Japan Today

9-year-old boy collapses during judo practice in Okinawa


A 9-year-old boy is in a serious condition after collapsing during judo practice in Tomigusukushi, Okinawa, on Sunday morning.

According to local media reports, the boy had been complaining of a headache and vomited. Shortly after, he collapsed and fell unconscious at around 11 a.m., TV Asahi reported.

The boy was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with acute subdural hematoma, officials said.

Media reported that the boy had been participating in a particularly intense training session along with three instructors, and a class full of other young boys.

Police are conducting interviews with the instructors from the dojo and looking into the circumstances leading up to the boy's collapse.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Let's hope he recovers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Head protection should be mandatory for all children involved in contact sports, especially any kind of marshall arts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

disillusioned, it's spelled martial arts, and judo has long stopped being so (just about since when it became an Olympic sport).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Because the essence of Judo (unlike Karate and other martial arts) is grappling with your opponent, I believe that some years ago the International Judo Federation (the folks who run the sport) actually decided against headgear due to the danger of strangulation and other forms of injury resulting from having something securing the headgear under the chin, around the neck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I believe the big problems are the 'gambarre' attitude which leads instructors to neglect the safetynof participants, and the woefully thin judo mats they use in Japan. There has been an enormous amount of deaths and crippling injuries in juvenile judo in Japan over the past two decades, in the hundreds.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I can see this happening in a Japanese school and especially in Judo training. It is bad side of the "gambare" spirit. The instructors knew that he was in trouble but told him to go on anyway. They should of course have taken him out immediately when he threw up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

over 100 kids Thats right kids have die doing supervised Judo and Karate in the last 10 years

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Judo doesn't involve punching or kicking, so the only real danger is injuries to the head and neck when landing after being thrown. Not sure headgear would help in that case as the mats already are padded. If you hit your head hard enough to cause a vein in your head to tear when landing on the mat, then hitting the mat with or without headgear isn't going to matter much.

I hope the boy recovers. Mortality is about 70% with those types of bleeding. It all depends on how fast they were able to relieve the pressure on the brain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would be more concerned about strangulation and other injuries from having headgear on. Also, you risk broken fingers and wrists due to getting caught in the gear. The issue here might be that they want to look at the floor. Usually, Judo floors have a spring to them, and are built to take a lot of impact. Not that I am advocating overly-rough, careless martial training, because there has to be a line somewhere. But at the same time, injuries and accidents happen in martial arts. I do hope the boy recovers, though. It's a shame to have such an incident happen. Sensei should have acted after the boy started vomiting.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does anyone here criticising judo actually practice the sport? If not, how do you know it was the instructors' fault?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

marshall arts


6 ( +6 / -0 )

Shumatsu_Samurai, I'm a nidan with 13 years of judo, and another 10 of wrestling/MMA.

And yes, the instructors did make a serious error. Firstly, when the child complained of a headache, they should have taken him out of practice. This was especially when the child vomited. Both of these are signs of major head trauma, at the minimum a concussion. While the article states "shortly afterwards," the fact was he was not removed from practice, and medical attention was not delivered until after the child fell unconscious and collapsed.

That is crap, plain and simple, and unsafe coaching practices by the instructors. As soon as the initial complaints of headache happened, he should have been pulled out of practice. As soon as he vomited, he should have been taken immediately to medical facilities, and if that wasn't possible, then the instructors should have called an ambulance for him.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Over 30 years martial arts experience. I hold black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Aikijitsu. Currently working on Brazilian Jiujitsu. There are some bad instructors in Japan, but they are far and few between. The trend in most martial arts these days is to just do your best. I really dont see many evil Karate kid Cobra kai like instructors anymore these days. What you need to be careful of these days are fake black belts. They will not be CPR/first aid certified or have any governing group to certify them. These guys are dangerous and are there to sell you a belt rather than mentor you and improve you as a person and a skilled martial artist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Badbluesea67 over 100 kids Thats right kids have die doing supervised Judo and Karate in the last 10 years

Where is your evidence for this claim? Saying something doesn't make it true. Where's this number coming from?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When he was complaining that his head was hurting, especially in the midst of an intense training session, his instructors should have insisted he sit out for awhile-- he is young so I imagine he probably wanted to continue, his peers told him to keep going, or the instructors did not take his complaints seriously enough, dismissed it and allowed him to participate further. At his age, I was stubborn myself but my instructor told me to take a break and said it is better that I sit out temporarily and have the ability to still practice later rather than overexert myself and cause permanent damage to my body. That said, I hope he recovers and that this lesson is learned from the incident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Logical_Fallacy_Killer, whoever posted that is off in terms of timeline, but not number. In judo alone, over the past 30 years, there have been 114 fatalaties occuring on the mat in Japan at the JHS-SHS level. I don't know about karate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites