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International Journal of Martial Arts - Vol. 8

[ Article ]
International Journal of Martial Arts - Vol. 8, No. 0, pp. 80-92
Abbreviation: IJMA
ISSN: 2287-8599 (Online)
Print publication date 28 Feb 2023

Risk compensation behaviour is present in Historical European Martial Arts and can oppose a risk for the effectiveness of preventive measures
Sean Wauters
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Martial Arts Research and Studie, Beigemsesteenweg 304,1852, Beigem

Correspondence to :; +32 496 840 715


Background: Prevention is the first line of defence in sport related injuries. To minimalize the chances of injuries, sports use preventive measures such as rules, settings and protective equipment. Risk compensation behaviour is the combination and compilation of behaviours that are the result adapted behaviour by wearing protective equipment or other preventive measures. Aim: The aim if this study is to investigate whether risk compensation behaviour is triggered by wearing more protective equipment in Historical European Martial Arts. Material and methods: 30 fencers (15 duos) competed in 2 combat settings one while wearing a full set of protective equipment, the other while wearing minimal protective equipment. The fencers fought 2 rounds against an age and experienced matched partner in both of the settings. After the fencing bout a series of questionnaires was conducted in order to map risk compensation behaviour. Conclusion: Risk compensation behaviour is present in Historical European Martial Arts and developers of protective equipment and tournament managers should take it into account in the development of protective measures.

Keywords: Historical fencing, Historical European Martial Arts, Risk compensation behaviour, injury prevention


Many thanks to Robert Daniel Brooks, Bert Gevaert, Janik Puttemans, L.C., V.L.W, and V.P.W. for their support and help on this work.

The pictures were taken at official Netherland and Belgian tournaments and by tournament organizations. The people in the picture gave their consent to these organization to be photographed, and organizations gave their consent to use the photos. Faces were blurred for privacy reasons.

This work was done in collaboration with Martial Arts Research and Studies. There was no funding for this project.

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