Controversy has erupted over compulsory school judo which bans throws and other formerly essential elements of the sport, after schools became concerned about the number of children the sport was killing and maiming.

Shizuoka prefecture middle schools have been ordered to ban “osotogari” and other of judo’s more energetic throws, as well as not to allow students to participate in matches involving any throwing, resulting in some of the nation’s harshest judo restrictions.

Without throws, the only matches permitted will be those in which the students remain sitting, the restrictions having in large part been prompted by a pupil being killed in the prefecture’s schools by an osotogari throw some years ago.

Recent efforts to make martial arts (by which they mean judo, kendo, karate and archery) compulsory in Japanese schools have usually resulted in judo being adopted, with 75% of public schools in Shizuoka opting to foist judo onto their students.

Perhaps not coincidentally, with the most instructors and almost no special equipment required, judo is probably also the cheapest option.

However, many parents and educators are less than pleased about their children being forced to participate in sports which carry a significantly higher risk of death or injury than traditional PE staples – over the last 28 years 114 children have died in school judo accidents.

One academic has calculated the rate of death from judo participation as being 2.376 for every 100,000 pupils, compared to the next most dangerous school sport of basketball with only 0.371 per 100,000 – making judo over 6 times more deadly than the next option.

With schools feeling judo needs to be totally emasculated in the name of safety to stop it killing their charges, judo advocates have in turn criticised their version of judo as not being judo at all, although the authorities claim “it is quite possible to learn the judo’s spirit of respect without allowing any matches at all.”

The pros and cons of compulsory school judo are the subject of much debate online as well:

“That isn’t even judo any more…”

“What’s the point of picking judo if you have to completely change it like this?”

“There’s no need to go that far.”

“Just do kendo instead.”

“Swimming is dangerous too, how about making them do it without water?”

“Make some protective gear for them or something.”

“So it’s just pinning? I’d like to join in with them…”

“Can’t they only teach ukemi and stuff?”

“If you must do martial arts, then kyudo is the safest.”

“How about thumb wrestling?”

“They should try air judo.”

“Japanese boys are just being made weaker and weaker!”

“I think it would be quite popular if they had boys and girls practice newaza together.”

“With aikido girls would also get a basic form of self-defense. But it seems the schools are just desperate to force judo on everyone…”

“They could just teach them a karate kata.”

“If rei [manners] are the most important part of learning judo and you can do it all seated, you might as well teach them the tea ceremony…”

“So many deaths have resulted from judo in schools, they might as well stop it. There’s no need to get hung up on learning the spirit of martial arts through judo.”

“This was bound to happen when they made it compulsory. There are always going to be people it is totally ill-suited for.”

“Why did they force judo through like this in spite of all the problems? Is there some special interest group pushing it behind the scenes?”

“If it’s really about health, just make them run marathons.”

“Tai Chi Chuan.”

“If it’s this much trouble, how about just teaching them shogi instead?”

“The tea ceremony sounds like quite a good option…”

    Post Comment »
    Sort by: Date | Score
    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Seitokai Yakuindomo anyone?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:57 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Dam SeitoKai Yakuindomo Was Awesome~!


    Avatar of Gradius
    Comment by Gradius
    10:10 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Killing Judo!

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:52 06/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    More like, Yawara anyone? :)

    Avatar of Goldsickle
    Comment by Goldsickle
    04:00 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Banning throws in Judo is like banning kicks in Tae Kwon Do, banning grapples in wrestling or banning punching in boxing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:50 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Or like banning writing implements in calligraphy. Including computer styli.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:05 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    And hence the conversion of Judo into a Staring contest has been completed!

    Avatar of Firetribe
    Comment by Firetribe
    07:56 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Maybe they'll gain laser vision and be able to burn through others in self-defense.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:05 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or maybe make the opponent come with just staring.


    [seemingly no response]





    Comment by Anonymous
    03:31 01/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Put putting kids in danger for just to train judo, which most of don't even want to do is really dumb.

    Avatar of SpideyPHL
    Comment by SpideyPHL
    08:00 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Maybe it wasn't a great idea to make it mandatory if it was so dangerous, especially with parents being so safety conscious nowadays. We can criticize them all we want, but the fact is if your kid was killed because of a judo throw you'd be just as pissed.

    Still, if they're going to take the throws out of judo, they might as well switch it to something else entirely. Why not Karate if it's apparently safer?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:58 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Aikido would be a good replacement

    Avatar of BlaqCat
    Comment by BlaqCat
    02:35 01/04/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I kind of think it's silly to bring any martial art/fighting sport into a schools physical education regimine. I think it would have been better to leave stuff like that for the extra-curricular clubs.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:17 01/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Martial arts teaches discipline. Japan loves discipline.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:47 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, wrist twisting and dragging your opponent all over the mat sure sounds like a great replacement.

    Avatar of SciGuy
    Comment by SciGuy
    23:59 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Honestly, Kendo's the safest of the bunch but the equipment is fairly pricy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:42 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Though karate would be safer as you wear protective gear for sparring and you can control the strength of you punches and kicks to a greater degree then one can control a throw

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:41 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yes it is the worst that happens with aikido is some breaks an arm, no big deal really, significantly better then the risk of a throw going wrong and someone breaking their neck

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:56 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    My thoughts exactly, why make these martial arts mandatory? What happened to school clubs, that way the children can make a choice on whether they feel adequate for such sports. People don't seem to realize that not everyone is fit for certain sports, especially children (wtf children freaking dying in Judo)

    There are plenty of sports that are far safer and can teach the same disciplines to the children.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:15 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yup a hard fierce punch to the chest or face seems a lot safer then being thrown it seems dont forget to yell Ka me ha me ha first though

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:46 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only idiots punch and kick with full force during friendly sparring.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:35 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And only weaklings die from being thrown.
    Point: everything can kill your kids.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:55 01/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only weaklings die from throws? How about someone throws you onto concrete?

