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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Judo (柔道 jūdō?, "gentle way") is a martial art, combat sport, and philosophy which originated in Japan. One of the distinguishing characteristics of Judo as compared to many other martial arts is that the primary goal in a Judo competition is to throw one's opponent to the ground; kicks, punches, and other strikes are not allowed in Judo competition or sparring (known as randori). Judo was founded by Dr Jigoro Kano in 1882. The sport became the model for the modern Japanese martial arts, gendai budo, developed from old koryu schools. Practitioners of judo are called judoka.

According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), judo is one of the four main forms of amateur competitive wrestling practiced internationally today, the other three being Greco-Roman wrestling, Freestyle wrestling and Sambo wrestling.

See Judo techniques for a list of techniques by technique classification and Judo lists for the official Kodokan syllabus.

History and philosophy

The early history of judo and that of its founder, Japanese polymath and educator Kano Jigoro (surname first in Japanese) (1860-1938), are inseparable. Kano was born into a well-to-do Japanese family. His grandfather was a self-made man, a sake brewer from Shiga prefecture in central Japan; however, Kano's father was not the eldest son and did not inherit the business, but instead became a Shinto priest and government official, with enough influence for his son to enter the second incoming class of Tokyo Imperial University.

Kano was a small, frail boy, who, even in his twenties, did not weigh more than a hundred pounds, and was often picked on by bullies. He first started pursuing jujutsu, at that time a flourishing art, at the age of 17, but met with little success -in part due to difficulties finding a teacher who would take him on as a serious student. When he went off to the University to study literature at the age of 18, he continued his martial efforts, eventually gaining a referral to Hachinosuke Fukuda, a master of the Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and ancestor of noted Japanese/American judoka Keiko Fukuda, who is one of Kano's oldest surviving students. Fukuda is said to have emphasized technique over formal exercise, sowing the seeds of Kano's emphasis of randori, or free practice, in Judo.

A little more than a year after Kano joined Fukuda's school, Fukuda became ill and later died. Kano then became a student in another Tenjin Shinyo school, that of Masatomo Iso, who put more emphasis on formal kata than did Fukuda. Through dedication, Kano quickly earned the title "shihan", or master, and became assistant instructor to Iso at the age of 21. Iso, too, took ill, and Kano, feeling that he still had much to learn, took up another style, becoming a student of Tsunetoshi Iikubo of Kito Ryu. Like Fukuda, Iikubo placed much emphasis on free practice; on the other hand, Kito Ryu emphasized throwing techniques to a much greater degree than Tenjin Shinyo Ryu.

Formalism and strict conduct are typical of traditional Judo.
Formalism and strict conduct are typical of traditional Judo.

By this time, Kano was devising new techniques, such as the kata guruma ( or 'shoulder wheel', known as a fireman's carry to Western wrestlers who use(d) a slightly different form of this technique) and uki goshi (floating hip toss). His thoughts were already on doing more than expanding the canons of Kito and Tenjin Shinyo Ryu; full of new ideas, in part as a result of his education, Kano had in mind a major reformation of jujutsu, with techniques based on sound scientific principles, and with focus on development of the body, mind, and character of young men in addition to development of martial prowess. At the age of 22, just about to finish his degree at the University, Kano took 9 students from Iikubo's school to study jujutsu under him at the Eishoji Temple. Although two years would pass before it would be called by that name, and Kano had not yet been accorded the title of "master" in the Kito ryu -- Iikubo would come to the temple to help teach three days a week, this was the founding of the Kodokan or "place for learning the way."

