Rules of Judo

Rules of Judo



During the late 19th century decline of the art of jiu jitsu, a man by the name of Dr. Jigoro Kano invented judo -- which combined jiu jitsu and wrestling techniques -- to revitalize the art. Now, judo is one of the most popular fighting disciplines used by professional mixed martial artists because of its emphasis on throwing and holding techniques.


How to play Judo


Like many Japanese martial arts, competitors will wear a gi to keep with tradition. However, unlike other arts, the gi is often used in judo to gain throwing or holding leverage on an opponent.


Judo fighters don’t seek to incapacitate their opponent. Instead, judo is highly technical and each fighter is scored off the effectiveness of their throws and the ability to immobilize their opponent. Other than the gi, a fighter may opt to wear a mouth guard in case of accidental contact.


Rules of Judo


  • Judo is a one-on-one combat match that takes place on a 14 foot squared padded canvas with a 10 foot squared competition area.
  • There are seven different weight classes in judo to ensure a fair match every time: Extra lightweight (132 lb for men, 106 lb for women), half lightweight (145.5 lb for men, 114.5 for women), lightweight (165 lb for men, 125.5 lb for women), half middleweight (178.5 lb for men, 139 lb for women), middleweight (198 lb for men, 154 lb for women), half heavyweight (220 lb for men, 172 lb for women), and heavyweight -- any weight above half heavyweight.
  • There are three different ways to score in judo, but an immediate victory will occur when a fighter has achieved jippon. This is when a fight executes the cleanest throw which results in their opponent landing on their back, or performing a lock or hold that results in a submission or immobilization for 25 seconds.
  • The next two ways to win are waza-ari, or a half point. Two of these is a jippon, and occurs with a generally clean throw. The last is yuko, a poor throw, which is up to judge’s discretion to determine how many results in a victory.
  • Bouts last for five minutes. If ippon is not achieved, points from waza-ari and yuko will be added up to determine a winner.
  • No striking techniques are allowed. This will result in an immediate disqualification.


Believe it or not, judo is actually the widest practiced martial art in the world because of its accessibility for everyone. Even the visually impaired can still dive deep into the art, as judo prioritizes hand placement and motion of the body to execute throws. Judo is not just a sport, but a very effective self defense technique.





Written by: Devin Pickell

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