THE UNIQUE PROBLEM OF GROIN PROTECTION IN MARTIAL ARTS

Nothing is more exciting than the world of martial arts. Men, Women, Boys and Girls have flocked to this sport increasingly over the last 20 years.  Regardless of the discipline; karate, Taekwondo, Muay thai, kickboxing, or krav maga, they have one thing in common.  You can, and are expected, to strike your opponent at times.  But there are rules in place to protect competitors. 

You can’t hit or kick the groin. Really? 

Nearly all martial arts disciplines have strict rules about striking certain parts of the body. The neck and eyes, for example, are always off limits, and certain holds are outlawed also.  But due to the location on the body, both men and women are at great risk of hits to the genitals.  This is not only terribly painful, but it can cause serious injury also.  While the vast majority of amateur and professionally trained MMA artists respect this, and work to avoid it, accidents do happen.  But accidents are not the only issue.  

Sometimes hits to the groin are intentional.

Multiple surveys of martial artists have indicated that over 20 percent have intentionally kicked or hit the groin of an opponent during a match to either get an edge, or out of anger.  This might sound shocking, but we are humans and in the heat of the moment we don’t always act our best. This is a larger issue with males due to the testicles, but it is a problem with females as well. This obviously makes groin protection a high priority. 

Martial arts groin protection is especially important. 

Very few sports run the risk of hits to the sexual organs as commonly as martial arts.  You are expected to make contact with your opponent; in fact the rules require it.  This is not the case with sports like baseball, football, or lacrosse.  What makes martial arts such a challenge is many strikes are “mid-body”, and it is very easy for a “low blow” to take place, as in boxing.  In fact, the martial arts are the leader in minor body injuries from intentional strike related impacts. Obviously wearing a cup is essential for this reason, yet that is not as simple as it sounds in this sport. 

Athletic cup position is key to groin protection for men and boys. 

The other unique factor in martial arts is that the body is in many different positions during sparring or a match, and the pace is very rapid.  There are no other sports where an athlete would have his or her leg above his waist during a contest with another athlete.  Simply raising the leg can cause a man’s athletic cup to move up and down, and side to side. This is why the support system holding it in place is so important for a man wearing a cup.  If the athletic cup is not over your testicles, then it can be useless, or worse. 

Protecting the groin doesn’t have to be complex.  

Men and women both have very sensitive parts between their legs and protecting them is not rocket science.  But it does require both an understanding of how genital protection works, and some basic research in the availability of high quality products.

With men and boys, that is simply making sure you wear a good quality athletic cup, with a jockstrap or compression short that holds it in place. Martial arts are growing in popularity each year, and as exhilarating as it can be, a groin kick is horrible.  But it will happen, and the best way to handle it is to just plan on being hit, and have the correct protection already in place.  Purchase genital protection products that will protect this most sensitive part of your body and allow you to not worry about that next hit.

 

Watch and learn how you can change your game

Ben Thulen
Sports Injury Researcher, United States
SportsResearcher@pm.me

Photo by SOON SANTOS

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