judoist, n.
/jooh"doh/, n.
1. a method of defending oneself or fighting without the use of weapons, based on jujitsu but differing from it in banning dangerous throws and blows and stressing the athletic or sport element.
2. the sport of fighting by this method. Cf. jujitsu, karate.
3. of or pertaining to this fighting method or sport.
[1885-90; < Japn judo < MChin, equiv. to Chin róu soft + dào way]

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Martial art that emphasizes the use of quick movement and leverage to throw an opponent.

Its techniques are generally intended to turn an opponent's force to one's own advantage rather than to oppose it directly. The opponent must be thrown cleanly, pinned, or mastered through the application of pressure to arm joints or the neck. Judo is now practiced primarily as sport. It became an Olympic sport in 1964; women's judo was added in 1992. The sport evolved out of jujitsu in late-19th-century Japan.

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▪ 2003

      Among the most notable judo events of 2002 were the world championships by team of nations, held on August 31–September 1 in Basel, Switz., and the junior world championships, held on September 12–15 in Jeju, S.Kor. Japan dominated the former event. In a dramatic finale to the women's competition, heavyweight Midori Shintani, a silver medalist at the 2001 world championships and a fast-rising star in the sport, scored an ippon (full-point) victory over Daima Beltran of Cuba to give the Japanese women the team title. Cuba's women's team finished in second place, and Italy and China tied for third. In the men's competition Japan again came out on top, sweeping France in the semifinals by a score of 7–0 and posting another 7–0 victory over Georgia in the finals. Even more impressive was the fact that in 11 of those 14 matches, the Japanese men won by ippon. Georgia went home with the silver medal, while France and Italy shared the bronze.

      Japanese fighters also stood out at the junior world championships. Yoshie Ueno, the women's under-63-kg gold medalist, won both the Best Judoka award for best overall performance and the Ippon Trophy for most victories by ippon. On the men's side, under-90-kg champion Toshihiro Takesawa was the Best Judoka award winner, while heavyweight gold medalist Young Hwan Choi of South Korea earned the Ippon Trophy. Together the Japanese men's and women's teams won six golds, one silver, and three bronze medals, followed by Brazil with two golds and two bronzes.

François Besson

▪ 2002

      The world judo championships, held July 26–29 in Munich, Ger., was the standout judo event of 2001. Shinichi Shinohara of Japan emerged as the heavy favourite in the men's over-100-kg competition when David Douillet of France—who had faced Shinohara in the finals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia—retired after winning gold in that event. In a stunning upset in the quarterfinals, however, Aleksandr Mikhaylin of Russia took only 12 seconds to score an ippon (full-point) victory over Shinohara, the defending world champion. Mikhaylin proceeded to beat Fashandi Miran of Iran and Selim Tataroglu of Turkey to claim the world title and then went on to victory in the open-weights event. In other men's competition, Kosei Inoue of Japan became the only man to win gold at both the Sydney Olympics and the 2001 world championships when he successfully defended his under-100-kg world title at Munich. Meanwhile, Olympic champion Ryoko Tamura of Japan continued her dominance in women's judo, winning her fifth straight world title in the under-48-kg event. In the overall medal count, the Japanese team placed first with 10 medals, including 4 golds, followed by Cuba (8 medals) and South Korea (5).

      The 2001 Individual Grand Prix was held on October 13 in Moscow for men and on November 24 in Seville, Spain, for women. Mikhaylin placed second behind fellow Russian Tameryan Tmenov in the over-100-kg competition, and Nicolas Gill of Canada claimed the under-100-kg title. Tamura sat out the tournament, but another Japanese woman, Kayo Kitada, took the under-48-kg title, defeating Ann Simons of Belgium in the final.


▪ 2001

      Judo in the year 2000 was highlighted by the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Japan led the winners with four golds, while China, Cuba, and France collected two each. A sharp controversy erupted over the results of the men's over-100-kg final between David Douillet of France and Shinichi Shinohara of Japan after different winners were indicated by the two corner judges. The referee voted for Douillet—the eventual winner. The Japanese officially protested the decision to the International Judo Federation, but the appeal was denied. Meanwhile, four-time world champion Ryoko Tamura of Japan took the women's 48-kg category to finally capture her first Olympic gold after getting silver medals in the last two Games.

