I have a hypothesis that damage resistance (ability to handle destructive impact without damage) is not related to the ability to deliver destructive damage (as a function of body mass) in ratio 1:1 (i.e. your capability to deliver damage is not equal to your ability with withstand damage).

In other words, I guess that if you gain 10% of body weight, that increment of your power in % is not the same as the increment of your damage resistance in % and vice versa.

If this hypothesis is valid, then some weight classes should be safer than others. However, I have a hard time googling any related study or statistics (because of the massive flood of information about weight cutting in a combat sport - this topic is completely occupying the keywords I search for).

So I ask you for help:

  1. Are there any studies on this topic?
  2. What accessible statistics should be used to run this test?

But, please avoid zero-experience opinions. I have already acquired a bunch of them and they are not really helping.

  • This is an interesting question, but not really on topic for fitness. It's late here now, but I'll figure out tomorrow morning whether cross validated or martial arts would be a better location.
    – JohnP
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 2:01
  • @JohnP I have the same dilemma. I decided for Physical Fitness because the damage resistance and power are fitness qualities trained like other fitness qualities (also in other contact sports - other than combat sports). The Martial arts exchange makes sense maybe also (I was thinking about it). But because this question is not about methodology (or validity) in this stage, I think the Cross validate is not a good option.
    – matousc
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 6:55
  • True, although for it to be a better fit here, we would want the training outlined more. I think MA would be a better fit, I'll edit it and migrate.
    – JohnP
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 14:24
  • See also my answer: martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/4455/… Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


This appears true as measured by brain damage in boxers. The following is the excerpt from the "A neurologist's reflections on boxing. V. Conclude remarks." by Unterharnscheidt F.

Clinical and morphological publications have shown convincingly, that participation in boxing leads to a severe permanent brain damage. The extent of the brain damage is correlated to the number of bouts fought, which correspondents [sic] in a certain way how many blows against his head a boxer received and to his weight class. The intensity of a boxing blow of a heavyweight is much more severe than those achieved by boxers of lighter weight classes.

Boxing: Medical Aspects coauthored by the above author appears to be a good place to start.

  • Without reading the paper you're citing (sorry, being lazy), I remember someone pointing out that the sort of trauma varies. Higher weight-classes were more prone to immediate brain injury, but lighter weight-classes tended more toward the post-concussion trauma because they survived more punches without getting sidelined. Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 16:53
  • TKD based study - Injuries climb with weight class, except the top 2 weight classes in men drop a bit: thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/…
    – JohnP
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 16:56

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