Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Is Judo dangerous in a school curriculum?

Judo is one of martial arts developed in Japan. It has been an event in Olympic. Many athletes of Judo (Judo-ka) make big impacts all over the world.

In Japan, Judo was taught in junior high school. Since 2012, every school children have to take a class of either Judo, Kendo, or Sumo. This discipline aims to make students familiar to Japanese traditional arts. Some of the students become fond of Judo, to belong to a Judo club out of mandated activity. Martial art teaching is deemed beneficial also to develop the faith and courage in their mind.

However, there were several case of fatality reported in Judo classes. According to the media, over 100 students died in the school settings in the past 30 years. Most of the reasons were head injury. In Judo match, it is common to throw the opponent dynamically. I was so scared when being thrown in my childhood. To avoid physical damage, players have to master a break-fall. But it is not easy for everybody.

Over 114 child Judo deaths in Japan in 30 years

In 2012, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology decided Judo as a selective mandatory subject. It ignited broad discussion among the media. Many tragic accident in Judo class were reported.

It is honorable that, there has been no fatal accident reported since 2012, according to Ryo Uchida, an educationalist.

Yahoo News: Judo zero fatality continues (in Japanese)

I believe that it is not a trick. Uchida said that All Japan Judo Federation investigated the nature of accidents occurred in Judo class in detail. Based on the results, they made many counters against accidents. As a result, Judo teachers became much aware to reduction of the fatal risk. In addition, they were collaborated with Japan Judo Accident Victims Association to extinct such tragedies.

Why fatal accidents reduced in Judo class? (in Japanese)

It is not clear whether the effort of the teachers was effective in the reduction of accidents or it is merely by chance because fatal accidents rarely occur. Nevertheless, I admire their endeavor. In Japan, I feel scientific approach is hardly adapted in some regions such as education. Mass media rarely report the fact of decreasing fatal injuries. The effect of enlightenment on preventing accident should be clarified, and published as well.

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