Judo, a sport with risk

Judo, a sport with risk

The following article is taken from the blog written by Shigeyuki Oba, who has lost his first-year junior high school daughter from a fatal judo injury in May, 2015. A second-year student used osoto-gari (major outer reap) to throw the victim who had just joined the club. She was unconscious after hitting the back of her head against the mat and died 5 days later due to acute subdural hematoma.
The article was translated into English with the permission of Mr. Oba.
For details of the case refer to http://judojiko.net/eng/news/267.html (Another death: a thirteen-year-old girl)


“I have a headache,” my daughter said, when she returned from judo practice at school the day before the injury. She did not finish dinner and took a shower soon after the meal to go to bed early. Since I was a little concerned I went to her room to talk, but she said, “I’m all right,” so I let her go to sleep because she must have been tired.

The next day she woke up as usual, had breakfast and was preparing to go to school. As I was still worried about the headache the evening before, I said “If you feel sick talk to the teacher,” and I let her go to school. Those were the last words I spoke to her.

As a parent
My daughter was a member of the after-school judo club, but I had never read the Safe Instruction of Judo issued by the All Japan Judo Federation nor was even aware that it existed. I had no knowledge of past fatal judo injuries, risk of head trauma and concussion, second impact syndrome and other ways to ensure safety in judo.

Obviously, I was unaware of the cause-effect relationship between my daughter’s headache the day before and the result of the injury the following day.

Had I received her words “I have a headache” more seriously and taken her to the hospital the next day, without making her go to school, at least the severe fatal injury that day may have been avoided. I can never regret enough.

I wish to tell all parents and guardians of children learning judo; please watch for anything unusual with your child and deal with it with maximum knowledge and care.

As a parent who failed to do so, I express sincere repentance and I deeply apologize to my daughter.

Blog of Shigeyuki Oba


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