    Acceleration towards ground, multiplied by the weight and a sudden stop. You need to kick or punch really sharply and hard in order to get those kinds of figures.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anyone can die from being thrown if you land the wrong way you can break your neck -_-, Or the person could just throw the other too hard and they could hit various objects.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    18:41 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know my opinion on this will be fiercely unpopular, but martial arts shouldn't be an option for kids in general. Kids in general hasn't developed the right amount of muscle and bone density and other factors that would probably favor a young adult or adult practitioners. If they want to learn Karate/Judo at a young age, then do it with extra care from proper dojo system outside the schools.

    There are much better, safer sports to dabble into than just lumping all combat sports into the curriculum for kids. And I can see why deaths can happen. Those throws are not child's play, especially considering people can be dropped on their head quite often. Any sport that can result in someone dropping on their head or impacting their spine is deemed very dangerous and requiring extra care to practice. It shouldn't be any different for school systems.

    Comment by คภєк๏
    03:07 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    Is Mugi really interested in Judo, or is she just looking for some groping action?

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    03:55 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    She's subtlely acting out on all the manga pronz she's been reading all these years secretly.

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    10:14 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And all thanks and blames goes to her maid imouto, Sumire..

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:32 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    If you watch carefully in the anime, in the opening, Mugi can be seen skipping while carrying a 17kg keyboard on one shoulder. She also crushed that arm wrestling machine in season 2 ep 14.

    Yui needs to be careful in challenging Mugi in Judo XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:38 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    what where? for the skipping tell me please!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:33 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    My bad, maybe it wasn't in the opening. It's somewhere near the beginning in season 2.

    You can see it in this image

    Avatar of vanchrian
    Comment by vanchrian
    03:20 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    So, first you go and make a form of martial art a COMPULSORY class for physical ed.

    And then you realised that people were getting hurt during these classes, so you go and castrate the martial art (that you made compulsory) that specialises in throwing by banning all throws.

    What's the point?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:37 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    These things happen if people get bored.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:35 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    > “If rei [manners] are the most important part of learning judo and you can do it all seated, you might as well teach them the tea ceremony…”

    I chuckled.

    Avatar of Hayate
    Comment by Hayate
    03:43 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    turn poker into sports, then u'll have a harmless 'throw'...

    Avatar of Alex
    Comment by Alex
    02:58 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Ah ah ah.
    Judo without throws it's like muai thai without kick and elbow ^^

    Avatar of Imyou
    Comment by Imyou
    11:54 31/03/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If it's judo that's not judo, don't even bother teaching it.
    If it's too dangerous, don't make it compulsory, make it elective, or a club activity.
    I'm a fucking genius.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:51 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    reminded me of tag rugby lol... whats the point of rugby if u dont get to tackle the dude u hate.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:11 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yup....rugby...I tackle someone on my highschool during PE while playing rugby...and he said do it slowly...and i lost my interested on rugby...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:39 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's like autoscooter, where they tell you that you're not supposed to crash into someone else. Totally pointless.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:04 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Isn't throwing pretty much a "main" move in Judo? I don't know a lot about judo but, that's like taking away the purpose of judo itself.

    Its like your not allowed to strike head in kendo...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:17 31/03/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    imagine wrestling without the wrestling

    just a lot of bitch slapping and hair pulling

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:08 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    and bitching(talking)

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:45 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wrestling with no lariat? No german suplex?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:40 01/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    He's talking about Greco-Roman, aka amateur wrestling.

    Not the WWE/TNA/ROH type style.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:21 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    They can't let them play shogi people get killed over that game to play better players

    Comment by Dark Mage
    07:17 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or like boxing without the punching which BTW is much more dangerous then Judo.
    I guess they might as well reword the rule to just be some sorta of physical activity vs it having to be martial arts.

    Avatar of Ihmhi
    Comment by Ihmhi
    05:12 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    There are pulldowns, armlocks, and groundfighting that basically aren't "throws" in the sense of someone flying through the air. The major risk with judo is a bone, joint, etc. landing the wrong way because the person who is being thrown hasn't trained to break falls properly or just has a fair bit of bad luck.

    The level of concern here is pretty ridiculous. In 28 years as many kids have died in judo accidents as Americans die from road accidents in, like, a *day*.

    Watch, they'll ban going to school by train next because there's a chance of derailing...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:11 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yup, and the very first thing you learn in Judo is how to break your fall in the first place.

    So the not being trained how to break one's fall argument goes right out the window.

    And I was 7 iirc (hey, we're talking more than 25y ago, first thing that goes when you age is one's memory. :P ), when I took my classes.
    So even younger than these kids.

    Never broke or sprained a thing during Judo.
    Can't quite say the same of regular PE though.

    Avatar of Hayate
    Comment by Hayate
    03:44 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    more like, u cant use shinai in kendo...

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:29 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's also like playing dodgeball without a damn ball...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:43 31/03/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or playing fireball without the fire.

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