In 1882, Dr. Jigoro Kano (The Father of Judo) made a comprehensive study of the ancient self-defence forms and integrated the best of these forms into a sport known as Judo (meaning "gentle way"). The categorization of Judo was completed around 1887 with three broad aims: physical education, contest proficiency, and mental training. The literal translation of judo is the “gentle way”. It incorporates a variety of throwing and groundwork techniques to ultimately score an ‘ippon’, a full point. This ‘ippon’ can be gained by either a forceful throw or a submission, either gained from pinning your opponent to the ground or by a choke or armlock.
In 1964 Judo became an official event in the Olympic Games of Tokyo, backed by Judo fans and sports promoters all over the world.
Judo is one of the very few martial arts with one unified national body.
Traditionally, the Judo fighter is called “Judoka”. He/She wears a white uniform of pure cotton, consisting of pants reaching to the ankles (called “zubon”) and a mid-calf length jacket (called “Uwagi”).
The jacket is open in the front and is being closed by a belt. Depending on the level reached, the belt has a specific colour, beginning with the white model up to the black belt. Moreover, distinction is made between pupil levels and master levels.
The pupil levels start with the white and go up to the brown belt; finally, the master levels start with the black belt. In addition, for competition fights there are blue Judo uniforms, so that the adversaries can be better distinguished during the fight.
However, this is not mandatory and is not applied in every fight. For easier distinguishing, differently coloured belts may be used as well, for example a red and a white belt.
These are then worn in addition to the usual belt, which indicates the level of qualification and the level reached in the Judo sport respectively.
Although Judo is a sport for self-defence, various techniques are used for this purpose. The so-called prone techniques make up a large portion, that is, all techniques used for fighting on the ground.
In addition, there are throwing techniques to take the opponent to the ground. In order for the Judo fighter not to hurt himself, there are additional special falling techniques.
To the prone techniques, with which are used to fix the opponent into prone or supine position so that he cannot escape any more if possible, belong to the so-called holding techniques too.
However, in Judo there are escaping techniques, aiming exactly at escaping from such fixation.
Where the fight partner gets into such a situation from which he can no longer escape independently, he can knock on the mat with any part of his body and thereby express his submission.
Today, in most cases, the techniques learned in Judo sports can be used for the actual self-defence.
Every Judo competition is held in form of a one-to-one fight, whose aim is to use the techniques in a way that the opponent is thrown on the back in a controlled way.
This supine position virtually counts like a knockout in boxing, thereby ending the fight. Moreover, there is the possibility of winning a competition in Judo by points.
This is always the case, if, by the time the fighting time has elapsed, no fighter was able to decide the fight in his favour.
In case of infringements of rules, the fighter is booked. If both players score the same results after expiry of the fighting time, then the number of bookings received decides on the victory.
If both fighters have received the same number of bookings, then a draw is pronounced in non-championship fights.
This does not apply at championships; a decision is necessarily required here.
In such case the fight is being continued and there is a so-called "Golden Score".
The fight is immediately finished as soon as one of the fighters is awarded a score or gets a booking.
So, this scoring technique is to be compared to the "Golden Goal" previously existing in football.