      The new year got under way with the 2000 Paris Tournament, February 12–13, with judoka from seven different countries winning gold medals on the first day. By the end of the competition, however, the Japanese had won four golds and the French hosts three. Cuba came out ahead in the Munich Open Judo Tournament, February 26–27, by winning four matches to three each for host Germany and Japan. On April 29 at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan, Shinohara won the prestigious All-Japan judo championships—the only major world tournament without weight classes. In the Asian judo championships at Osaka, Japan, May 26–28, Japan won nine titles, but Sun Fuming of China took the women's open title.

Andy Adams

▪ 2000

      In 1999's first major world judo event, the Kano Cup international judo tournament held in Tokyo on January 10, Dutch, French, and Uzbek judoka shared the top titles with the Japanese. A week later, Ryoko Tamura won her ninth consecutive 48-kg title at the Fukuoka international women's judo tournament on January 17. On April 18 former world champion Noriko Anno won the women's All-Japan championships for the fifth time. On April 29 double world champion Shinichi Shinohara captured the prestigious open-weights All-Japan judo championships for the second straight year. A few days later, on May 2, Tamura won the women's judo national invitational championships for the ninth straight year.

      In the judo world championships in Birmingham, Eng., in mid-October, Japan won eight golds, two silvers, and one bronze, while Cuban judoka finished second with four golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. Shinohara, a former open-weights world champion, won both the open and the over-100-kg classes and thereby marked Japan's first world title in the heavyweight class in 10 years. Tamura won her fourth straight world title in the 48-kg final.

      In May the International Judo Federation (IJF) unanimously named Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, as the first inductee into its Hall of Fame. In October Japan complained about the new judo outfits designed by foreign sports manufacturers and scheduled to be introduced in 2001. The new design's thick collar made it difficult to grab and caused problems for Japanese judoka, who relied heavily on the technique.

Andy Adams

▪ 1999

      Competition in international judo in 1998 got underway January 10-11 in Japan with the Masutaro Shoriki Cup international tournament. Gold medalists included judoka from Japan, South Korea, and the U.S., with the host country winning five of the eight categories. In the All-Japan women's championships held in Tokyo on May 2-3, Ryoko Tamaura beat Tomoe Makabe by yusei decision for her eighth consecutive title. Shinichi Shinohara won the All-Japan championships for men on April 29 at the Nippon Budokan.

      The International Judo Federation's (IJF's) executive board approved having North Korea and South Korea compete as a unified team at the world cup team competition in Minsk, Belarus, in September and authorized changing the men's over 95-kg class to an over 100-kg category and the women's over 72-kg class to an over 78-kg class. In the competition Japan won the men's title by beating Brazil 5-1. Defending champion France tied for third place with Russia. Cuba's women's team took the gold medal with a 4-2 victory over France, while Belgium and China tied for the bronze. In an attempt by the IJF to emphasize the importance of an ippon full-point victory, a special award was scheduled to be launched at the 1999 world championships for judoka who compiled the highest percentage of ippon wins at the world championships.


▪ 1998

      International judo competition in 1997 began with the first women's judo world cup team tournament in Osaka, Japan, in January. The Cuban team defeated South Korea 5-2, and Japan and France shared third place. Competition shifted into high gear in February, with both the French and German international judo tournaments serving as a warm-up and preview of the world championships in October. Japanese judoka, appearing for the first time in a European competition in all-blue judogi (uniforms), won 7 of the 14 titles at stake in the French tournament.

      At the world championships in Paris on October 9-12, with 90 countries competing, Japan edged out France as top country—10 medals to 9—by a single bronze medal. The South Korean men emerged with three gold medals, followed by Poland with two. The French women, with three, took the most gold medals. Olympic champion Jeon Ki Young of South Korea won his third straight world title in the men's 86-kg event; Rafal Kubacki of Poland captured his second open crown; and David Douillet of France took his third straight over-95-kg gold. In the women's events Isabel Fernández of Spain took the 56-kg title, and Ryoko Tamura of Japan won her third consecutive title in the women's 48-kg class.


