Karate student dies without a blow struck
Clutched at heart and collapsed. He was laughing 20 seconds before, owner of martial-art school says
June 07, 2003
On Thursday night, in the middle of a workout at a karate school on Iberville St., 36-year-old Benoît Lebreux collapsed. A few hours later, he was pronounced dead at a hospital. Though police initially reported Lebreux was kicked in the chest, Kenpo Karate's owner, Jean-Guy Angell, said no blows were struck. "Twenty seconds before, he was laughing," Angell said. "Before that, he was not receiving blows, he was practising blows. The instructor was holding a shield and saying 'Do round kicks! Do side kicks! Punch!' "Lebreux suddenly clenched his teeth, clutched at his heart, and collapsed into his instructor's arms, Angell said. His throat and lips were blue.
Angell said his school is for "light contact" karate, and does not train students in takedown techniques or knockout blows. Lebreux's sister, reached at his home, said her brother was in very good shape and had no known medical conditions. The Quebec coroner's office is investigating the death. An autopsy was performed yesterday, but a final report will not be ready for months. There have been rare cases where athletes have died following a blow to the chest, a phenomenon known as commotio cordis. The blow does not have to be forceful or fast, but must strike a specific spot over the heart, and at a specific time during the heartbeat, said Dr. Barry Maron of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, who has studied commotio cordis extensively. "If there was a kick or blow to the chest, this (fits the description)," he said. "Pending something strange, like an actual structural injury to something by the kick, it would be commotio cordis."
Angell, who runs about 30 karate schools, said all instructors have CPR training. The last time someone died in Montreal practising karate was about 20 years ago, said Gérard Lauzière, co-ordinator of Karaté Québec, a provincial association (of which Angell's school is not a member). Practised properly, karate is extremely safe, said Rebecca Khoury of the National Karate Association's national council. "In karate you get some little injuries," she said. "A broken finger, sprains, a black eye, bruises. "I went to two world championships when I was competing, and the biggest injury was a broken nose and a girl who had two black eyes. And that's accidental, and that's one person out of 104 countries with over 800 competitors."
Heart Disease and Women
Death of an Athlete
Shocking and sad news for the world today and for women everywhere comes with the announcement of the death of Olympic athlete Florence Griffith Joyner. The 38 year old winner of three gold medals during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea died of what was described by her husband as "apparent heart seizure." The sudden death of this obviously in-shape athlete proves that no one is immune from the effects of heart disease.
Heart disease which is the number one cause of death in American women claimed the lives of more than 500,000 women in 1994, the last year for which statistics are available, and accounted for 45.2% of all deaths in women that year. The sad fact for African-American women, like Ms. Joyner, is that the death rate from cardiovascular disease is 69% higher in black women than white women.
Women often deceive themselves by believing that breast cancer is the disease that they should fear most, but the facts are that an estimated one out of two women will eventually die of heart related diseases while the rate of death from breast cancer equals one out of twenty-five.
What Are Your Risk Factors?
Major risk factors for coronary heart disease in women include cigarette smoking, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and poor eating habits. While we can try to live a healthy lifestyle and implement healthy habits, we can see through the death of Ms. Joyner that other factors including genetics and racial differences may play a key role in determining who will be caught by this deadly disease.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risks?
Although we know that Florence Griffith Joyner was physically fit, we can still lower our risks by maintaining a regular schedule of physical activity. Exercise recommendations for average women include thirty minutes a day of aerobic activity which can be as simple as brisk walking three to five times a week; even more benefits can be achieved by exercising longer and more often. Earlier this year we learned that regular exercise may prevent up to 50% of all cancers.
If you smoke--quit! Of course it won't be easy, but if you need some help The Mining Co. Quitting Smoking Guide Christine H. Rowley offers support and information to help you achieve your goal for a healthier and longer life.
Nutrition is also a key factor in the development of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet is one that is low in fat (20-30% of your daily calories) and includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables with a minimum of red meat (most of us eat far to much meat- a healthy serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards). Losing weight if you are overweight will lower your risk of future heart disease as well as many other conditions including some types of cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
Since we can safely assume that Ms. Joyner was routinely following the recommendations for a healthy lifestyle it is imperative that women recognize the symptoms of a heart attact so that treatment can begin immediately.
General symptoms that are indicative of a heart attack include:
Pressure, fullness, or squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and then returns
Pain that extends to the shoulders, neck, or arms
Chest discomfort accompanied by dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
Women should pay particular attention to the following symptoms which often occur prior to heart attacks in women:
Unusual pain in the chest, stomach, or abdomen
Nausea or dizziness
Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
Unusual anxiety, loss of strength, or fatigue
Heart palpitations, cold sweat, or a pale appearance
If you experience any of these symptoms--see your physician immediately! Remember, timing of the beginning of treatment is crucial in surviving a heart attact.
If there is a lesson to be learned from the untimely death of Florence Griffith Joyner it is that you are never too young to be taken down by heart disease.
Goodbye FloJo, we will miss your courage and winning smile.
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."
Wow, according to the peerless reasoning of the Great One, the fearless rebel Kungfoolss, this proves that she must have taken a Karate class sometime in her life! Or maybe she only thought about it...
"Clutched at heart and collapsed. He was laughing 20 seconds before, owner of martial-art school says"
--&gt; NEVER LAUGH DURING CLASS!!!
"Wow, according to the peerless reasoning of the Great One, the fearless rebel Kungfoolss, this proves that she must have taken a Karate class sometime in her life! Or maybe she only thought about it..."
No there can be only a few reason why you posted this: 1. You are insane. (very fun)
2. You are on some kind of mind expanding substance right now.
3. You didn't see who posted the reply.
Thank you Wastrel that was a good article.
"There have been rare cases where athletes have died following a blow to the chest, a phenomenon known as commotio cordis. The blow does not have to be forceful or fast, but must strike a specific spot over the heart, and at a specific time during the heartbeat, said Dr. Barry Maron of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, who has studied commotio cordis extensively."
I posted a thread about commotio cordis before in the General forum a while ago. If you want to search for it it has some good links.
Hard work, Patience, Dedication.
"in final closing look yourselves in the mirror and you might see yourself." Posted by big buck - June 05 2003
Reason 1! Reason 1!
I wasn't complaining about Wastrel's article. I believe that he was making a point that not just martial artists have heart attacks. Practically everyone, even Olympic athletes, can be at risk for having heart attacks. I was making a backhanded attempt at trying to understand why the Great One would think that his original posting made any point at all specific to the martial arts in general. His ways are not our ways, and we will perhaps never grasp the subtle mental powers of the Unholy Parenthetically Chuckling Prophet Kungfoolss.
"The sudden death of this obviously in-shape athlete proves that no one is immune from the effects of heart disease."
That could just as easily be one of us.
It's really too bad this happened.
The best won victory is that obtained without bloodshed - Bushido proverb
Wasn't Flo Jo long suspected of 'chemical help'
Is it a rumor, her internal organs were all foudn to be enlarged during autopsy or is that fact?
El Guapo says, ""You can buy muscles, but you can't buy COJONES!"