The world faces challenges to maintain the quality of life of the growing elderly population. Research suggests that around one third of over 65s and half of those over 80, fall once per year, placing enormous financial burdens on health providers. Fear of falling can contribute towards the likelihood of a fall. Reducing fear of falling has been shown to reduce the number of falls.
Judo-based falls reduction programmes from around the world which teach ukemi techniques to the elderly are discussed. The Yawara-chan taiso (YCT) method was developed in Japan and has been taught at the Kodokan. Evidence has shown it to be effective for improving quality of life.
This research conducted a pilot study to evaluate YCT with an elderly cohort to investigate the effect on their fear of falling and establish the potential for the use of YCT within the UK with a view to culturally exporting the programme. Participants were recruited into an intervention and a control group using a pre-test / post-test design. The intervention group (mean age of 76.43 years) took part in YCT sessions for a maximum of four sessions delivered by experienced judo coaches, the control group (mean age of 72.29 years) listened to a talk about fear of falling.
Data was collected using two established measures, the Fear of Falling Questionnaire Revised (FFQ-R) and the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). FFQ-R found a statistically significant reduced fear of falling compared to the control. The FES-I found a significant reduction in fear of falling post-intervention compared to pre-intervention.
The research showed that UK elderly participants completing YCT intervention reduced their fear of falling significantly. The practise of YCT can reduce fear of falling among elderly people outside Japan, this can have far reaching consequences for the benefit of global society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages8
JournalThe Arts and Sciences of Judo (ASJ)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2022


  • judo; fall prevention; older people; fear of falling; injury prevention; ukemi


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