The word Judo is composed of two kanji: "jū", which means gentleness, and "dō", way or road (the same character as the Chinese "tao"). Thus Judo literally means "the gentle way", or "the way of giving way", and may also be defined as "the way of suppleness", "the way of flexibility, or "the way of adaptability". To English speakers, Judo and Jujutsu would mean "the easy way", as in the easiest way to accomplish something. Judo takes from jujutsu ("gentle art") the principle of using one's opponent's strength against him and adapting well to changing circumstances. For example, if the attacker was to push against his opponent he would find his opponent stepping to the side and allowing (usually with the aid of a foot to trip him up) his momentum to throw him forwards (the inverse being true for pulling). Kano saw jujutsu as a disconnected bag of tricks, and sought to unify it according to some principle; he found it in the notion of "maximum efficiency". Jujutsu techniques which relied solely on superior strength were discarded or adapted in favour of those which involved redirecting the opponent's force, off balancing the opponent, or making use of superior leverage. In "Mind Over Muscle", a compilation of Kano's writtings, the concept of "maximum efficiency" was extended into daily life and evolved into "mutual prosperity". He saw Judo as a means to governing and improving oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally.[1] In this respect Judo was seen as a holistic approach to life extending well beyond the confines of the dojo. In the book there is much discussion of the application of Judo philosophy to education - another of Kano's great interests.

Combat Phases

Judo assumes that there are two main phases of combat: the standing (tachi-waza) and the ground (ne-waza) phase. Each phase requires its own mostly separate techniques, strategies, randori, conditioning and so on, although some special training is devoted to 'transitional' techniques to bridge the gap. Some judoka can become quite skilled in one phase and be rather weak in the other, depending on where their interests most lie, although most are rather balanced between the two.

Tachi-waza ends and ne-waza starts once the judoka go to the ground.
Tachi-waza ends and ne-waza starts once the judoka go to the ground.


Judo emphasizes a free-style sparring called randori as one of its main forms of training. A part of the combat time is spent sparring standing up, called tachi-waza, and the other part on the ground, called ne-waza. Sparring, even within safety rules, is considered to be much more effective than only practicing techniques. Using full-strength develops the muscles and cardio-vascular system on the physical side of things, and it develops strategy and reaction time on the mental side of things, and helps the practioner learn to use techniques against a resisting opponent.

Judo's Balanced Approach

Judo's balance between both the standing and ground phases of combat gives judoka the ability to take down opponents who are standing up and then pin and submit them on the ground. This balanced theory of combat has made Judo a popular choice for many.

The Standing Phase: Tachi-Waza

In the standing phase, which is considered the initial phase, the opponents try to throw each other to the ground. Even though standing joint-lock and choke/strangulation submission techniques are legal in the standing phase,[2] they are quite rare due to the fact that they are much harder to apply standing than throws are. Some judoka, however, are very skilled in combining takedowns with submissions, where a submission technique is begun standing and finished on the ground. Strikes (i.e. punches, kicks etc) are not allowed due to their certainty of injury, but judoka are supposed to 'take them into consideration' while training by, for example, not fighting in a bent-over position for long, since this position is vulnerable to knee-strikes and others striking attacks.

The main purpose of the throwing techniques (nage waza) is to take an opponent who is standing on his feet, mobile and dangerous, down onto his back where he cannot move as effectively. Thus, the main reason for throwing the opponent is to control him and to put yourself in a dominant position above him where you have more potential to inflict damage on him than he does on you. Another reason to throw the opponent is to shock his body through smashing him forcefully onto the ground. If a judoka executes a powerful yet fully controlled throw, he can win a match outright due to the theory that he has displayed enough superiority. In actual fact, this kind of victory is very difficult to achieve if the opponents are equally matched. Therefore points are given for lesser throws in the standing phase of combat. In a real fight, throwing an opponent in itself can shock them, and the impact can potentially knock the opponent unconscious (depending on how hard the ground is).

The Ground Phase: Ne-waza

In the ground phase, which is considered the secondary phase of combat, the opponents try to pin each other, or to get the opponent to submit either by using armlocks (leglocks are not allowed due to safety regulations) or by chokes and strangulations.

