Introduction to Judo

National Federation
Irish Judo Association
Irish Sports HQ
National Sports Campus
Dublin 15

Tel: (+353 1) 625 1104

Jigoro Kano was the one to introduce Judo in Japan, in 1882. Its techniques derived from martial arts developed over centuries in various “Ju jitsu” schools. Jigoro Kano devoted his life to promoting the sport and training new athletes and thereby created a legacy for today’s generations.
Starting in 1909 and for the next 30 years, Jigoro Kano participated in the Olympic Movement as a member of the IOC; he was one of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s main associates. In addition, Jigoro Kano was the one to first propose the founding of the International Judo Federation (IJF) in the 1930s. The federation was finally established in 1951 by 13 European country-members. Today the federation counts more than 180 countries as its members.

Technical Details
The mat
A Judo contest is conducted on a square 8m x 8m mat (Tatami). There is a 1m x 1m danger area and a 3 m outer safety area. The colour of the mat varies. Green is usually preferred for the competition and safety zone areas and red for the danger area.
The contest
To win the contest a judoka must score an Ippon (a degree equalling 10 points) by using a successful technique. Lesser scores such as waza-ari (7 points), yuko (5 points) and koka (3 points), can be awarded when a technique does not warrant an Ippon. Athletes may also receive penalties of corresponding points: hansoku make (Ippon), keikoku (waza-ari), chui (yuko) and shido (koka).
Two waza-ari add up to an Ippon. This also applies if one competitor has already scored waza-ari and the opponent is subsequently given a penalty of keikoku. Yuko and koka do not add up. Winner is the athlete who has scored the greatest value point at the completion of the five minutes.
An Ippon is given to the athlete who manages to throw his opponent on his back with a technique combining speed, force and control.

A waza-ari is awarded to an athlete when the referee and judges consider an element of the Ippon to be missing. This may be the case if the opponent does not fall on his/her back or that the athlete has not demonstrated enough force.

A yuko is awarded when two of the required elements are missing. This may be the case when the opponent falls on his/her side.

A kοka awarded when three of the required elements are missing. This may be the case when the opponent falls on his/her shoulder or leg.

An Ippon is also awarded, when an athlete applies an osaekomi technique and manages to hold his/her opponent to the ground for 25 sec. The referee calls the beginning and the end of the osaekomi countdown.

Waza-ari is awarded when the opponent is unable to escape for more than 20, but less than 25 seconds.
Yuko is awarded when the opponent is unable to escape for more than 15, but less than 20 seconds.

Koka is awarded when the opponent is unable to escape for more than 10, but less than 15 seconds.

An Ippon is finally awarded to an athlete who applies a strangling or joint technique and thereby forces his/her opponent to give up by tapping twice or more with his/her hand, or says “maitta” (I give up).

Judo has two main elements, the sporting skills of attack and defense and the culture of the sport through, which these skills are performed. The moral code of Judo is politeness, courage, sincerity, self-control, honour, modesty, friendship and respect. In Judo competition, a judoka can be disqualified for deliberately hurting their opponent.

The bow
Bowing is the most visible of the rituals of Judo. In competition, judokas bow to each other at the beginning and end of the contest to show their respect and courtesy to each other as opponents and to the institution of Judo, which fosters fair play. The bow is used because it is a physical act of humility, gratitude and appreciation.

There are 66 throwing techniques and 29 grappling techniques officially acknowledged.
Throwing techniques Nage waza
Standing techniques Tachi waza
Foot/leg techniques (21) Ashi waza
Hip techniques (10) Koshi waza
Hand techniques (16) Te waza
Sacrifice techniques Sutemi waza
Supine sacrifice techniques (5) Ma sutemi waza
Side sacrifice techniques (14) Yoko sutemi waza
Grappling techniques Katame waza
Hold-down techniques (7) Osae waza
Strangling techniques (12) Shime waza
Joint techniques (10) Kansetsu waza





© 2020 Olympic Federation of Ireland.
Registered in Dublin No. 82262.
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