Was anyone ever paralyzed in judo?

Kind of a scary thought, but with all the throws going on I thought I MIGHT be possible. Ever hear of anyone getting paralzyed from Judo?


Not a topic most want to discuss.

yes, it has happened.
not a topic for discussion the week of the nationals or a month before the trials though.. perhaps another time...?

I think some people have even won the state lottery.

an instructor was just telling me about a match he witnessed in 1972 in an AAU even where a judoka landed on his head and never walked again.

I was paralysed for about 12 hours following the Australian Junior Nationals in '86(?). I was on the receiving end on multiple drop-seoi's using a headlock grip. Fortunately for me I recovered full mobility during the following 12 hours, but for a while there I was scared sh*tless.

I was on the receiving end on multiple drop-seoi's using a headlock grip

I'm trying to figure out how a drop seio is done using a headlock grip. Sounds more like a koshi guruma.

Yes, they have. A couple of people have died, one after being paralyzed for a while.

I think both of them did it to themselves with a head dive, too.

Ben R.

Familman: you're correct - it was koshi. Out of the game too long to correctly remember my Japanese (I just checked on Judoinfo.com)

damn, you guys are scaring me, maybe I should just continue jumping to guard

Dont let fears of injury stop you from practicing judo. People get hurt playing sports and stuff every day, some even die, but an even larger number of people dont get hurt, and continue to play sports throughout their life. The more time you spend on the mat, the more you decrease your chances of serious injury.

Any statistics? I was lead to believe that aside from knees, toes and shoulders, judo was still obe of the safer contact sports out there.

I've heard that sometimes, when you drive, you can crash and die a horrible death as you burn to death.

i dunno, suffering to the very end in some sterile hospital doesn't sound very appealing.

I'd say to avoid being paralyzed in Judo, avoid head diving yourself into the iron lung.

That should, statistically at least, keep you a lot safer during Judo practice or contest.

Ben R.

Also, don't land on your head to avoid being thrown. It's not worth it!

Ben R.

Ben R,

You said "I'd say to avoid being paralyzed in Judo, avoid head diving yourself into the iron lung."

I'm not sure what you meant by iron lung.

There is a higher-up in the Kodokan who was paralyzed by being thrown on his head during his competition days. The Japanese decided to give him a position in the Kodokan in order for him to make a living. He was still around in the Kodokan the last time I was there a few years ago.

generally these injuries happen due to the fault of the person injured. the rules are established so that any attempt to do something dangerous to the spine is an automatic DQ-- even if you do it to yourself.

the few times ive seen spinal injuries they were generally from uke not taking the fall. granted, in tournaments we all struggle and thats fine. nobody wants to get thrown, but stopping a throw with your head is rarely the wisest of choices.

one of the aforementioned injuries that resulted in paralysis and death was a wreslter. he lied, said he was a judo BB, showed up to a tournament, entered a BB division and got thrown. having no clue how to fall he bridged. tori came down on top of him. these were not small guys.

like i said.. it is generally uke's own fault..

You can land in a bridge, on your head, or land on your head trying to turn out of a throw.

The rules say ippon is "largely on the back" landing, so if you land in a full bridge, you back is not touching. The IJF had to change the interpetations to ionclude a full bridge to keep people from hurting themselves.

I watched Jason Morris toss a guy with a huge Uchi Mata at Senior Nationals once. Guy turned out on his head, out went the lights.

The same guy then did the same thing again.

Not very smart.

Ben R.