'Geriatric judo: Why didn't we think of this before?'

Undated file photo of two pensioners walking. Men are afforded more advantages than women in ageing

Should pensioners be taught judo to stop them falling over? - Credit: PA

There are some inventions that make sense. As soon as you see them you can’t believe we ever lived without them.

I’d include on that list the ring-pull that stays on the can. When I was growing up we’d pull off a little piece of metal from a can that was so sharp it could cut you. Health and safety would ban it these days.

There has been another step forward that always should have been in place. Researchers have said we should teach the elderly judo so they can fall without hurting themselves.

As soon as I heard that story I was shocked that it took us this long to work it out. The jiu jitsu roots of judo have been around for centuries and we have always had old people falling.

After a certain age a fall can be deadly. I am not at that age yet but a few years ago I fell over while trying to get into a rowing boat on holiday. I fell backwards and landed on my arm. It must have looked bad as passers-by came to check on me.

Steve Allen.

Comedian Steve Allen - Credit: Steve Allen


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I am such a painful introvert that having a crowd form was too much for me and I got back in the boat and rowed away on what I now know was a broken radius. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life and I got a lot of little cuts on my fingertips from ring-pulls in the 1980s, remember.

If only I’d known judo I could have tucked or rolled and avoided months of having an arm in a cast.

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The closest thing to a potential downside is that the pensioners would get too good at it. We’d be walking down the street while OAPS shout “parkour” and throw themselves around on the street furniture.

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