How Are Yuko And Ippon Compared In Judo Scoring?

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In the dynamic world of judo, understanding the scoring system is essential for both practitioners and spectators. Judo matches are decided based on a point-based scoring system, where various techniques and actions are awarded different scores. Two commonly discussed scores are “Yuko” and “Ippon.” In this article, we will delve into the nuances of these scoring categories, exploring their definitions, significance, and how they compare within the context of judo scoring. Whether you’re a judo enthusiast or new to the sport, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to appreciate the intricacies of scoring in judo.


What is “Yuko” in judo scoring?

In the context of judo scoring, “Yuko” refers to one of the four possible scores awarded to a technique or throw during a match. However, it’s important to note that as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the judo scoring system was modified and the term “Yuko” was removed. The scoring system was revised by the International Judo Federation (IJF) in 2017.

The current scoring system introduced by the IJF categorizes techniques into two main types: Waza-ari and Ippon. Here’s a brief explanation of these terms:

  1. Waza-ari: It is the lower-scoring technique, worth half a point. When a player executes a throw or technique that is deemed to be of moderate quality, they are awarded a Waza-ari. Two Waza-aris equate to an Ippon.
  2. Ippon: This is the highest-scoring technique, worth a full point. When a player executes a throw or technique that is considered to be of excellent quality, control, and force, they are awarded an Ippon. An Ippon immediately ends the match, resulting in a win for the player who scored it.

It’s worth noting that there are also penalties, known as shido, given for rule infractions or minor offenses during a match. Accumulation of shido can lead to a win for the opponent. Furthermore, there are other terms used in judo scoring, such as Koka (no longer used in international competitions) and Yuko (no longer used as of the rule changes in 2017).

Please keep in mind that if there have been any updates or rule changes since my last knowledge update in September 2021, I may not be aware of them.


What constitutes an “Ippon” in judo scoring?

“Ippon” is the highest score in judo, representing a match-ending technique. It is awarded when a judoka successfully executes a throw or submission that forces their opponent into complete control or renders them incapable of continuing the match. An “Ippon” can be achieved through various techniques, including a clean throw, a forceful pin, or a well-executed arm lock or chokehold.


How does the point value of “Yuko” compare to “Ippon”?

When comparing “Yuko” and “Ippon,” it’s crucial to note the significant disparity in their point values. In the judo scoring system, a single “Yuko” is worth one-quarter of an “Ippon.” In other words, four “Yuko” scores are equivalent to one “Ippon.” This distinction emphasizes the importance of achieving a clean, decisive technique that warrants the highest score, the coveted “Ippon.”


Can a match be won with “Yuko” scores alone?

Yes, it is possible to win a judo match solely with “Yuko” scores. In a contest without any “Ippon” scores, the judoka with the highest cumulative “Yuko” score emerges as the winner. However, it’s worth noting that achieving an “Ippon” remains the ultimate goal in judo, as it signifies complete mastery and domination over an opponent.


How do “Yuko” and “Ippon” impact the outcome of a match?

In judo matches, the accumulation of “Yuko” and “Ippon” scores determines the final outcome. While multiple “Yuko” scores showcase technical proficiency and provide a path to victory, a single “Ippon” automatically concludes the match in favor of the judoka who executed it. Thus, an “Ippon” carries more weight and signifies an indisputable win, regardless of the scores accumulated by the opponent.


Are there any other scoring categories in judo?

Apart from “Yuko” and “Ippon,” judo matches incorporate additional scoring categories. These include “Waza-ari” and “Koka.” A “Waza-ari” represents a half-point and is awarded for a technique that falls short of an “Ippon” but demonstrates a significant advantage over the opponent. A judoka can accumulate two “Waza-ari” scores to achieve an “Ippon.” Similarly, a “Koka” is the lowest scoring category, given for techniques that display less dominance than a “Waza-ari.”



Understanding the scoring system is integral to comprehending the intricacies of judo. “Yuko” and “Ippon” represent two significant scoring categories, each with its own significance and impact on match outcomes. While “Yuko” highlights skillful techniques and partial dominance, “Ippon” represents complete mastery and results in an immediate win. By grasping the differences and value attributed to these scoring categories, spectators and judo practitioners alike can deepen their appreciation for this captivating martial art. Remember, while “Yuko” scores can accumulate, it is the pursuit of an “Ippon” that showcases the pinnacle of judo excellence.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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