I have asked two questions recently regarding injury rates and severity in martial arts. These questions compare the injury rates and severity to those in actual situations where physical self defense might be used.

The questions are on topic, objective, and most importantly if answered well will provide useful information for those choosing a martial art for self defense purposes.

However both questions are receiving down votes and one is threatened with closure. Obviously if I can improve the questions I will, however essentially I want to know which martial arts make people safer and asking these questions seems a good place to start.

3 Answers 3


For what martial arts is the chance of being injured while training less than the chance of being injured by assault?

Running is accepted as the safest response to a physical conflict. From your question alone, I would conclude that people should not train running because they are far more likely to get injured during running training than being assaulted. Good luck trying to escape from attack if you insist running is too dangerous to practice.

Injury frequency is overly simplistic for the following reasons:

  1. Any activity carries risks of injury.
  2. Non-activity carries its own risks.
  3. The cost-benefit analysis of whether to study martial arts should extend beyond assault. Falls, for example, are a major source of injury among the elderly. Martial arts training can both prevent falls and reduce injury from them.
  4. The severity of injuries is not considered. Spraining your wrist is not significant relative to permanent injury.
  5. The probability of being assaulted is probably not independent of whether one engages in martial arts training.

I think your question is on-topic and answerable, but I think the answer is useless (almost all activities will cause injuries with a greater frequency than assault in UK), thus downvote.

Are injuries from Assault more Severe than those Sustained During Martial arts Practice?

This calls for a comparison between the minimum legal definition of assault in the UK versus the minimum reported injuries at a martial arts school.

I don't see how this is useful in the injury calculus whatsoever. The severe injuries people worry about are things like death and permanent impairment, not what qualifies as assault in the UK. [As an aside, your reference points out that hair cutting can qualify as assault.] Trading an occasional concussion or broken bone against the possibility of death is entirely a different affair than having your criminal lawyer compare definitions with your medical insurance lawyer.

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    1) True but I don't see the relevance. 2) also true but again what has that to do with the question? 3) do you have any data? I'd like this to be true but I'm not sure it is. 4) That is a good point and why I opened the second question. 5) But if it's so low anyway does this make a difference to any conclusions? I am a dedicated martial artist. I have been training for over 8 years and don't intend to stop. I just think we should be honest about the potential risks verses benefits.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 21:44
  • IANAL, but in my understanding, one does not have to be physically injured to have been assaulted; fear of harm is sufficient. If one is then injured, it would become "assault and battery" (or worse, depending on the injuries).
    – Mike P
    Jan 27, 2017 at 15:42

Question For what martial arts is the chance of being injured while training less than the chance of being injured by assault?

This question seem to compare apples and oranges.

Injuries happen, most of are related to either martial arts or assaults. Any sport will increase your chances of some injury and decrease the chance of other. Ditto for martial arts.

Just because there are statistics on rates of injury, attempting to mash them together can offer no correlation/causation whatsoever: see pirates vs global warming.

Question Are injuries from Assault more Severe than those Sustained During Martial arts Practice?

There is no control group of just normal injuries: is doing nothing more dangerous than being assaulted?

Note that training martial art could decrease the risk and/or the seriousness of normal injury. How would you tell?

Variation in style, school, and teacher might be more significant than per art. Also, competition (amateur or professional) will skew the statistics. Both these factors would make whatever statistics utterly irrelevant.


Both questions are tags "UK" which makes them too localised. Why does that tag even exists?

Neither question mention the goal of "which martial arts make people safer".

Assuming that injuries are related to safety is making a leap in logic that I cannot fathom.

These questions are on topic (not vote to close) but are bad ones (down vote).

  • If you are testing a cancer drug for example you would look at the number of people (empyrical probabilities) where the drug extended the persons life. If you ignore the deaths where the person died from the drug itself you are going to get a false positive. At no point do you use a control of the person dieing from causes unrelated to either cancer or the drug. It doesn't improve the validity of the experiment.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 15:28
  • Also what do you mean by no correlation/causation? You can't get a judo injury if you don't do judo! We can say that if you get injured doing judo then the injury is caused by judo. Simple as that. Also if you never get assaulted you never get to avoid the injury through use of physical self defence.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 15:33
  • To be absolutely clear: Even if we assume that Judo is 100% effective in reducing injuries from assault. As the chance of injuries from assault cannot be more than 2.8% the judo injury rate of 3.3% for those training 4 hours a week indicates that taking up judo will have no benefit for your injury rate. We could do a statistical test to see if it actually increases the risk but we can see that it doesn't reduce it at a glance.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 15:51
  • @huwevans I explained why I down voted but did not vote to close. I am not interested in arguing this further. We are not a forum. Jan 17, 2017 at 18:36
  • @Sardathion If it's not appropriate to debate a question why do I not get a numerical answer (including if you like any caveats) instead of "This is comparing apples to oranges". They are two probability values anyway. Same units- Directly comparable.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 21:51
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    @HuwEvans I am not interested in arguing this further… Jan 18, 2017 at 7:55
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    @HuwEvans Please remember to take extended discussion to a chatroom. If you are arguing in the comments then maybe your question or its intent wasn't as clear to them as you thought it was? You may not like other's opinions, but they do have the right to voice them - especially if you ask a question.
    – slugster Mod
    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:41

Your behavior indicates you already have an answer in mind. While a few people have asked questions to also answer said question on this site, they also did not then go arguing with everyone in the comments in order to try to shape everything towards their pre-concluded answer.

When you didn't get the group approval/answer you wanted in the first question, you barely restated it in the form of a second question.

If you had an issue framing your question correctly, your behavior would be very different and less about reaching for the answer you already want. We've seen newcomers to this site go through this process, and mostly there's a small back and forth to determine either a) What they're really trying to ask for, or b) asking for more information to usefully narrow down the question.

Your responses have not engaged meaningfully or honestly with the answers or comments people have given, you shift goalposts rather than address points, and are very determined to "get the last word in".

This means you're also not even asking these questions with honest intent here. If you want to have a soapbox where you get to have your answers for the world to read, and no one else's, you don't come to a Q&A site, you open a blog.

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    What on earth do you mean by "Honest Intent"? This seems completely different to how other stack exchange sites work. I asked directly for statistics. I know you have to be careful when drawing conclusions from them because they are quantitative and not qualitative and have no issue with people pointing this out but people here seem to be claiming I shouldn't be looking at them at all! This seems very narrow minded. I don't care what the stats show but I still want to see any that people might have to hand.
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 21:36
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    The second question was, as I stated, intended to complement the first in order to give qualitative data as well as quantitative. How is this 'Dishonest'?
    – Huw Evans
    Jan 17, 2017 at 21:37

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