▪ 1997

      During the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., in July 1996, David Douillet (France) won the over-95-kg championship and Djamel Bouras (France) the 78-kg title (1 kg = 2.2 lb). Kenzo Nakamura (Japan) captured gold in the 71-kg competition, and Tadahiro Nomura (Japan) finished first in the 60-kg class. Other gold medals were awarded to Pawel Nastula of Poland (95-kg), Jeon Ki Young of South Korea (86-kg), and Udo Quellmalz of Germany (65-kg). In the women's competition, gold medals were won by Sun Fuming of China (over-72-kg), Ulla Werbrouck of Belgium (72-kg), Cho Min Sun of South Korea (66-kg), Yuko Emoto of Japan (61-kg), Driulis González of Cuba (56-kg), Marie-Claire Restoux of France (52-kg), and Kye Sun Hi of North Korea (48-kg).

      Japanese judoka dominated the Jigoro Kano Cup tournament in Tokyo in November. Winners included Yoshiharu Makishi (over-95-kg), Yoshio Nakamura (95-kg), Kazunori Kubota (78-kg), Yukimasa Nakamura (65-kg), Tadahiro Nomura (60-kg), and Shinichi Shinohara (open-weight). Kim Dae Wook of South Korea won the 71-kg competition and Vincenzo Carabetta of France was victorious in the 86-kg final.

      During the international women's championships in December, Ryoko Tamura (Japan) won the 48-kg title for the seventh consecutive time. Olympic champions Sun, Werbrouck, and Cho were also victorious. Other winners included Yuan Hua of China (over-72-kg), and two Japanese: Eiko Sugimura (56 kg) and Kazue Nagai (52 kg).

      (ANDY ADAMS)

▪ 1996

      The 1995 judo season got under way with the Paris International Tournament in February. The Japanese team led with six gold medals, while South Korea collected four, and France, Belgium, Poland, and Spain gained one each. Naoya Ogawa captured his sixth All-Japan Judo Championship on May 27 at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. In the World Student Games in Fukuoka, Japan, in August, Japan dominated the competition with eight gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

      The major judo event of the year, however, was the world championships at Makuhari, Japan, September 29-October 1. No one country monopolized the medals, but South Korea, Japan, Cuba, and The Netherlands excelled. Monique van der Lee of The Netherlands took the women's open title, and Japan's Ryoko Tamura won in the women's 48-kg (106-lb) event. Toshihiko Koga, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist in the 71-kg (156-lb) class, captured the men's 78-kg (172-lb) title; David Douillet of France successfully defended his world title in the over-95-kg (209-lb) class; and Poland's Pavel Nastula won the 95-kg category. South Korea's Cho Min Sun and Jung Sung Sook won the women's 66-kg (145-lb) and 61-kg (134-lb) categories, respectively, while Chun Ki Young, the 78-kg world champion in 1993 and also from South Korea, won the men's 86-kg (189-lb) class.

      World champion Tamura extended her winning streak to 77 by taking the 48-kg title at the 13th Fukuoka international women's judo championships on December 10. Japan also won the 52-kg class when Noriko Sugawara pinned her Cuban opponent, but Jung Sun Yong of South Korea took the 56-kg title and Claudia Ziers of The Netherlands won the 66-kg class. Other winners were Noriko Anno of Japan in the over-72-kg class, Je Min Jung of South Korea in the 72-kg class, and Catherine Fleury of France in the 61-kg class. (ANDY ADAMS)

▪ 1995

      Most of the world's major international judo tournaments of 1994 were held in Japan, from the Shoriki Cup International University Judo Tournament in January to the Kano Cup in late November. Japan's three titles in the Shoriki Cup at Tokyo on January 8-9 were the fewest won by a host nation in the 11 years that the tourney had been held. Germany's Frank Moller, the European champion, won two titles—the open weights and the 95-kg (209-lb) classes.

