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Judo


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 There was originally a men’s category open to all weights, but this event was withdrawn after the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.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

Judo - Women’s -63kg
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Judo - Women’s -63kg

Szofi Ozbas of Hungary and Mariem Khlifi of Tunisia in action during the Judo - Women’s -63kg on Day 2 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the Asia Pavilion, Youth Olympic Park on October 8, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Judo - Men's -66kg
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Judo - Men's -66kg

Kimy Bravo Blanco of Cuba (white) and Javier Pena Insausti of Spain (blue) in action during the Judo - Men's -66kg on Day 1 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Asia Pavilion on October 7, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Judo - Women's -44kg
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Judo - Women's -44kg

Tababi Devi Thangjam of India and Maria Gimenez of Venezuela in action during the Judo Women's -44kg on Day 1 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Asia Pavilion on October 7, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Judo - Women's -44kg
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Judo - Women's -44kg

Ana Viktorija Puljiz of Croatia (blue) and Tababi Devi Thangjam of India (white) in action during the Judo Women's -44kg on Day 1 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Asia Pavilion on October 7, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Judo - Men's +100kg
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Judo - Men's +100kg

Hisayoshi Harasawa of Japan competes against Abdullo Tangriev of Uzbekistan during the Men's +100kg Judo contest on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Judo - Women's +78kg
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Judo - Women's +78kg

Emilie Andeol of France fights with Song Yu of People's Republic of China during the Women's 78kg Judo semifinal on Day 7 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
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