What is Judo?

Judo is a Japanese martial art and sport invented by Jigoro Kano in 1882. He modified Ju Jutsu and removed danger techniques. First Olympic competition was held in Tokyo 1964 (women compete in Olympics since 1992 - Barcelona).


If you translate Judo from Japanese language it means a "gentle way".

Philosophy of Judo

The principle of judo is to develop and use physical and mental strenght effectively and use opponent's power and throw its body to the ground and immobilize.

Joint lock (elbow only), submission and choke is also way how to win. During the competition judoka can submit by tapping out to the mat called tatami.

Judo athletes are called judokas. They wear uniform called Gi or kimono and a belt in different colors. The training hall is dojo. Fight starts with "hajime" and ends with "mate". You can find ranking for each weight category.

Judo belt colours

  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Red/white stripes

Judo rules

During the competition you can see competitors using white or blue judo gi. It is useful for referees and spectators as techniques are fast. Talking during the fight is against rules for competitors - they can't talk to each other or to referees otherwise they are disqualified.

Judo scoring system

The highest score is IPPON - it's also end of match. Lower score is waza-ari - if you score twice you get an ippon. Next and last one is yuko.

Judo techniques

There are oficialy 99 techniques which are divided into groups:

  • Nage-waza - throwing techniques
  • Katame-waza - grappling techniques
  • Atemi-waza - body striking techniques

To become successful in judo you need combination of strength, flexibility, speed and stamina. Judo clubs usually accept children from age of 5.

Popular judo techniques

  • Uchi mata
  • Seoi nage
  • Kata guruma
  • Kouchi gari
  • Tomoe nage

Judo Heroes

If you want to find most successful judokas - usually Olympic winners and World champions - male and females - you can stick with this short list:

Male greatest judo players:

  1. Teddy Rinner
  2. Yasuhiro Yamashita
  3. Illias Iliadis
  4. David Douillet
  5. Toshihiko Koga
  6. Shohei Ono

Female greatest judo players:

  1. Ryoko Tani
  2. Ingrid Berghmans
  3. Daria Bilodid
  4. Masae Ueno
  5. Kayla Harrison
  6. Rafaela Silva
  7. Ulla Werbrouck