      In the Asian Games judo competition at Hiroshima in mid-October, Japan and South Korea split the 16 gold medals. Jun Konno, winner of the All-Japan Judo Championships on April 29, took the gold in the over-95-kg class. The Nakamura brothers each won his respective weight class, Yoshio taking the 86-kg (189-lb) division and Yukimasu winning the 65-kg (143-lb) class. South Korea's Yung Chung Hoon won the 71-kg (156-lb) title. Noriko Anno of Japan captured the women's open class, and world champion Ryoko Tamura won the women's 48-kg (106-lb) competition, but the South Korean women Jung Sun Yong and Hyun Sook took the 56-kg (123-lb) and 52-kg (114-lb) classes, respectively. Japan dominated the Kano Cup, held in Chiba prefecture on November 25-27, winning six of the eight classes. (ANDY ADAMS)

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Japanese  jūdō 
 system of unarmed combat, now primarily a sport. The rules of the sport of judo are complex; the objective is to cleanly throw, to pin, or to master the opponent, the latter being done by applying pressure to arm joints or to the neck to cause the opponent to yield.

   Techniques are generally intended to turn an opponent's force to one's own advantage rather than to oppose it directly. A ritual of courtesy in practice is intended to promote an attitude of calm readiness and confidence. The usual costume, known as jūdōgi, is a loose jacket and trousers of strong white cloth. White belts are worn by novices and black by masters, with intermediate grades denoted by other colours. Jūdōka (students of judo) perform the sport with bare feet.

      Kanō Jigorō (1860–1938) combined the knowledge of the old jujitsu schools of the Japanese samurai with the sporting ideology of the “muscular Christianity” (sports) movement and in 1882 founded his Kōdōkan School of judo (from the Chinese jou-tao, or roudao, meaning “gentle way”), the beginning of the sport in its modern form. Kanō eliminated the most dangerous techniques and stressed the practice of randori (free practice), although he also preserved the classical techniques of jujitsu (jūjutsu) in the kata (forms) of judo. By the 1960s judo associations had been established in most countries and affiliated to the International Judo Federation which is headquartered in Seoul, Korea.

      Men's judo competitions were first included at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 and were held regularly from 1972. World judo championships for women began in 1980, and women's Olympic competition began in 1992. Japan, Korea, France, Germany, and Great Britain have consistently fielded the strongest teams in the Olympics, as did the Soviet Union during its existence.

      Judo's direction has changed since its inception. Kanō designed judo to be a safe, cooperative method of physical education. Jūdōka spend a great amount of time learning to fall safely. Even in randori, the person performing the throw (the tori) helps the person receiving (the uke) to the ground by holding onto his arm and guiding him to a safe fall. By contrast, in Western wrestling one does not help an opponent to fall, and coaches spend little if any time teaching their wrestlers how to fall safely. As judo competitions became more popular, however, jūdōka began to exhibit the competitive spirit more usually found in Western wrestlers; they began concentrating on judo as a sport rather than as a drill or a way of life. The inclusion of judo in the Olympic Games marked the turning point in this transformation.

      This competitive spirit can be seen in the change in the attitude of many jūdōka in regard to scoring. Only clean throws demonstrating superior timing and a knowledge of body mechanics were rewarded with a score in the pre-Olympic period. Currently in judo, the scoring system awards an ippon (“one point”) for a conclusive technique that wins a match by its successful execution, a waza-ari (half point), and minor points (called yuko and koka). In a major shift from traditional judo, in a modern match a jūdōka will often play conservatively and work for a win based only on partial scores from minor points, rather than risking all in the attempt for an ippon. This shift to competitive judo has been aided by the success of European and Russian jūdōka, influenced by their strong wrestling traditions and in particular the Russian development of sambo (which was itself based upon judo).

Dakin Burdick

Additional Reading
Books on the history of judo include G.R. Gleeson, Judo Inside Out: A Cultural Reconciliation (1983); and Robert W. Smith, A Complete Guide to Judo: Its Story and Practice (1958). For information on the practice or techniques of judo, see Kanō Jigorō, Kodokan Judo, rev. ed., ed. by the Kodokan Editorial Committee (1986, reprinted 1994); Mikonosuke Kaiwashi, My Method of Judo, trans. from Japanese (1955); Kyuzo Mifune, Canon of Judo: Principle and Technique, trans. from Japanese, (1956); and Peter Seisenbacher and George Kerr, Modern Judo: Techniques of East and West (1991, reissued 1997).

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Universalium. 2010.

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