Newspaper articles of judo injuries resulting in death: 1984 – 2010 [52]

First grade elementary school student dies after judo practice; two teachers charged        
The Nikkei
February 10, 2011
A first grade elementary school student (6) died in Osaka on November 11, 2011 after repeated training of standing technique at a judo club run by Yamazaki Osteopathic Clinic. The boy had limited experience of judo, including insufficient practice of break fall. Osaka Prefectural Police sent the case to the public prosecutor’s office on Dec. 9 against Hiroyuki Yamazaki (37), the manager of the osteopathic clinic and Takeshi Hashimoto (35), a treatment assistant, on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death.
On Nov. 10 of last year, in a small judo training hall in the osteopathic clinic, the boy, who had not fully acquired break fall technique with only three months of judo experience, fell unconscious after about 20 minutes of standing technique training. He died about a week later of brain swelling as a result of left subdural hematoma.
Osaka Prefectural Police filed charges against both members of the clinic because while Mr. Hashimoto was teaching that day, Mr. Yamazaki was also involved in developing the practice plan, which required him to have carried out a risk assessment as the manager of the club.
According to the police, Mr. Hashimoto included randori practice because he thought the children would become bored if they practiced only break fall techniques. He repeatedly used standing techniques against the boy who was unable to break falls properly with only three months of judo experience. He pulled the boy’s judo uniform hard when he fell to the tatami mat, resulting in a strong impact to his head causing brain trauma. Mr. Yamazaki admitted that he had agreed to include randori practice even though he thought it was too soon.
Since the police thought the negligence was severe, they attached a statement seeking prosecution to the papers sent to the public prosecutor’s office.
Both instructors were judo club members of a collage in Osaka Prefecture. They started the judo club in August last year. Mr. Hashimoto was introduced as being ranked 4th dan while he was in actual fact ranked 1st dan.

Children die from injury during judo practice
The Yomiuri Shimbun
February 10, 2011
A first grade student of Denpou Elementary School, Manato Miyamoto (6), died after falling unconscious during judo practice at a judo club operated by an osteopathic clinic. Osaka Prefectural Police filed charges against two members of the clinic on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death.
There have been many deaths of children as a result of judo practice. According to the Japan Judo Accident Victims Association, the total number of deaths of elementary, junior high and high school students due to judo practice under school management, between 1983 and 2010, was 121. If injuries in private judo clubs are included, the number of deaths will be higher. The All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) issued a hand book of teaching judo, which emphasized break fall practice and taking of rests, because injuries often occurred when attention to the beginners is insufficient. AJJF said that since the bone structure of younger students was not strong enough, additional safety consideration was necessary.

Judo club teacher ordered to pay 1 million yen as compensation for death of first grade elementary school student; Osaka District Court
The Yomiuri Shimbun
October 5, 2011
On Oct.5, the Osaka District Court ruled against Takeshi Hashimoto (36), a teacher of a judo club, and ordered him to pay 1 million yen according to the prosecution’s recommendation. He was charged on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in the death of a first grade elementary school student (6 at the time) after practice at the judo club in November last year.
The chief judge stated that judo is a sport where one may easily be injured and that Mr. Hashimoto failed to teach the boy break falls (techniques to protect oneself) sufficiently. “While Mr. Hashimoto thought the boy may leave the judo club if he continued to practice only break falls, he assumes responsibility for neglecting to provide the boy with an opportunity to learn the technique,” said the chief judge.
This was the first time where a judo teacher was ruled criminally guilty regarding a case during judo practice, according to the Japan Judo Accident Victims Association.
On Nov. 10, 2010, the boy’s head was shaken violently when Mr. Hashimoto repeatedly applied ashi-barai (foot sweep). As a result the boy developed acute subdural hematoma and died a week later. Mr. Hashimoto stated during the trial that he had not read the teacher’s guide even though it was the first time he had instructed judo to children.

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