Apr 4, 2 years ago
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What is Judo? What are Judo Terms, weight divisions & competition scoring system?

http://sportstalk24.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/What-is-Judo-and-its-different-weight-categories.jpghttp://sportstalk24.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/What-is-Judo-and-its-different-weight-categories.jpghttp://sportstalk24.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/What-is-Judo-and-its-different-weight-categories.jpgWhat is Judo? What are Judo Terms, weight divisions & competition scoring system?

Judo, has been the Olympic sport from over 30 years now and it’s popularity is increasing day by day, not just in Asian countries but many talented European judokas are coming forward too. In this article, you will know every single thing about the sport “Judo”. Things to be covered in this blog:

  • What is Judo?

  • What are the Judo Terms?

  • What are the different weight divisions in Judo?

  • What is competition scoring system of Judo?

Many people still have many confusions regarding the sport Judo specially about the scoring system which is used in this sport, as many found it a bit complex but you will find out every answer to your query on sport “Judo”.


Judo is a relatively new sport which was devised by Dr. Jigaro Kano in mid-19th century based on a more ancient sport of jujitsu.

Judo became an Olympic sport for men in the 1964 Games in Tokyo. Dutchman Anton Geesink won the first Olympic gold medal in the open division of judo by defeating 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.                                                          


There are some different terms used in Judo and one should know about all these terms before start practicing the sport. These are the terms used in the sport:                                                                    

  •  Judoka

Judoka is a term used for a judo practitioner.

  • Randori (free practice)

Randori means “free practice”. This term covers a variety of forms of practice, and the intensity at which it is carried out varies depending on intent and the level of expertise of the participants

  •  Kata (forms)

Kata are pre-arranged patterns of techniques in judo and are practiced with a partner. Their purposes include illustrating the basic principles of judo, demonstrating the correct execution of a technique, teaching the philosophical tenets upon which judo is based,

  •  Tandoku-renshu :

Personal exercises.


Mat size of Judo

Mat size of Judo

  • Judo waza (techniques) :

Different techniques are used in Judo to win the point, these techniques are known as Nage waza and Katame-waza in traditional language.

Nage waza (throwing techniques)

Katame-waza (grappling techniques)

  • Weight divisions :

Currently judo competitions are held under seven weight divisions, subject to change by governing bodies, and may be modified based on the age of the competitors:

Men Under 60 kg 60-66 66-73 73-81 81-90 90-100 Over 100 Kg
Women Under 48 Kg 48-52 52-57 57-63 63-70 70-78 Over 78 Kg
  • Competition scoring :

Now, thats the most important and fun part of the sport i.e. competition scoring system and it is defined as follows-

A throw that places the opponent on his back with impetus and control scores an ippon winning the contest.  A lesser throw, where the opponent is thrown onto his back, but with insufficient force to merit an ippon, scores a waza-ari .Two scores of waza-ari equal an ippon waza-ari awasete ippon .A throw that places the opponent onto his side scores a yuko .No amount of yukos equal a waza-ari, they are only considered in the event of an otherwise tied contest.

For Olympics, the international judo federation, has brought about changes in evaluation of points. There will only be ippon and waza-ari scores given during a match. There will be no more yuko score. The waza-ari score will also not be added up, which means two waza-ari will no longer be the equivalent of Ippon.

Ippon is scored in ne-waza for pinning an opponent on his back with a recognized osaekomi-waza for 20 seconds or by forcing a submission through shime-waza or kansetsu-waza. A submission is signaled by tapping the mat or the opponent at least twice with the hand or foot, or by saying maitta (I surrender). pin lasting for less than 20 seconds, but more than 15 seconds scores waza-ari and one lasting less than 15 seconds but more than 10 seconds scores a yuko.

If the scores are identical at the end of the match, the contest is resolved by the Golden Score rule. Golden Score is sudden death situation where the clock is reset to match-time, and the first contestant to achieve any score wins. If there is no score during this period, then the match would continue until a judoka scored through a technique or if the opponent is penalized (Shido).

  • Penalties :

Minor rules infractions are penalized with a shido (“guidance”). This is treated as a warning and anything up to three shido make no contribution to the overall score. A serious rules violation yields a hansoku make (“foul-play defeat”), resulting in disqualification of the penalized competitor.

  •  Rank and Grading

A judoka’s position within the kyu-dan ranking system is displayed by the color of their belt. Beginning students typically wear a white belt, progressing through descending kyu ranks until they are deemed to have achieved a level of competence sufficient to be a Dan grade, at which point they wear the kuro obi(black belt). The kyu-dan ranking system has since been widely adopted by modern martial arts.

  • Countries dominating judo scenario and greats : 

  • Japan
  • France
  • Korea
  • Russia             

Male all-time greats:

  • Kano jigoro – Japan
  • Yasuhiro yamashita – Japan
  • Tadahiro nomura – Japan

Female all-time greats:

  • Majlinda kelmendi – Kosovo
  • Ryoko tani – japan
  • Masae uno – japan
  • Judo in India

Avtar Singh in World Judo Championship 2017

Judo was first introduced in India in 1929 and judo federation of India was formed in 1965. There is not much to discuss about the sport in Indian history as not many greats are produced from the country. Avtar Singh, was the lone Indian judoka to win a qualification spot in the recent Rio Summer Olympics 2016 where he was defeated in his first round only.

Some of the famous Indian judokas.

  • Sandeep Byala.
  • kawas kersap Billimoria
  • Angom Anita Chanu
  • Narinder Singh
  • Poonam Chopra
  • Ms. Khumujam tombi devi
  • Ms. Garima Chaudhary
  • Mr. avatar singh
  • Ms. Thoudam kalpana devi became the first Indian to achieve a top 3 finish at a world cup with a bronze in 2012.                                             

Also Read : India at Judo World Championship 2017, Budapest | Hungary

Talking about India in Judo, everyone knows the story, we are nowhere near to the top level in Judo & Sports Talk24 believes talking about all the sports will contribute somewhat in popularity of sport & will create awareness.

Special Thanks to our Editor Vallabh Vishwanath Desai for his contribution in “Special Coverage – Judo” .


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