Osaekomi (pins)

Osaekomi (pins) are considered important since in a real fight the person who has control of his opponent can hit him with punches, knees, the headbutts and other strikes. If osaekomi is held for 25 seconds, the person doing the pinning wins the match. The reason for requiring such a long pin is that in order to be able to hit the person underneath you effectively, you have to have full control of him for a long time. In a match, if you pin your opponent for less than 25 seconds you get points depending on how long, with the minimum being 10 seconds. This also flows from the theory that you will be striking a pinned opponent, and after 10 seconds will have possibly weakened him somewhat with strikes, at least enough to merit giving some points. A pin can even result in a submission if the opponent is exhausted or his body frame cannot endure the pressure from the pin. This has sometimes happened in competition when an already injured opponent has been pinned, and the pin has placed pressure on the injured area, such as the ribcage.

However, if the person being held down has wrapped his legs around any part of his opponent's lower body or trunk, he is pinning his opponent as much as he is being pinned, as his opponent cannot get up and flee unless the bottom man lets go. While his legs are wrapped around his opponent, the bottom man can employ various attacking techniques, including strangles, armlocks and 'do-jime' (body scissors), while tying the opponent so that he cannot effectively strike from above. In this position, often referred to as the guard in English, the man on top does not have enough control over his adversary for the position to be considered osaekomi. The man on top can try to pass his opponent's legs and pin or submit him, or he may try to break out of his opponent's guard and stand up. The bottom man can try to submit his opponent from his guard or roll his opponent over to get on top of him.

Scoring in judo consists of four grades of score: ippon, waza ari, yuko, and koka. An ippon literally means "one point" and awards the match. This is awarded for a throw that lands the throwee on his or her back, since it requires skill to do this in sparring, for a mat hold of sufficient duration (25 or 30 seconds), or for opponent submission. A waza-ari, for a throw leaving an opponent 66% on his or her back, or for a hold of near-winning duration, is a half-point and if two are scored, they constitute the full point needed for the win. Yukos and kokas are lower grades of score-- tie-breakers-- that do not add up to one another, and scoring is lexicographic-- a waza-ari beats any number of yukos, but a waza-ari and a yuko beat a waza-ari with no yukos. It is not uncommon for a match to be decided based on kokas-- for example, 1W2Y2K vs. 1W2Y1K. If scores are identical at the end of a match, it is decided by the two corner judges and referee, the winner being determined by majority vote.

The time that you hold your opponent down for varies with the score given. If you are awarded an ipon, there is no need to hold down and opponent as they are already beaten. A waza-ari score means that you hold down the person for 20 seconds, then you have won. Any score less than that means that you must hold down the person for the full 25 seconds.

Joint locks

Joint locks (Kansetsu-waza) are effective combat techniques because they enable a judoka to control his opponent through pain-compliance, or if necessary, to cause breakage of the locked joint. Joint locks on the elbow are considered safe enough to perform at nearly full-force in competition to force submission from one's opponent. Judo has, in the past, allowed leglocks, wristlocks, spinal locks and various other techniques which have since been disallowed in competition to protect athletes' safety. It was decided that attacking those other joints would result in many injuries to the athletes and would cause a gradual deterioration of these joints. Even so, some Judoka still enjoy learning and fighting each other informally using these techniques that are banned from formal competitions, and many of these techniques are still actively used in other arts such as sambo and jujutsu.


Chokes/strangulations (Shime-waza) are Judo's deadliest techniques. They enable the one applying the choke to force the adversary into unconsciousness and even death. The differences between a choke and a strangle is that a strangle cuts off the blood supply to the brain via the sides of the neck, and a choke blocks the airway from the front of the neck. In competition, the judoka wins if the opponent submits or goes unconscious. A strangle, once properly locked in, can knock an opponent unconscious in 3 seconds.

When practising ne-waza, the judoka usually start from their knees.
When practising ne-waza, the judoka usually start from their knees.


