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Thread: Deaths in Judo in Japan: how many are strangles & how dangerous are strangles anyway?

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    Default Deaths in Judo in Japan: how many are strangles & how dangerous are strangles anyway?

    During a discussion regarding strangles in police work, the subject of deaths in judo due to strangles, in Japan came up. Rather than drifting the thread, I am starting one here. Here's a few links I found. As best as I can tell, it looks like most deaths are due to head injuries from improper falls.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/sp...judo.html?_r=0
    http://judojiko.net/eng/

    There are typical conditions causing accidents in judo, many of which apply in this incident. The victim:
    1. was a beginner with one and a half months of judo experience
    2. had a headache before the accident
    3. was injured as a result of osotogari
    4. was paired with a taller and heavier senior student
    5. developed acute subdural hematoma

    A - warning issued by the All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF) on the first page of Safe Instruction of Judo (Ver 3 2011) states that “The amount of accidents of young beginners who injure their head or neck is substantial.”

    Note on this page - http://judojiko.net/eng/news/280.html -that of 24 accidents, ALL were from throws.

    ON this page, there is a discussion of deaths due to heat stroke - http://judojiko.net/eng/news/303.html

    So, I googled "deaths in judo from strangles"
    1. Wikipedia has a good piece on chokeholds and mentions its use in law enforcement, contrasting vascular from airway choke - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chokehold - which highlights proper training in my view. One incident resulting in death from a taser occurred because the individual was on a ledge, was tazed and fell to his death. To state the obvious, Tasers don't need to be banned due to this.

    From Sudden Death in Custody - https://books.google.com/books?id=BF...angles&f=false

    This is an interesting summary, pointing out two potential causes of death: bradycardia and arrhythmia based on carotid sinus stimulation, and the other is positional asphyxia. http://www.aikiweb.com/techniques/gunther1.html I will note that there has been a lot of research on the latter, (there is an appendix by Dr. Gary Vilke on this subject in my books for law enforcement, EMS and corrections which discusses this issue - http://edgeworkbooks.com/books-on-de-escalation/).

    Ellis Amdur

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    Finally, I found this reference - FINALLY, I did find this paper - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3572335 Allegedly, no deaths by strangulation since 1882. (Which doesn't explain the schoolboy death I recall, unless it occurred after 1987 (it was a long time ago - don't remember the date). A comment I read on judo information forum stated that the 14 LEO deaths allegedly from strangles cited in this article did not winnow out neck cranks and bar chokes with a baton (the latter being the cause of the carotid strangle being banned in LA. (don't know if it currently is).

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    The author of that piece, EK Koiwai, was a physician who had done judo in his youth. (In Seattle, actually.) At the time of the writing, he was a US judo politician. I have no idea of the depth of his research. But, that said, I have not seen any evidence of deaths in US judo due to injuries, from any cause, during the Issei or Nisei eras.

    These days, inappropriate weight loss methods, previously undiagnosed cardiac conditions, and subdural hematoma seem to be bigger concerns than are choke holds per se.

    A problem for police, though, is that they will rarely have any idea about the current state of health of the person they are trying to restrain. An old fat guy could be a former professional wrestler, while a buff young fellow could have a heart attack.

    It goes the other way, too. A few years ago, I recall a local PD trying to explain how the athletic young officer bravely fought off a 300-pound man, without bothering to mention that the 300-pounder stood about 5'6", and had recently had his second or third spinal fusion. Had the officer simply said, "Keep walking, Fat Boy," he would have fallen on his face, totally exhausted, before clearing the parking lot. But the officer was in a hurry, so she literally tackled him out in front of the grocery store where he'd just shoplifted a steak, and then she failed to control him. Embarrassing stuff. Anyway, Fat Boy got a couple months in county for resisting arrest, while the police chief went on record as saying that more training was required...

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    I'd say let's keep the Fat Boy conversation in the police forum: if you don't think a 300 lb, 5'6" guy resistive guy could be a problem to physically control - regardless of spinal fusions - you do not have a perspective on what it takes to actually do so. Just sayin'

    As for the Judo conversation: remember too that Judo also uses hadaka jime taught in this manner:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is not at all common in BJJ or sub grappling (which is really "no gi" BJJ). It's also a far more dangerous choke and is, in my opinion, attacking the trachea and is not a vascular strangle. In other words, it is literally a "choke" and not a strangle.

    If ANY deaths in Judo were associated with shime waza I'd want to clarify that point.

    Obviously deducing the relative physical conditioning of a resisting subject is not going to always be reasonable. But that is another subject for the Combatives forum. The short answer you dont train your cops enough to ask that of them.
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    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Hmmm - trying to remove second image, with the judoka in blue. I switched images after the original post for the more cartoon-y one which shows the choke better - Help from a Mod?
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    I concur in that every BJJ school I've attended, as well as my academy instructors, stressed strangles (vascular restraints) over chokes (airway/trachea - which were also banned by our department) for the simple reason that a person will become unconscious quicker and the application of the submission is easier to control (i.e. less dangerous).

    Anecdotally, there was man choked to death by his teenage cousin back in 2012 from a rear naked choke that was held too long. (http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...ile_wrest.html)

    This certainly isn't a death-by-choke in any kind of training setting and certainly not judo. Sadly, it sounds like a case of horseplay that resulted in an actual technique applied with poor judgement compounded with an unwillingness to tap.

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    I used to get flack because I objected to using hadaka jime to choke off the airway/trachea. There are several ways to do Hadaka jime to restrain the vascular arteries instead of possibly damaging the trachea. Just saying.

    Once a student of mine was in shiai when his opponent applied a reverse standing hadaka jime on him and actually lifting him off the tatami! My student suffered for several years after that from throat problems; and my objections were ignored by officials at the time. Needless to say my club never again too part in shiai with those clubs again. Anyone who would teach such a dangerous technique does not deserve to teach Judo.

    Maybe that is why after more than 30 years of participating in and teaching Judo I took up other interests.

    BTW, while anything is possible I was taught that it takes several minutes, 15-20 min, to kill someone by a standard vascular restraint choke. Stopping someone's breathing would not take so long, but I say this; to old a choke on someone more that a few minutes is nearly impossible. It hurts a lot.
    Last edited by DustyMars; 26th January 2016 at 17:48.

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    I've been choked out a lot. Mostly in BJJ. It has never been an issue. The ones that get me are the slow ones where I'm not sure they they are on or not. Then I drift off. Never had ANY ill effects.

    Most the Judo knock outs I have seen came from a choke our Judo dojo specialized in. A Yudansha student from Yokohama named Masa taught us a collar choke we called the Masa Masacre. It was basically a sacrifice version of Okuri Eri Jime when uke is turtled. You step both legs one each side of his neck and frog kick and sutemi to side of the front hand. The collar circle closes so hard and fast it is like a big brachial stun.

    Never seen any ill effects from that one either but it was pretty brutal sometimes.
    Ed Boyd

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    Never had someone choke me out that I liked. Once back in the early 1965 at a 2nd Air Force tournament I had won a few matches and felt good about it all when I went up against a white belt who knew next to nothing but had really studied chokes (later found out). I was thinking it would be a good time to practice hane goshi, my long lost favorite, and made the mistake of stopping mid-way when I failed to achieve a good kuzushi. WHile stepping aside he choked me, both sides of my neck, before I realized what was happening and was out before hitting the mat. Man was I pissed at myself.

    Well, this white belt made it to near the end of the tournament when I drew him again. One thing I learned about myself then was something said many years ago, "The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results," so hane goshi would be an insane trick. When he hit the mat he just looked up at me with a smile. My then most recent favorite was de ashi barai.

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