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Concussions at the gym

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Hi guys,

I want to get some perspective - on average, how many team members get concussions in a year at your gym?

Last year, our gym had 5 concussions within the fight team from training (not sustained during a fight). Is this normal? It seems like a lot in just 12 months, given the seriousness of the injury. That's roughly an average of 1 concussion every 2.5 months.

Is this normal?

Thanks for your input.
  • Kaitlinrose and radarjam like this



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Yes, that is way too much in my opinion. There is no need for that. It sounds like the culture in that particular practice probably values "winning," and using physical attributes to do so, rather than skill development.

I'm all for the occasional hard spar, but it needs to be between two people of similar size and experience. Sparring in a manner that creates concussions with such frequency is both unnecessarily AND it trains people to be fearful strikers. If we need to survive in our home gym, we will only ever work our A game and defense. We will not be able to risk the costs of potentially being hit while we develop our B and C game. If you are a smaller person in a room like that, it is a good way to never really develop striking and potentially receive career ending injuries. It would be like trying to learn by only taking tests, with no actual lessons. Now, it's important to take tests here or there (fights) but if that's all we do, we stunt our growth. 

The team I spent many years with prior to working with a Thai trainer was exactly like that. I suffered multiple broken noses, several cuts, separated ribs, a separated shoulder, a broken hand, and a couple of popped MCLs. I was injured in that room more than I ever was in a fight. Since leaving that group, my injuries have been incredibly rare and my performances have been better than ever. Here's the crazy thing, almost none of the guys in that room were finishing people with strikes. It wasn't transfering to the ring. The big guys had become accustomed to using their power on smaller people that they did not have on their opponents, and the smaller guys would give opponents too much respect as they were used to being hit harder than an opponent their size ever could. 

The team I work with now does primarily timing sparring, with harder rounds here or there against similar size/experience teammates. Our results are WAY more consistent, and even the big guys have a very high KO ratio. It's not just safer training, it's more effective. 


  • dtrick924, 515, radarjam and 1 other like this

Fighting Frog

Fighting Frog

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Sounds like a lot of injuries there, both of you! I would imagine that the occasional concussion/injury would occur in training simply by a bit of bad luck - but I agree with Kaitlinerose - 5 in a short time sounds like something is Not Right, unless there has been a run of genuine mistakes and bad luck (just as in any vigorous sport, however well regulated, there's always going to be the occasional statistical blip where there is a run of people getting hurt).

Take care.

  • 515, Kaitlinrose, radarjam and 1 other like this

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