The judogi is intended to withstand the stresses of throwing and grappling
The judogi is intended to withstand the stresses of throwing and grappling

Judoka (Judo practitioners) wear white or blue cotton uniforms called Judogi (which means Judo uniform in Japanese) for practicing Judo. Sometimes the word is seen shortened simply to "gi" (uniform). This judogi was created at the Kodokan and similar uniforms were later adopted by many other martial arts. The judogi consists of white cotton drawstring pants and a white quilted cotton jacket fastened by a colored belt indicative of kyu or dan rank. The jacket is intended to withstand the stresses of throwing and grappling, and is as a result much thicker than that of a karategi. Before competition, a blue judogi is assigned to one judoka for ease of distinction by judges, referees, and spectators. In Japan, the traditional red sash (based on the flag's colors) is affixed to one judoka's belt, however in Europe and North America, a colored sash is typically used for convenience in local competitions, while a blue judogi is assigned to one judoka at the regional, national, or Olympic levels where the visibility, particularly to television cameras is more important than tradition or convienence. It should be noted that some Japanese practitioners and purists tend to look down on the use of blue judogis.


For a full list of Judo techniques, see Judo techniques.
One of the first throws learned in judo - the Ippon Seoinage (One Arm Shoulder Throw)
One of the first throws learned in judo - the Ippon Seoinage (One Arm Shoulder Throw)

While Judo includes a variety of rolls, falls, throws, pins, chokes, joint-locks, and methods of percussion, the primary focus is on throwing (nage-waza, 投げ技), and groundwork (ne-waza,寝技). Nage-waza is divided in two groups of techniques, standing techniques (tachi-waza, 立技) and sacrifice techniques (sutemi-waza, 捨身技). Standing techniques are divided in hand techniques (te-waza, 手技), hip techniques (koshi-waza, 腰技) and foot/leg techniques (ashi-waza, 足技). Sacrifice techniques are divided into those in which the thrower falls directly backwards (ma-sutemi-waza, 真捨身技) and those in which he falls onto his side (yoko-sutemi-waza, 橫捨身技).

The groundwork techniques are divided into: attacks against the joints or joint locks (kansetsu-waza, 関節技), strangleholds or chokeholds (shime-waza, 絞技), and holding or pinning techniques (osaekomi-waza, 押込技).

A kind of sparring is practiced in judo, known as randori (乱取り), meaning "free practice". In randori, players (known as judoka) may attack each other with any judo throw or grappling technique. Striking techniques (called atemi-waza) such as kicking and punching, along with knife and sword techniques are retained in the katas taught to higher ranking judoka (for instance, in the kime-no-kata), but are forbidden in contest (and usually prohibited in randori), for reasons of safety. Also for reasons of safety, chokeholds, jointlocking - and the sacrifice (sutemi) techniques, which can be very spectacular, are often subject to age and/or rank restrictions; in the United States, one must be 13 or older to use chokeholds, and 16 or older, or hold the rank of shodan or higher to use armlocks.

In randori and shiai (tournament) practice, when an opponent successfully executes a chokehold or joint lock, one "taps out" by tapping the mat or one's opponent at least twice in a manner that clearly indicates the submission. When this occurs, the match is over, and the tapping player has lost, but the chokehold or joint lock ceases. Because this allows a merciful exit to the match, injuries related to these holds are quite rare.


Kata are prearranged forms displaying several judo techniques. They have several purposes: to illustrate the basic principles of judo; to demonstrate the correct execution of a technique; to teach the philosophical tenets on which judo is based; to illustrate techniques that are not allowed in competition; to preseve ancient techniques that are historically important but not used anymore in contemporary judo.

Knowledge of different kata is a requirement for the attainment of a higher dan.

