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The “Gentle Way” of Judo – Competitive Judo

As noted in the history of judo, it was primarily made or developed by Jigoro Kano as a self-defense. As years passed by, it was expected for judokas to test their skills against each other. Thus, competitive judo began.

History of Competitive Judo

Competitive judo is a vital aspect of judo. It is where judokas test their skills against the abilities of others of their own weight, age, and skill level.

The All-Japan Judo Championships (全日本柔道選手権大会 Zennihon jūdō senshuken taikai) were first held in 1930 and have been held every year, with the exception of the wartime period between 1941 and 1948, and continue to be the highest profile tournament in Japan. Judo’s international profile was boosted by the introduction of the World Judo Championships in 1956. The championships were initially a fairly small affair, with 31 athletes attending from 21 countries in the first year.

The first time judo was seen in the Olympic Games was in an informal demonstration hosted by Kano at the 1932 Games. Judo then became an Olympic sport starting the 1964 games in Tokyo. The Olympic Committee initially dropped judo for the 1968 Olympics, meeting protests. The first winner was Dutchman Anton Geesink l in the open division of judo who defeated Akio Kaminaga of Japan. The women’s event was introduced at the Olympics in 1988 as a demonstration event, and an official medal event in 1992. Paralympic judo has been a Paralympic sport since 1988; it is also one of the sports at the Special Olympics.

Contest Rules

Weight Divisions

Men Women
Under 60 kg Under 48 kg
60–66 kg 48–52 kg
66–73 kg 52–57 kg
73–81 kg 57–63 kg
81–90 kg 63–70 kg
90–100 kg 70–78 kg
Over 100 kg Over 78 kg

Scoring

In a Judo competition, the objective is to score an ippon (one full pint). Scores can be earned by the following:

  • Ippon (full point)
    • Executing a skillful throwing technique which results in one contestant being thrown largely on the back with considerable force or speed.
    • Maintaining a pin for 25 seconds.
    • One contestant cannot continue and gives up.
    • One contestant is disqualified for violating the rules (hansoku-make).
    • Applying an effective armbar or an effective stranglehold
  • Waza-ari (almost ippon, half point)
    • a throwing technique that is not quite an ippon (for example the opponent lands only partly on the back, or with less force than required for ippon)
    • holding one contestant in a pin for 20 seconds
    • when the opponent violates the rules (shido) three times
  • Yuko (almost waza-ari)
    • A throw that places the opponent onto his side

No amount of yukos equal a waza-ari, they are only considered in the event of an otherwise tied contest.

 

References:

1. Judo. Wikipedia.

2. Tournament Guide. JudoInfo Online Dojo.

3. Featured Image from AC-Illust

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