open-hand attacks to the torso, which makes practitioners more prone to bruises. However, almost any martial art other than Tai Chi has a similar level of risk.

Although bruises are one of the milder martial arts injuries, they can be fairly significant in some situations.

It all depends on where you get a bruise and how serious it is. A bruised arm is somewhat harmless, but a damaged eye or bone is not!

But are you more likely to get hurt doing Judo than Taekwondo?

I shared in a recent article about the differences between Judo and Taekwondo, including the 1 key way Taekwondo is safer!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

But constant bruises may mean you’re training at a bad dojo without proper supervision. A certain level is unavoidable. And as you gain experience, you will begin to train harder and faster.

But frequent injuries should not be happening, especially in the early stages of training.

However, as harsh as it may sound, some martial arts practitioners say that you regularly get bruised because your posture exposes your body to being struck in sensitive areas.

Several factors, including adequate training, attention to detail, and the usage of protective equipment, influence the likelihood of bruising injuries.

Can you get knocked out in Taekwondo?

It is possible to get knocked out in Taekwondo. But generally, this would only happen when training at full speed and power, which would not likely happen in the first years of training.

And once you are at the level where you are training at full speed and power, you’ll be far better skilled at evading a kick to the head or at least be able to minimize the impact.

So, your chances of being knocked out, unless you’re training MMA, are still relatively low.

Over the years, brain damage induced by getting knocked out in not just Taekwondo but other martial arts is a big issue that will be debated for years to come.

Getting knocked out during martial arts has shown to induce quite a serious brain damage, to the point that it can contribute to the development of disorders such as early-onset Alzheimer’s or epilepsy.

So, yes, you can get knocked out in Taekwondo, but how does Taekwondo compare to other martial arts?

Actually, the sports and fighting techniques causing the brain injury topic to gain popularity are nearly never Eastern martial arts.

Western sports such as boxing or kickboxing are among the worst offenders in this area.

Muay Thai appears to be the only Eastern martial art that seems to be harmful in these terms. But this could just be because it is more well-known, and so more injuries are recorded.

Aside from these, sports such as rugby, American football, and soccer appear to have similar (if not more severe) impacts on the brain.

This is caused not by the physical force of the collision but the brain’s sudden movement inside the skull due to the stated impact, which causes extensive damage to the brain.

Surprisingly, concussions are often caused by the impact of one’s head on the ground rather than by the blow that brought them there in the first place.

When the brain moves suddenly in the skull, the cerebrospinal fluid is flung around. Then the brain makes an impact on the skull, and many neurons die, with sections of the brain getting disconnected.

Interested in teaching yourself Taekwondo?

In a recent article of mine, I shared how to learn Taekwondo all by yourself. And while nothing beats the dojo experience, you can even earn a black belt at home with 1 system.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How safe is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo is very safe and has a low risk of concussion and other injuries. This is due to safety equipment such as shin guards, mouthguards, and headgear. But also being as much a sport as a martial art, the focus is on points more than power. And the acceptable targets are very limited.

Taekwondo practitioners can be injured, just like everyone else who participates in sports.

However, when it comes to physical activity, Taekwondo is one of the safest possibilities. Not only does sparring take place with enough protection and safety, but there are also Taekwondo schools that teach a style of combat that does not emphasize knockouts or knockdowns.

Consider football, which has an exceptionally high incidence of concussion and other injuries despite its widespread acceptance as a common component of school activities.

The majority of sparring occurs on soft or padded surfaces, which reduces the impact of falls and protects combatants from harm.

Any quality martial arts dojo will have instructors who are well worth the enrollment fee. These people know what they’re doing and how to do it safely for their students.

Taekwondo teachers are no exception.

One of their primary responsibilities is to educate safety, assisting students in reducing the danger of injury while training.

Can you train multiple times a week and still avoid most injuries?

I wrote in a recent article posted on my website about how often you should train in Taekwondo. The rate of serious injuries in Taekwondo is far lesser than most martial arts and contact sports, but there’s 1 way that injures newbies more than anything else.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Is Taekwondo safe for kids?

Taekwondo is unquestionably one of the safest martial arts for children, and because Taekwondo comprises three parts – basic elements, sparring, and forms – it is simple to create a program for children that gives them the basics of the art while focusing both on safety and fun.

Although the idea of children doing martial arts may raise some eyebrows, the truth is that most martial arts with a well-adapted program for children are quite safe.

So, the chance of injury is low.

Sparring is done by older students who have been training longer and who also wear protective armor.

So, contact between younger children in Taekwondo is kept to a minimum.

Children are taught the technical aspects of Taekwondo, but younger groups frequently integrate new things with activities.

So having a competent instructor is essential.

It is crucial to have fun while learning new things at such a young age, as otherwise, kids won’t stick with it. So teachers will frequently combine teaching with informative and enjoyable exercises that will instill a love of Taekwondo in the youngsters.

Taekwondo Safety Tips

1. Remove accessories before sparring.

Do not wear jewelry or watches to training. It can be of serious harm to the opponent. It would be better to leave watches at home.

2. Tie your hair back

Tie your hair if it’s long; use a hairband if it’s medium length throughout training.

3. Maintain short nails

When sparring, keep your finger and toenails short. You wouldn’t want to slash open your instructor’s face, would you?

4. Keep your mouth free

Do not chew gum while working out. It is not only impolite to your instructor and students, but it also poses a choking threat.

5. Wear appropriate gear

In sparring courses, make sure to wear all of your sparring gear, including your mouthguard and groin guard (especially in competitive sparring classes).

6. Wear protective goggles if you use glasses

In sparring classes, use goggles or a protective cover over your prescription glasses.

7. Be gentle with trainees

When sparring younger trainees or lower belts, avoid using undue force.

8. Do not hide injuries

Inform your instructor of any injuries you may have before class begins. If you are wounded in class, please notify your instructor as soon as possible.

9. Be careful

Do not stand on the benches in the viewing area or changing rooms and other seemingly less dangerous spots.

10. Be watchful, alert, and vigilant

If you see anything unsafe or feel unsafe, immediately notify your instructor.

11. Be a good partner

A good partner is aware of how their partner is feeling by their actions and facial expressions. It’s easy to tell if someone is overwhelmed, even if they have too big an ego to say it.

So always focus on being a good partner.

It’s not just about beating someone else. When they get better, you get better in the process. Plus, if you are kind, respectful, and give the appropriate power and speed for your partner, they will be more apt to do that for you.

ITF Taekwon-do Sparring Equipment - Try On & Explanation


In the article, we explored if it is possible to get bruises from Taekwondo and if you can get knocked out in Taekwondo.

We also checked how safe Taekwondo is and if Taekwondo is safe for kids. We wrapped things up by studying Taekwondo safety tips.

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