There are seven kata that are recognized by Kodokan today:

  • Randori no Kata (Free practice forms), comprising two kata:
    • Nage no Kata (Throwing forms)
    • Katame no kata (Grappling forms)
  • Kime no kata (Forms of decision)
  • Kodokan Goshin Jutsu (Kodokan Self-defence forms)
  • Ju no Kata (Forms of gentleness)
  • Itsutsu no Kata (The five forms)
  • Koshiki no Kata (Ancient forms)
  • Seiryoku Zen'yo Kokumin Taiiku no Kata (Maximum-Efficiency National Physical Education Kata)


Judoka are ranked according to skill and knowledge of judo, that grade being reflected by belt color: There are two divisions of grades, the student grades (kyu 級), and the advanced grades (dan 段). The kyu - dan grading system was introduced into the martial arts by Kano and has since been widely adopted. As initially designed the six student grades were ranked in decending order (rokyu, gokyu, yonkyu, sankyu, nikyu, and ikkyu) with ikkyu being the last before promotion to Shodan, the first dan rank. The twelve dan ranks are in ascending order (shodan, nidan, sandan, yodan, godan, rokudan, shichidan, hachidan, kudan, judan, juichidan, and junidan) with the first five being black . Rokudan, shichidan, and hachidan were to have alternating red and white panels beyond kudan the belts were to be solid red. The junidan belt was changed to a doubly wide version of a simple white belt, symbolizing the eternal cycle of wisdom: one can always learn more.

The tenth degree, judan, and those above it, have no formal requirements. The President of the Kodokan, currently Jigoro Kano's grandson Yukimitsu Kano, decides on individuals for promotion. Only 15 individuals have been promoted to this rank by the Kodokan. On January 6, 2006, three individuals were promoted to tenth dan simultaneously, Toshiro Daigo, Ichiro Abe, and Yoshimi Osawa - the most at the same time, and the first in 22 years. No one has ever been promoted to a rank higher than 10th-dan.

Although dan ranks tend to be consistent between national organizations there is more variation in the kyu grades, with some countries having more kyu grades. Although initially kyu grade belt colors were uniformly white, today you can see a large variation.

In Japan, the use of belt colors is conversly related to the age of the student. Some clubs will only have black and white, others will include a brown belt for advanced kyu grades and at the elementary school level it is common to see a green belt for intermediate levels.

In the UK, most of Europe, and Canada, the belt grading colors run like this: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Brown and then Black. Some European countries additionally use a red belt to signify a complete beginner. In the US, the colors run: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown and then Black, but women's ranks sometimes bypass blue or purple.

Some countries also use colored tips on belts, to indicate junior age groups. Historically, a woman's belt had a white stripe at its centre.

Examination requirements vary depending on country, age group and of course the grade being attempted. They may include a grading competition and/or kata. The kyu ranks are normally awarded by local sensei but dan ranks are usually awarded only after doing an exam supervised by independent judges of the national judo association. For a rank to be recognized it must be registered with the national judo organization or the Kodokan.


Jigoro Kano's Kodokan Judo (講道館) is not the only style of judo. Kano took the name Judo from Jikishin Ryu Judo, which is an older school but not really seen outside of Japan. A sub-style of Kodokan Judo that developed in Japanese inter-scholastic competition is known as Kosen judo (高專柔道) with the same range of techniques but greater latitude permitted for Ne-waza (ground technique).

Teaching in France, Mikonosuke Kawaishi developed an alternative approach (Kawaishi Ryu Ju Jitsu) to instruction that continued to teach many techniques banned in modern competition. In Austria, Julius Fleck and others developed a system of throwing intended to extend Judo that they called Judo-do.

Mitsuyo Maeda introduced Judo to Brazil in the early 20th century. At this time, groundfighting (newaza) was very popular and not yet limited by the rules. He taught Judo to Carlos Gracie (1902-94) and others in Brazil. The terms Judo and Jujutsu were at that time interchangeable. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu remained rather aloof to later changes in international Judo rules which added emphasis to the standing phase of the fight, and thus remains a distinctive form of Judo to this day.


