How Could He Just Stand There And Watch?

A horrifying news story from this week in Taiwan is a seven year old boy lying comatose in hospital with an intercranial hematoma. He will likely die once taken off life support.

The little boy was in a judo school, and the bully of a “coach” knocked him down repeatedly and forced the boy to get up, even after the boy said his head and body hurt.

What galls me the most is that the cowardly “father” stood there, watching.

Judo coach investigated after student hospitalized with brain damage

Taichung, April 24 (CNA) A judo coach in Taichung was questioned a second time by prosecutors Saturday over his alleged negligence, following an incident in which one of his students fell into a coma and was rushed to hospital after been repeatedly thrown to the ground during practice earlier in the week.

The incident occurred on Wednesday, when a seven-year old boy identified by his last name Huang (黃) began a second week of judo classes at a local dojo in Fengyuan District.

A student at Nanyang Elementary School, Huang was allegedly thrown to the ground more than 20 times by his coach surnamed Ho (何) and an older student who took turns to “demonstrate” a judo throw during the lesson.

Speaking at a press event, the boy’s father told reporters that after his son was thrown to the ground a couple of times, Ho ordered him to stand up and be thrown again, despite his son begging him to stop because his feet and head hurt.

The father said when his son failed to get up, the coach dragged him to his feet and threw him another seven times until he became completely unresponsive.

According to the Taichung District Prosecutors Office, Ho insisted the throw was just part of normal training.

There is nothing “normal” about a 80-90 kg adult beating on a 15-20 kg child.  Having experienced that sort of violence myself at home, you don’t just “walk it off”.

This story is hideously reminiscent of the 2012 story that permanently put me off watching football, when coaches, referees and parents stood by and watched their children suffer concussions and other injuries because “the game is important”.

Or they were “afraid of looking overly protective”.  You are parents.  You’re supposed to protect your kids, not worry if a ten year old displays enough toxic masculinity.

One Pop Warner game results in five concussions

In an alarming case of young athletes being put at risk, five children suffered concussions last month in a Pop Warner football game that resulted in disciplinary action against both coaches and association presidents.

The injured children, all 10 to 12 years old, played for the Tantasqua Pee Wees Sept. 15 when they were overrun, 52-0, by a Southbridge team whose website’s banner states, “Are You Tough Enough.’’

The five children missed various numbers of school days because of their injuries, and one has not returned to the field.

The coaches, Southbridge’s Scott Lazo and Tantasqua’s Erik Iller, were suspended for the remainder of the season and placed on probation through the 2013 season after a lengthy hearing Thursday conducted by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

The association presidents, Lazo’s brother, Doug Lazo of Southbridge, and Iller’s wife, Jen Iller of Tantasqua, also were placed on probation through the 2013 season because they attended the game and failed to take action, according to the hearing committee.

In addition, the three officials who worked the game have been permanently banned by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

“Having multiple concussions in one game is something that should never happen, ever,’’ said Patrick Inderwish, president of Central Mass. Pop Warner. “One concussion is too many.’’



  1. Bruce says

    How can martial arts organizations simultaneously say they can break cinder blocks and boards, yet attacking people can’t be harmful?

    • anat says

      Judo doesn’t involve breaking boards or cinder blocks. That’s Karate. Judo is about throwing people, ideally flat on their backs, and after that (if the throw was less that perfect) holding them with their backs on the mat for 30 seconds. The first think one learns in judo is how to break a fall. Adult competitions may also involve performing locks on arms or legs, as well as chokeholds. The normal response to being held in a lock or chokehold is to surrender immediately, at which point the hold MUST end at once.

  2. lochaber says

    I could see how throwing someone could be a legitimate training exercise, but only after the person to be thrown has learned how to fall and how to be thrown. Which, this child clearly has not. Any reasonable instructor should be able determine whether a student has adequately learned their break-falls. Granted, every school and dojo is different and all that, but I had briefly taken some Jiu-Jitsu as a teen, and later some Aikido in college, and the first thing they teach us after dojo ettiquette, etc., was how to fall and roll, and that’s about all we did. We didn’t even do simple grab/hold escapes until we had become proficient at falling.

    That said, seven seems a bit young to me…