By Tom Olson
Did you know that according to a study that appeared in the 2001 issue of “American Family Physician” that did a study of all athletic injuries, up to 5 percent can be attributed to groin injuries. Also, in just the sport of Soccer, up to 7 percent of injuries are the result of a injury of the groin. These statistics are actually quite staggering to be honest. Martial arts, like soccer, has many of the same body mechanics that could result in a groin injury. While many issues do arise from pulled groin muscles, the majority of groin injury is impact oriented. The chances of a kick or knee even feigning a strike to your groin during a class is quite high, not to mention the use of weaponry in training.
Though it seems to be the chagrin of many martial artists, the best protection from the casual graze of a kick to the full impact of a staff, is a groin protector. Quotes like, “Its uncomfortable”, or “I cant find one that fits”, or even “I just forgot today” seem to be the most common reasons for not wearing a protective groin cup. All it takes is one impact to your groin and all of those reasons seem to just fade away.
A simple graze of a high speed kick is enough for the average male martial artist to at least stop the exercise and take a walk around, while the full force of a wayward kick and cause enough injury to halt training for a bit, or even permanently injure someone. Injuries associated with groin trauma are nerve damage, ruptured testicles, and possible sterilization. While we tend to think of men when we think of a groin injury, the ladies can just as easily be injured. Injuries associated with women suffering trauma to the groin is nerve damage, pelvic bone bruising and or fracture, and hematomas.
So your friendly neighborhood groin cup essentially disperses the impact over a rounded area. And while it is uncomfortable to receive a full on kick to the groin wearing one of these, you may end up with bruising but you will most likely not end up with injuries to the soft flesh underneath. And in the occurrence of a slight strike, the cup will easily keep the impact away from harm.
Advances in design have made the cup a very formidable protective force. Not to mention the comfort factor. Simply looking on line will yield many types and models, and while the school may offer a highly effective, low cost model, you most certainly can invest in a more updated model any time.
Don’t let the injury come first before you make the decision to protect yourself in any athletic activity, let alone martial arts. Remember, you are only investing in yourself and your safety when investing in and wearing your cup. And its always smart to put safety first!