A parametric investigation of the thoracic injury potential of basic taekwondo kicks was conducted through the use of computer simulations. Linkage-based models were employed to simulate the kinetics of the kicking leg and were used to drive a human thorax model. The results of the analysis according to the thoracic compression criterion indicated a minimal probability of severe injury (AIS4+ ) for swing kicks, nearly 0 percent and thrust kicks, less than three percent. The thoracic viscous criteria, on the other hand, predicted a severe injury probability of up to 100 percent for swing kicks and up to 80 percent for thrust kicks. Additional analysis showed that the injury potential was a strong function of the kick velocity and a weak function of the applied constant force. The injury potential was also found to be a weak function of the size and weight of the kicking leg, with variations in the peak compression and viscous response being typically below 5 percent for a 20 percent change in either the mass or the length.

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