For Judo Safety
Another child died, another suffered a severe injury.
Judo injuries ―
In 2010 people in Japan were shocked to learn that “on average about 4 children die of judo injuries and about 10 suffer serious injuries every year.” It was two years before martial arts became compulsory for both boys and girls in all public junior high schools. Over the 29 year period between 1983 and 2011, 118 students died as a result of judo injuries in Japanese junior high schools and high schools. (Judo jiko, Ryo Uchida, Associate professor, Graduate School, Nagoya University)
During the three years between 2012 and 2014 there was no death of children under 18 in judo. However, in May 2015, a first year student in junior high school in Fukuoka died of acute subdural hematoma developed during the after school judo club practice, in August 2015, a first year high school student died from heat stroke in a judo-related activity and in April 2016, a third year high school student in Sendai died from cervical spine fracture dislocation acquired while practicing judo. As many as 121 students have died as a result of judo injuries over the 33 years between 1983 and 2015.
(Note: fatal injuries of children at judo clubs outside school, fatal injuries of adults and victims not recorded by Japan Sports Council are not included in the 121 deaths.)
Additionally, during the years without any death of children and outside those three years, many children have suffered severe injuries that left them permanently disabled.
The number of fatal injury in judo was zero for 3 years not by chance. It was because the instructors considered safety of the children in judo activities in response to the warning sent by the judo community, educators, medical experts and the media.
Japan Judo Accident Victims Association has also conducted awareness activities in different cities to ensure safety of children practicing judo.
If there are 100 children participating in judo, there will be 100 different goals. A child may aim at being the judo champion in the world or may want to enjoy judo for their lifetime. He/she may wish to learn the principle of Jita-kyoei (mutual welfare and benefit) or acquire the art of self-defense. Regardless of their goals, we want the children to say “I’m glad I continued judo” 10 years later, 20 years later or 50 years later when they look back on their judo experience in the future. We will work together with other people interested in children’s welfare to establish a society where adequate and appropriate attention is given to safety in judo instruction and practice.