How Do Judo Points Work?

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Judo is a martial art that originated in Japan. It is a sport that involves throwing, grappling, and submission techniques. In competitive judo, the aim is to throw or immobilize your opponent. If you are a beginner in this sport, one of the things that can be of interest to you is how judo points work. In this article, we will explore the basics of judo points, how they are scored, and what you need to know to better understand this martial art.


What are judo points?

In the context of judo, “judo points” usually refer to the scoring system used in competition to determine the outcome of a match. Judo is a martial art and combat sport that emphasizes throws and grappling techniques to control an opponent.

Judo matches are scored based on the execution of various techniques and the level of control exerted over the opponent. The scoring system may vary slightly depending on the specific rules used in a particular competition or organization, but the following are the general concepts:

  1. Ippon: This is the highest score awarded in judo and is considered an immediate win. An ippon is awarded for executing a technique with speed, power, and control, resulting in a clean and decisive throw that lands the opponent on their back with full force and control.
  2. Waza-ari: If a throw is not executed with the same level of force or control as an ippon, but still demonstrates considerable skill and control, a waza-ari may be awarded. Two waza-aris are typically equivalent to an ippon, resulting in a win.
  3. Yuko: This is a lower score awarded for throws that lack the force or control required for a waza-ari but still demonstrate some skill and technique. Multiple yukos may be accumulated to determine the winner if no higher scores are achieved.
  4. Koka: This is the lowest score awarded for less impactful throws or techniques that do not meet the criteria for yuko. Like yukos, multiple kokas can be accumulated to determine the winner if higher scores are not achieved.


How are judo points scored?

Points in judo are scored by executing specific techniques that either throw or immobilize an opponent. There are different types of techniques that can be used to score points. Some of these include the following:

– Ippon: The highest scoring technique is an Ippon. This is when a player is thrown with such force that they land flat on their back. An Ippon is an automatic victory in a match.
– Waza-ari: A Waza-ari is the second highest scoring technique. This is when a player is thrown with some force but lands on the side of their back. Two Waza-aris equal one Ippon.
– Yuko: A Yuko is the lowest scoring technique. This is when a player is thrown with limited force but lands on their side. Two Yukos equal one Waza-ari.


What is the role of the referee in scoring points?

During a match, the referee is responsible for scoring points. The referee looks for specific techniques and the extent of force used to determine the appropriate score. They also ensure that the techniques are executed correctly and safely, without causing harm to the opponent.


What are the restrictions on scoring points?

There are certain restrictions on scoring points in judo. For example, if a player uses a technique that does not result in a throw or immobilization of their opponent, no points will be scored. Additionally, players cannot score points for techniques that involve grabbing or striking the opponent’s face, throat, or groin.


What is the role of weight classes in judo?

Judo competitions have weight classes to ensure that players compete against others of similar size and weight. This helps to create a level playing field and reduces the risk of injuries.


How is the winner determined in judo?

The winner in judo is determined by the accumulation of points. If a player scores an Ippon, they win the match outright. If neither player scores an Ippon, the player with the highest number of points at the end of the match is the winner.



In conclusion, judo points are the scoring system used in competitive judo matches. Points are assigned to players based on the techniques they use to throw or immobilize their opponents. The goal is to accumulate as many points as possible to win the match. The referee is responsible for scoring points and ensuring that techniques are executed safely and correctly. Weight classes are used to create an even playing field, and the winner is determined by the accumulation of points. By understanding the basics of judo points, you can better appreciate the nuances of this martial art and enjoy watching and participating in it.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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