Abusive judo injuries involving students between April, 2019 and March 2020


The judo club head teacher of Shikama Technical High School slapped the face and kicked the stomach of a student and threw a waste basket at him while shouting, “You’re trash,” “I’ll kill you,” “You’re dead.” He was given a three-month suspension but he objected to the suspension and filed a lawsuit against the prefecture. Now the trial is being heard by the Supreme Court. The court decision was expected to be made in April but has been postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus.






A first-year judo club student of a junior high school in Himeji was abused by senior students of the same club. They shot him with an air gun, sprayed perfume over his body and set him on fire, tried to drown him in the pool and in the ocean and forced him to eat left-over food. When the student, who had a bone fracture due to the abuse, was taken to the hospital the club head teacher forced the student to tell the doctor that he was injured because he fell down the stairs.

The Hyogo Board of Education gave the club head teacher a 6-month suspension for concealment of the abuse. However, he had taken legal action against the suspension stating that the punishment was too heavy, and the case was eventually argued before the Supreme Court.

On July 6, 2020 the Supreme Court dismissed the request of the former teacher, stating that concealment of abuse was a serious issue and that the decision given by the Board of Education was within the extent of its authority.







A first-year judo club student of a high school in the Kanto area had been bullied, ever since he joined the club, by a senior student of the club who was 60 kg heavier than him. The violence escalated to an abuse including extortion. His eardrum was ruptured after being hit by the senior student, and he was beaten with a heated red iron rod. The school tried to conceal it, but his mother filed a lawsuit without the help of a lawyer and won the case.




The judo club head teacher of Minoshima Junior High School, a school with a strong judo team, constantly participating in the National Judo Championship, hit the face of a second-year student with a plastic bat a number of times, resulting in an injury. The teacher had used violence against other students before. He was given a pay cut.





Senior students repeatedly used violence against junior students, including beating and kicking them, at Fujigakuen High School judo club. The school has won three championships in 2019; the National High School Championship, Kinshuki High School Championship and the Inter-High School Athletics Meet. The All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) suspended the judo club head coach for 6 months for failing to prevent the senior students from being violent.






The All Japan Judo Federation cancelled the membership of two male judo instructors, which is equivalent to permanent expulsion, for indecent behavior towards their students. One of them was arrested on suspicion of forceful indecent behavior and is on trial. The behavior of the other instructor was notified through the AJJF internal reporting system.





A fifth-grade elementary school student died of acute subdural hematoma after hitting his head during randori (free sparring) in a judo hall in September, 2019. In January of the same year a fourth-grade elementary school student was severely injured. He developed acute subdural hematoma during throwing practice at a judo club.

Both judo clubs carried out long hours of practice. The fourth-grade student practiced for long hours on Saturday, the previous day, and went home after 12:00 pm. On Sunday he attended the joint practice at 6:30 am, rested for 3 hours after the morning session and continued practice until 7:15 in the evening when he collapsed.





A judo club head teacher of a high school in Tokushima broke the upper jaw of a judo club student by hitting his jaws and face three times for not obeying his instruction during club activities. He had also previously used violence on students and had received written warnings.




A judo instructor who applied strangling techniques twice on a second-year junior high school student to intentionally make him lose consciousness was not prosecuted by the Fukuoka District Prosecutor’s Office. The student’s father took the case to the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution.




At an after-school daycare center for children with developmental disorders, a fifth- grade elementary school student bit the arm of a supervisor. The supervisor put his jacket over the child to blindfold him and threw him with an osoto-gari (major outer reap) technique. The child, who suffered a depressed skull fracture and intracerebral hematoma, was diagnosed with a 3-month recovery period.




Wataru Umekita, who won the Judo World Junior Championships in 2014, was arrested for marijuana possession and theft of his colleague’s watch and music device. He was given a three-year suspended sentence for theft. His employment by the Kyoto Prefectural Police as a judo instructor was terminated by disciplinary action.





The father of a first-year junior high school student who died after being thrown by an opponent using osoto-gari (major outer reap) technique during judo club practice, filed a claim against the All Japan Judo Federation seeking compensation of 30 million yen. He requested that AJJF had to forbid the use of the osoto-gari technique among elementary and junior high school students, as it was risky and had caused severe injuries in the past. The chief judge of the Fukuoka District Court acknowledged the risk of the osoto-gari technique, but stated that major injuries could be prevented by thoroughly teaching the technique to beginners and that forbidding the use was not necessary. The claim was dismissed.






In April last year, a junior high school teacher in Oita, who had a judo dan ranking, pulled a student off his bicycle and strangled him unconscious because the student had stayed late on campus. The teacher was issued a summary order to pay 200,000 yen for the student’s injury. He retired in March this year, but the Oita Board of Education rehired him in April and assigned him to teach at another junior high school. Since his rehiring he manhandled a student hanging out in the classroom and tried to strangle him. The student sprained his neck.





A 30-year-old judo club teacher of a technical high school in Miyazaki Prefecture injured seriously a third-year student, breaking his leg in three places during club practice. The teacher had been doing randori (free practice) until they were outside the training hall and he pushed the student against a fence to make him fall. They returned inside the hall to continue randori, where the teacher jumped on the student who was on all fours and broke his left leg in three places. The Board of Education, considering that the teacher’s action was not an abuse, issued one-month suspension.





A platoon leader of the Okinawa riot police abused a member, in his 20’s, for 5 months, including slapping the face, using judo locking technique and other judo techniques against him and calling him names. The victim, who developed a depressive illness, took a leave of absence for one year. He filed a lawsuit seeking compensation.




A second-year junior high school student was intentionally choked twice by a judo club teacher, who used kataha-jime (choking technique), and fell unconscious. He reported it to the prefectural judo federation and the All Japan Judo Federation, but neither organization took any action. The student and his parents filed a lawsuit.






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