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Saturday 24th  and Sunday 25th September the Sports Therapy Scotland Team were at Ingliston, Edinburgh for The JKS World Karate Championships held in Scotland for the first time.

Our remit was to provide 1st aid cover for the 1500 participating athletes from over 50 countries around the World.

The team and individual Kata events were a joy to watch showing off the years of training and discipline that it takes to participate and compete at world level.

However….

Saturday and Sunday afternoon was probably the busiest and most intense we have encountered at any sports event. The Team and Individual  Kumite (fighting) event had us on our toes ,with the team quickly running low on , swabs , nose plugs , ice and rubber gloves due to the over exuberance of those involved and their will to win.

Some of the competitors weren’t too pleased when kicks or punches were landed on the head or other unprotected areas of the body causing concussion, bloody noses, bruised heads, ribs etc.

Several of the fights were stopped due to our concern for the safety of the fighters involved should they be allowed to carry on. Primary safety of the competitors was our foremost aim during the event.

I was concerned when the only protection was the padded mitts and mouth guards worn during the fights. No head protection was worn even though kicks from unprotected shins and feet and punches were permitted to the head area. “Hold On” I hear those of you involved in karate say,-“these karate competitions are only semi contact and very controlled”. My reply would have to be i saw at close range children and adults crying with burst noses, bruised heads, bruised ribs and when they obviously didn’t want to or were incapable of carrying on being told by their sensei’s to get up and carry on fighting. The Canadian Sensei informed us that 2 of his team were pulling out of Sundays individual Kumite(Fighting) due to the severity of Saturday’s team event.

We gave advice to coaches to be aware of the onset of compression injury in some of their athletes and be aware that they would have to attend A+E if their condition deteriorated, and to ensure they did not participate further in the tournament where contact was likely. Imagine my shock when some of these very athletes were presented to fight in the singles event on the Sunday after our advice was given to their coaches the day before.

I did talk to some of the coaches about this and highlighted the safety of those athletes they were in charge of was paramount and it was unsafe and detrimental to the sport to allow these fighters to continue.

What is wrong with head and leg guards for the under 18’s?

These comments may cause upset to those in the Karate world but if you were there you have to agree with them and if you weren’t well…

Saturday night and Sunday Night

It was a successful start to the season for the Clan who started off the weekend with a 6-0 win against Dundee Stars on Saturday and repeated their success when they took on the Edinburgh Capital at Murrayfield on Sunday and took home a 4-2 win.

Saturday night’s game saw record attendance at Braehead and the crowd was definitely a factor in the team’s performance according the Head Coach Drew Bannister:

“From events and what I’ve heard about the fans I knew that the crowd on Saturday night would be a great turn out but it sounded more like we had 5000 fans in there instead of the 2500 we did. I know the guys stepped out onto the ice pumped for the night ahead but when they saw and heard the crowd it made them even more determined to give the fans a good game – and win. Now all we need is that crowd to come back again and again and hopefully on Saturday night we gave them something to come back for.”

So now the season is well and truly on the Clan’s next home game is this Saturday (1st October) when Cardiff Devils take to the Braehead ice.