FORT WORTH, Texas—The twists and throws of judo competition entrance fans around the world, but the competitors themselves rely on the team physician to keep them on the mat.
Fort Worth physician Alan Stockard, D.O., chairs USA Judo Sportsmedicine, a group of physicians who volunteer for the sport. Among its responsibilities, the committee provides physicians for all USA Judo competitions in the United States and travel with USA Judo teams as they compete internationally.
Dr. Stockard recently served as the physician for the USA Judo team at the World Judo Championship in Munich, Germany, July 26-29, 2001. Previous trips include accompanying teams to Japan for the World Championships in 1995, Venezuela in 1998, and Tunisia in 2000.
"The most common injuries result from the throws that are intrinsic to the sport," said Dr. Stockard. "Joints are at the highest risk, especially shoulders, elbows, and knees."
Dr. Stockard is the sports medicine director of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation of Texas and an associate professor of family medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He became involved with judo in 1993 at the request of a friend who coached the national team.
Judo is a system of self-defense, a physical and mental discipline, and an Olympic Sport. Judo was founded in 1882, in Japan, by Professor Jigoro Kano, who envisioned it as a way of becoming physically and mentally fit through disciplined training.
The most widely practiced martial art, judo ranks only behind soccer in the number of people who practice it. Judo is always one of the first Olympic events to sell out of tickets, and more countries participate in Judo than all other Olympic sports except Track and Field. There are 197 member nations in the International Olympic Committee and 182 of them are members of the International Judo Federation. More information on USA Judo can be found at www.usajudo.org.
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