The All Japan Judo Federation is working on a new project to use the sport's techniques to help elderly people avoid falls.
Japan's health ministry says the number of people aged 65 or older who died as the result of a fall has been on rise, with more than 8,800 deaths reported in 2020. That's about four times the number of people in the same age group who died in traffic accidents.
The judo organization says that "ukemi" and other fall-breaking techniques from the martial art can protect people from the impact of a fall and the risk of injury.
Members of the new project plan to work with experts to analyze how people fall.
They plan to consult relevant studies abroad and programs carried out at medical institutions, and aim to compile a manual for protecting elderly people from falling accidents.
They also plan to teach the elderly how to avoid such accidents in around 2025 in cooperation with local governments and medical institutions.
Professor Sogabe Shinya of Konan University, who is also a member of the Judo Federation committee, said judo is a sport in which an athlete tries not only to topple an opponent but also tries not to be brought down.
He said that the use of fall-breaking techniques can be very helpful and effective for maintaining balance and preventing injury from a fall.