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4 Sports That Are More Dangerous Than Martial Arts

Most parents understand the importance of youth participation in sports or other extracurricular activities. They also understand the importance of keeping children safe while they participate in these activities. Some parents may wonder whether Taekwondo and other martial arts can sometimes get a bad rap for being unsafe for children. If proper precautions are taken, this can be one of the safer extra-curricular activities that your child can participate in, especially when compared to:


Football has been the most popular sport among youth for quite some time. And we love it here! Master West's son Setema famously started for BYU before playing a two consecutive super bowl-winning seasons with the Patriots. But as much as we love it, we have to confess that football is one of the most dangerous sports in the United States.

Participation in football causes twice the injuries each year as America's second most popular sport, basketball. Football is a collision sport that is likely to cause both minor and serious injuries. The main concern with youth football is the effects of traumatic brain injuries. A close second is long-term damage to knees. One study showed that children who began playing football before their 12th birthday were twice as likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression as teens or adults as those who began to play at a later age. They are also at an increased risk for behavior problems and other dysfunctions.

I don't want to pile on the anti-football crowd, but I also get a little irked when parents who will readily sign their kid up for tackle football don't want their kid in far safer Taekwondo classes.


Hockey is a sport that has increased greatly in popularity over the past decades. There are even hockey rinks in areas of the country with warm climates like Florida and California. With more young people stepping onto the rink to participate in hockey, it is only natural that a growing number of these young people are leaving the rink with injuries. A chief concern of those who monitor the safety of youth hockey is deciding what age is appropriate to allow body checking for youth hockey players. A body check is a full-body block that is used against the player who possesses the puck at any given time. Players who participate in leagues that allow body checking are up to three times more likely to experience a concussion or other serious injury than those who play in leagues that disallow this technique.

Professional hockey is famously tolerant of fights on the ice, so if you're planning on playing hockey, it might not be a bad idea to learn how to throw a decent hook while you're at it.


If you believe your son or daughter might be the next Steph Curry, it is important they stretch properly before practicing their jump shots. The lower extremities are at great risk of sprains and strains by youth basketball players. In fact, one-fourth of the injuries sustained playing basketball affect the ankles. Boys seem to face a slightly higher risk of injury playing basketball than girls. Seventy-five percent of youth basketball injuries that are addressed at emergency rooms are incurred by boys.


Participation in soccer has increased by five times over the past 30 years. And the popularity of this physically demanding sport will likely continue to rise. However, the number of injuries sustained by youth soccer players is cause for concern. The main injury risks are to the ankle, thigh, and upper legs. These areas are susceptible to an assortment of sprains and stains. Knee injuries, which can spell the end of the career of a young soccer player, are responsible for about one-third of the injuries sustained playing soccer.

Participation in a sport is a great way for children to develop traits and habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. As a parent, it is your duty to keep your children safe while they enjoy the sport of their choice. If you think any of the sports above represent too much of a health risk for a young athlete, perhaps taekwondo or another martial art is a better alternative.

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