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Judo is a relatively modern martial art that was developed in Japan by Professor Jigoro Kano. Adapting many of the traits and techniques of the much older martial art jujitsu, Kano studied under some of the greatest practitioners of the day before developing his own school and exercises that he named judo. It is generally categorized as a modern martial art which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.

The name Judo was chosen because it means the “gentle or yielding way”. Kano emphasized the larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from. He eliminated some of the traditional jujutsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to create a decisive victory without injury. Judo was introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964 and is practiced by millions of people throughout the world today.

As in all sports, Judo has a strict set of rules that governs competition and ensures safety. For those who want to test their skills, Judo offers the opportunity for competition at all skill levels, from club to national tournaments, to the Olympic Games. There are separate weight divisions for men and women, and boys and girls.

Rules of Judo:

  • Judo matches take place on tatami (mats) measuring 14m x 14m, with a combat area of 10m x 10m marked out within it. Judokas (athletes) must bow before stepping onto the mat and must bow to each other before and after either practice or competition.
  • Judokas must wear the appropriate gi (uniforms), which is no more than 5cm above the ankles and wrists and is tied with the correct style of knotted belt.
  • Bouts last five minutes (in international competition) and are won when one judoka is awarded ippon. If no ippon is awarded, the player with the highest score at the end of the bout is declared the winner. If the score are level the match is decided by a period of Golden Score then – if still not resolved – the decision of the referee and corner judges.
  • Judokas must not employ any of the outlawed techniques, including attacking joints (other than the elbow), punching or kicking opponents, touching the opponent’s face, or intentionally injuring the opponent in any way.

Penalties: Two types of penalties may be awarded. A shido ("guidance") is awarded for minor rule infringements. A shido can also be awarded for a prolonged period of non-aggression. Recent rule changes allow for the first shidos resulting in only warnings. If there is a tie, then and only then, will the number of shidos (if less than three) be used to determine the winner. After three shidos are given, the victory is given to the opponent, constituting an indirect hansoku-make ("foul-play defeat"), but does not result in expulsion from the tournament.

Organizations: The international governing body for judo is the International Judo Federation (IJF), founded in 1951. Members of the IJF include the African Judo Union (AJU), the Pan-American Judo Confederation (PJC), the Judo Union of Asia (JUA), the European Judo Union (EJU) and the Oceania Judo Union (OJU), each comprising a number of national judo associations. The IJF is responsible for organising international competition and hosts the World Judo Championships and is involved in running the Olympic Judo events.

For the list of events organised by IJF visit: Events calender

Judo in India: Judo is a sport which is widely played in India. The first written record about Judo in India in Kodokan is about demonstrations and coaching of Judo by Shinzo Tagaki arranged at Shantiniketan in 1929 by Rabindranath Tagore. The Judo Federation of India was formed in 1965. In 1965 when Judo Federation of India was formed, there were three prominent Judo Clubs in India, i.e. Kajau Judo Club, Wallesley St. Culcutta, Bombay Judo Club, and Fergusson College, Pune. The next 30 years consolidated the game of Judo in other States and Clubs of India. There were efforts to broadbase the game and to encourage likeminded individuals to learn the art and skill of Judo. The formation of Judo Federation of India in 1965 considerably accelerated the growth of Judo in India. During the same year the International Judo Federation gave affiliation to this newly constituted body. The first National Judo Championship was held at Hyderabad in 1966, and since then almost every year National Judo Championships are being organized by the Judo Federation of India.

For the list of the events visit: National events calender



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