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Former MLB pitcher Kuwata rejects corporal punishment in sports

By Jim Armstrong

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Well said, Mr.Kuwata. The days of kids in Japan having to endure treatment akin to being in the military should be consigned to the dust-bin. Sports are simply to have a little fun at this age - not to be slapped by some failure of a teacher.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yes well said. It's good people in prominent positions are speaking out in the media about this.

It's time this country seriously looks into this issue!

You know this coach is just one coward bully. I bet he got a power trip each time he hit his students. He had the nerve to physically abuse those little kids.

He should go become a coach for an Aussie rules footy team, coach a professional boxer or MMA fighter and try his corporal punishment on those folks!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm glad someone with some name recognition spoke on the topic. Hopefully, Kuwata can help to influence the minds of people that can really inflict some sort of change to this out-dated form of "coaching".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any type of corporal punishiment is wrong. good on you Mr. Kuwata for speaking out. BTW, they are still not mentioning what happened to the coach. Does anyone know if he was fired?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good on Kuwata knowing how difficult it is going to be to change the way young athletes are trained here. The biggest challenge would be to change the mindset of many here who truly believe in the benefits of corporate punishment to make the athletes mentally tougher.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He has been suspended.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Corporal punishment is supposed to be illegal in Japan, but when it's witnessed and authorities are notified it is solved with a few deep bows and an apology. Remember the scandals in sumo with that kid dying from being hazed? It is part of the culture of Japan. I can't count the amount of times I've seen parents lashing out at kids, both big and small kids and giving them a belt around the head or across the face. That is just the way these pathetic small-minded people deal with their frustrations by lashing out at a defenseless person or using intimidation. All these random slashing a and homeless people being beaten up are all related. I call it Japathetiquette.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I keep trying to think about my days as a student training on Australia Rules Footy.... Sure we were scared of our coach... more from the fact that the guys usually had a booming voice and you didn't want to be on the receiving end of a verbal serve. There was never, ever, any threat of physical violence. If you had a really bad game, usually through being teeneages and slightly rebelious, then you were in for a pretty crap training session the next week but that was about as bad as it gets.

I think the Japanese establishment need to rethink its form of motivation. Motivation based on physical harm rarely works. Especially in the sporting field.

Thinking back, what motivated us, other than the will to win, was Pride. Pride in your team and pride in your town. You really didn't want to let the team down, and as most of the other grades players were also watching, you didn't want to let them down as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's unfortunate but parents tend to trust educators who after all, are highly trained and licensed. And probably all parents want to believe that those who take charge of their child at school are motivated by genuine, compassionate feelings toward children. In this case the level of competence of the basketball coach involved was very low and these type of people tend to be the most punitive and I believe hit children to reassure themselves that they have power and authority over someone. In fact some probably enjoy it. It isn't education to be obedient trained. Hence they're only learning the use and abuse of power. Therefore corporal punishment doesn't work.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thank you JT for the answer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Littleleon, I agree but also believe that if it is in your heart and talent to do something, corporal punishment shouldn't be necessary. Coaches should be able to see if a person has the true ability to do something.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I believe hit children to reassure themselves that they have power and authority over someone. In fact some probably enjoy it.

...and I'm sure this is true not only on the sports field but could also be the basis for DV...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If my child came home and said he'd been slapped 30 or 40 times in a single day's training, I would've stormed into the school the same day--or the next morning, I guess--and demanded to meet with the offender. Nothing is mentioned of the parents' actions in the subsequent day or so, but I suppose if this abuse had been going on for the student's entire time in high school, they weren't prepared to make a stand for their child so late in the game... that's what I find really sad...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Parents don't seem to care until it's too late. Some teacher hits your kid, you should go in there and put the teacher in hospital.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Corporal punishment has no place in any school, it definitely sends the wrong message. It means that having been beaten oneself, whether on the sports field or at home, the same method will be used later in life, by the abused, to show who's "in charge". This "teacher" should be fired. He's teaching the wrong lesson.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Corporal punishment has no place in any school,

I agree, however seeing as how teachers and coaches have little imagination it's sadly all or nothing. There are other ways to punish kids for their behavior, or for a coach to motivate their players.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Corporal punishment has been illegal in Japan for quite a while, so why on earth is this being hailed as some sort of revelation? I respect Mr. Kuwata for his stance, and of course I agree whole-heartedly, but I wish he had made a speech about laws against corporal punishment being ENFORCED, and that any teacher, coach, or school that allows it be punished (or likewise any teacher witnessing it do something to help stop it).