Russian President Vladimir Putin throwing a sparring partner at a training session in Novo-Ogaryovo, 16 June 2002
Russian President Vladimir Putin throwing a sparring partner at a training session in Novo-Ogaryovo, 16 June 2002

Although a fully featured martial art, judo has also developed as a sport. Judo became an Olympic sport for men in 1964 and, with the persistence of an American woman by the name of Rusty Kanokogi and many others, a sport for women as well in 1988. Popular legend insists that the men's judo event in 1964 was a demonstration event, but according to Michel Brousse, official researcher and historian for the International Judo Federation, Judo was in fact an official sport in the 1964 games. Thanks to Dutchman Anton Geesink who won the gold medal in the All Categories division defeating Aiko Kaminaga, Japan, judo lost the image of being "Japanese only" and became an international sport. The women's event was a demonstration event in 1988, followed by becoming an official medal event 4 years later. Men and women compete separately (although they often train together), and there are several weight divisions.

The seven divisions are (These are subject to change, by both governing bodies and age):

Collegiate competition in the United States, especially between UC Berkeley and San Jose State, contributed towards refining judo into the sport seen at the Olympic Games and World Championships. In the 1940s Henry Stone and Yosh Uchida, the head coaches at Cal and SJSU, developed a weight class system for use in the frequent competitions between the schools. In 1953, Stone and Uchida successfully petitioned the Amateur Athletic Union to accept judo as a sport, with their weight class system as an official component. In 1961, Uchida represented the United States at the International Judo Federation meetings in Paris, where the IJF adopted weight classes for all future championships. Of course the IJF was created largely based on the earlier European Judo Union where weight classes had also been used for many years.

The object in a judo match is to either throw your opponent to the ground flat on his back, to pin him to the ground on his back, or to force him to submit using a choke or an armlock. This will score an ippon (一本), a full point that wins the match. Anything else, such as landing your opponent on the hip or shoulder from a throw, will be waza-ari (技有), yuko (有効) or koka (効果) (waza-ari being the highest of the 3, koka the lowest) or even no score. Technically speaking, a waza-ari is a half-point, two of which will earn the match. Yukos and kokas are not fractional points in that they do not accumulate to equal a waza-ari or ippon-- in fact a waza-ari beats any number of yukos and a yuko beats any number of kokas. Rather, they are used as tiebreakers if the match ends before an ippon is scored. At match end, if one player has scored a waza-ari and the other has not, the player with the waza-ari wins, but if they are equal in that regard (both with zero or one) yukos are used to break the tie. If they are also equal in yukos, kokas break the tie. Finally, if both players have identical scores, the match is resolved by having the contestants continue fighting in a sudden death overtime called the Golden Score period where the first contestant to get any score wins. If there is no score during this period, then the decision (majority vote) of the referee and two corner judges is used.

After a throw occurs (whether or not it is scored), combat may continue on the ground. Pinning an opponent, with both shoulders on the mat, for 25 seconds (20 if you previously scored a waza-ari, since two half-points will complete your ippon) results in an ippon. An automatic ippon is also granted when one's opponent submits (which frequently occurs when strangleholds / armlocks are used). If there is no ippon, the one with the highest score wins. Penalties may be given for being inactive during the match or using illegal techniques and fighting must be stopped if a participant is outside the designated area on the mat (tatami). If the referee and judges need to discuss something during groundwork, the referee will call sonomama (which means "do not move") and both fighters must stop in the position they are in. When they are done, the referee says yoshi and the match continues.

All scores and penalties are given by the referee. The judges can make a decision to change the score or penalty given by the referee.

Rules of judo

Like any other sport, judo has an extensive set of rules. They can be baffling to the uninitiated observer, and even to the inexperienced competitor.

Judo rules tend to be motivated by one of two considerations. In the early days of judo, the primary consideration was safety. Thus, early rules prohibited joint attacks that were likely to result in injury before the player had an opportunity to surrender, e.g. finger and wrist locks. Later additions to the rules, while often also motivated by safety considerations, were also often motivated by a desire to keep matches dynamic and filled with action. For example, a late addition to the rules, motivated by the desire to avoid situations where players used non-standard gripping techniques to maintain small leads in points by preventing their opponent from attacking, allowed for penalizing the use of a non-standard grip for longer than three to five seconds. Similarly, late additions to the rules allowed for the awarding of penalties for stalling, noncombativity, and adopting a defensive posture.

