Recently a study was released by using FBI statistics of fights from 1996 to 2000. The findings were really surprising.
First off if you divide the fights by which martial art was present, I was pleased to see that in any given fight, a karate fighter (with no kick boxing experience) knocked their opponent out 19% of the time. This was trumped by boxers with an overall knock out rate of 20%. Of course its interesting to note that in any case where alcohol was present, the boxers had a 90% KO rate. And despite the fact boxers train with gloves and wraps, and in the study, all of these fighters were bare fisted, the boxers only suffered hand injuries 10% of the time.
However, the king of this study was kick boxers. They netted a whopping 36% knock out rate! On top of that, the dominate attack that was used to deliver the knock out was a kick!
Now let me go ahead and add a disclaimer, when crime reports are filled out, there is the great chance that tae kwon do is miss reported as karate, or an MMA fighter is reported as a kick boxer etc. That said what I really found mind blowing about this article was its departure from classic self defense wisdom. First, martial arts that focus on competition aren’t useful in real life situations and second, kicks to the head are unrealistic! All other martial arts in the study showed up so rarely that no worth while statistics could be gleaned from them.
The rest of the study was interesting, but kind of outside the scope of our blog. Things like what percent of people were stabbed with a bottle (7% by the way). So I guess the lesson here is keep an open mind in your training, and a good old fashion punch or kick to the head is still a great way to end a fight.