Seriously, why does it always take suicides of kids for people to 'look into' laws that are already in place?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One more thing... while corporal punishment has no place in schools whatsoever (or elsewhere, for that matter), there needs to be a better system put in place to deal with unruly behaviour. Corporal punishment used to be the way to set kids in line (albeit a bad way that often did not work), but when it was made illegal nothing was put in its place. The ONLY thing I ever liked Abe for was his attempt to introduce a suspension system for kids who bully/fight/don't perform well or are constantly absent (which of course was quickly rejected). There is no system for discipline -- and I think this is why some teachers or coaches resort to hitting the kids. Inexcusable, and in the case of the basketball coach it's quite clear he was above and beyond a bully, but you know what I mean.

There should be a zero tolerance system put into place in regards to bullying and kids acting out, regardless of the uproar it would cause amongst monster parents (who want free babysitters).

So, enforce the current laws on corporal punishment, and create new legislature for a system that allows for other methods of discipline.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hitting student athletes is nothing short of Barbaric. Japan needs to stop trying to dissect every thing about every other country around them and start looking inward.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“There were no days when you weren’t hit,” Kuwata said.

Pathetic statement about the state of "coaching" in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well said! As a sports coach myself I cannot see the benefits with physically punishing a player if they make a mistake or are messing around. If they need to be punished give them laps and if they carry on bench them from the next game. While if they need help take them to one side and discuss where they could improve the area that needs working on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you have a coach with a big enough desire to win this happens in some form. I don't know how many run till you puke practices we had the one year in basketball. It was the same in football. The coach never hits you but they torture kids mentally and physically. It is completely allowed in any competitive sport I have been a part of.

While it is sad that he was hit and that makes this news. Sadly the coaches with the most wins in youth sports seem to be the meanest degrading people. Just look at what US college coaches get caught on camera for. Sports and the chance for money and success create this culture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Clearly this "coach" is a jerk, a dinosaur from the past, BUT in this respect is very much still living in the past.

This coach is simply part of a much larger problem & that is bullying, because thats what this is, a form of bullying.

Bullying is still very much a part of being Japanese, the sempai/kohai thing is as well largely, until Japanese society wants to rid itself of these ills we will continue to read about them & sadly the next story isnt likely too far off.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Clearly this "coach" is a jerk, a dinosaur from the past, BUT in this respect is very much still living in the past.

What country are you speaking from? This "coach" is very much current HERE in Japan. This is NOT an isolated incident. Sadly it only made the news because some unfortunate young man died.

Abuse like this is VERY current HERE, and will continue as long as people, parents, teachers, society, allows it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only those with a weak mind would hit a kid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Athletes punish themselves enough , they don't need team leaders or coaches punishing them more. Anyone who has a competitive way of thinking always beat themselves up to some degree either for not doing better (which sometimes is unrealistic) or for losing to a opponent with greater organizational skills/training or capabilities.

Children or younger people should be encouraged about the skills they have not punished because they didn't use them to what capabilities someone else believes they have or should have.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Any coach who advocates corporal punishment should be subjected to a sound beating from the fans whenever his team loses. That will "encourage" the coach to improve his performance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good to hear, but what would be better is if some other big names in Japan join the chorus, make it a national priority if you have to.

The teacher is suspended? Should fire him altogether..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Corporate punishment" in sports ? Surely some messed up low brow thought process still prevalent in some parts of the planet- Japan needs to get on board... learn how positive reinforcement works more effectively. Man !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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