Adding to the difficulty of understanding the rules of judo is that they are in constant evolution. For example, a change to the rules governing what constitutes being out of the bounds of the competition area is currently being experimented with.

See Judo rules for more information on the rules of judo.

Sport and beyond

Despite the literal meaning of judo being "the gentle way", competition judo is one the roughest and most demanding of sports. Regulation time in a World Championship or Olympic match is only 5 minutes, but will leave participants exhausted; in the event of a tie, matches may also proceed to an overtime phase which lasts as long as regulation time.

Because competition judo does not contain the kicking and punching so common to other martial arts, Judo is often portrayed as friendlier than, for instance, Karate (although some forms of Karate emphasize the control of character and aggression). Proponents believe this contributes to judo being underrated as a method of self-defense although advanced kata do contain defenses against kicking, punching, and armed techniques. In addition, while throws executed with proper break falls on soft mats can seem light and graceful, their more practical application on a hard surface (and potentially with greater intent to harm) could be very dangerous. Even in the controlled environments of a match or dojo training session, injuries can easily occur due to a lapse in focus or overzealous application of a technique. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Judo techniques are often effective in self-defense situations.

Due to their knowledge in ne-waza/grappling and tachi-waza/standing-grappling, various accomplished judo practitioners have also competed in mixed martial arts matches. Fedor Emelianenko is PRIDE Fighting Championships's current heavyweight champion and consistently ranked the world's best heavyweight mixed martial arts fighter. Hidehiko Yoshida, an Olympic gold medalist in 1992 and World Judo Champion in 1999, is another top fighter in PRIDE FC as well. Other Olympic gold medalist and world champion judokas such as Pawel Nastula and Yoon Dong Sik also fight in PRIDE. It should be noted that the ability to throw an opponent to his back and apply a pinning technique is of enormous importance in these kinds of competitions, as is the ability to finish off a downed opponent with strikes or a submission hold. Judo, uniquely among combat sports, puts equal emphasis on the initial throwing and the final pinning and submitting phases of combat, ideally enabling practitioners to dominate grappling-fights from the get-go.


The international organization of competition sports judo is the IJF, or the International Judo Federation.

In the US, there are several different national organizations. One is USA Judo, which also has state organizations which host state tournaments and other judo related activities (USA Judo is the National Governing Body to the United States Olympic Committee). The other national organizations are United States Judo Federation (USJF) and the United States Judo Association (USJA). Each national organization in the US has its own promotion requirements, but they still have the same belt rank system. USJF and USJA are founding members of USA Judo with members often having dual membership.

In Great Britain, the British Judo Association (BJA) is the largest Judo Association and the only one affiliated to the IJF. Judo clubs can also be administered by the British Judo Council (BJC), which is popular in the north of England. Some minor judo administrations exist, such as the BJC-MAC (British Judo Council - Martial Arts Circle).


See List of judoka

Judo organizations

List of judo organizations

See also

  • Kodokan
  • Eishoji
  • Judo at the 2004 Summer Olympics (and similar articles for other Olympic years)
  • Judo techniques, full list of judo techniques
  • Sambo wrestling, a Russian martial art partially based on Judo
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), a Brazilian variant of Judo where newaza is emphasized
  • Throw (grappling), More on throws
  • Hard and soft (martial arts)
  • The principle of ju


  1. ^ Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo (Kano Jigaro)
  2. ^ Shiai rules


  • Kano, Jigoro (1994) Kodokan Judo is the standard reference on judo. ISBN 4-7700-1799-5.

External links

Look up judo in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • IJF International Judo Federation. The worldwide governing body for judo
  • Kodokan Judo Institute

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