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Judo

New Tokyo 2020 Events



Judo is derived from jujitsu, the hand-to-hand combat technique of ancient samurai warriors. It involves throwing opponents to the floor and holding them in submission.

Japanese choice

Judo is a traditional Japanese wrestling sport developed in the 1880s. It was Dr Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) who combined the features of the various schools of the sport and codified the rules. Kano stressed the philosophical principles of judo, adding methods of physical, intellectual and moral education, eliminating many of the dangerous parts of jujitsu, and opening his first school, or dojo, in 1882.

“The way of suppleness”

In Japanese the word ju-do means “the way of suppleness” referring to the story of the tree branch ‘bending’ under the weight of the snow and not breaking. However, the bouts of five minutes are hardly gentle and can be as physically demanding as boxing and wrestling.

Olympic history

Judo made its very first appearance at the Olympic Games in 1964 in Tokyo. However, it was not included in the Olympic programme in 1968 in Mexico City, but returned, never to leave again, at the 1972 Games in Munich. As for women’s judo, it was added to the Games in 1992 in Barcelona.

Men and women now compete in seven weight categories. There was originally a men’s category open to all weights, but this event was withdrawn after the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

This discipline is, logically, dominated by the Japanese, followed by the French and then the Koreans, who win a large number of medals.

The big Dutchman

In the 1964 Tokyo Games in the open class, a 1.98-metre Dutchman named Anton Geesink defeated three-time Japanese national champion Kaminaga Akio before 15,000 people at Nippon Budokan Hall. It followed victories earlier in the year over other top Japanese opponents, upsetting the theory that a skilled judoka could defeat any opponent of any size.

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Gallery

Men's Judo 90 kg
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Men's Judo 90 kg

Popole Misenga of The Refugee Olympic Team (blue) competes against Avtar Singh of India in the Men's 90kg category at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2, on August 10, 2016.
IOC/David Burnett
Judo - Women's -70kg
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Judo - Women's -70kg

Haruka Tachimoto of Japan competes against Laura Vargas Koch of Germany during a Women's -70kg Semifinal on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Women's Judo 70kg
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Women's Judo 70kg

Yolande Bukasa Mabika of The Refugee Olympic Team competes against Linda Bolder of Israel (blue) in the Women's 70kg category at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2, on August 10, 2016.
IOC/David Burnett
Judo - Men's -90kg
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Judo - Men's -90kg

(L-R) Silver medalist Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia, gold medalist Mashu Baker of Japan, bronze medalist A Donghan Gwak of Republic of Korea and bronze medalist B Xunzhao Cheng of People's Republic of China stand on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men's -90kg Judo on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Men's Judo 90 kg
Image Alt Text

Men's Judo 90 kg

Popole Misenga of The Refugee Olympic Team (blue) competes against Avtar Singh of India in the Men's 90kg category at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 2, on August 10, 2016.
IOC/David Burnett
Judo - Men's -90kg
Image Alt Text

Judo - Men's -90kg

Mashu Baker of Japan competes against Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia during the Men's -90kg Gold Medal bout on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
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