What Are The Different Judo Scoring Methods?

Table of Contents

Judo is a popular martial art that originated in Japan. It emphasizes throws and grappling techniques to subdue an opponent. In Judo, the scoring system is critical to determine the winner and is based on a set of rules. In this article, we explore the different Judo scoring methods used in tournaments, competitions, and practice.


What is Judo Scoring?

Judo scoring refers to the system used in the sport of judo to determine the winner of a match or bout. Judo is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan and emphasizes throwing and grappling techniques. The scoring system in judo is designed to reward effective and skillful execution of techniques while ensuring the safety of the competitors.

In judo, there are two primary ways to score points: through throws and ground techniques. Throws, also known as ippons, are the most significant scoring techniques. If a player executes a throw that results in their opponent landing on their back with force, it is considered an ippon and results in an immediate victory. If a throw is executed with less force or control, it may be awarded a lesser score, such as waza-ari or yuko. Ground techniques, known as osaekomi, involve holding an opponent down on their back for a specified amount of time. If a player successfully pins their opponent, they can earn points based on the duration of the hold. Additionally, penalties can be given for rule violations, which can result in points being awarded to the opponent.

The scoring system in judo is designed to prioritize clean and effective technique while discouraging excessive force or dangerous moves. It rewards skillful throws and dominant ground control, encouraging competitors to display control and finesse in their actions. This system ensures that matches are decided based on the judo principles of technique, balance, and control, promoting fairness and safety in the sport.


What are the Different Types of Throws in Judo?

Throws are critical in Judo, and they can be classified into two main types; Tachi-waza (standing techniques) and Ne-waza (ground techniques). In Tachi-waza, throws are performed by lifting and throwing an opponent off the feet. In contrast, Ne-waza techniques are utilized when the match goes to the mat.

There are around eighty different throwing techniques in Judo, and some examples include O-goshi, Seoi-nage, Tai-otoshi, among others. For a throw to be awarded points, it must be executed with control and force, making an opponent fall on their back, side, or with an excellent action score.


How is Ippon Awarded?

An Ippon is the ultimate goal in Judo, and players can achieve it through various means, such as throwing their opponent flat on their back, applying a submission hold with the other player tapping out, or pinning their opponent on their back for twenty seconds.

Other ways to gain Ippon include performing a throw with enough speed, power, and control to merit an Ippon, scoring two Waza-ari, or receiving a third Shido penalty.


What is Waza-ari?

Waza-ari is an intermediate score awarded for a throw that lacks sufficient control or force to merit an Ippon or a combination of multiple throwing techniques that don’t result in an Ippon. In Judo, two Waza-ari are equivalent to one Ippon, and three Waza-ari can lead to a Technical Ippon.


What is a Yuko?

A Yuko is a minor score awarded for a throw that lacks the power and form to merit Waza-ari or an Ippon. A Yuko is equivalent to a half Waza-ari and can be earned in multiple ways, such as throwing an opponent, making them land on their side, or forcing a penalty. However, since the introduction of the new IJF Judo rules, this score is not used in international competitions anymore.


What is a Shido?

Shido is a penalty given to a player for specific infractions, such as stepping out of the mat area, being inactive, illegal gripping, or negative fighting. Receiving a Shido doesn’t award any points to the opponent, but after receiving three accumulated Shidos, players are disqualified (Hansoku-make).


What is a Koka?

Koka was another of the Judo Scoring methods used in the past. It was awarded for a throw that lacked sufficient power and form to merit a Yuko. In score terms, a Koka was equivalent to a quarter of Waza-ari. Nowadays, this score is not used in official competitions anymore.



In conclusion, understanding Judo scoring methods is essential for players and fans alike. Judo matches follow a set of time rules and are scored accordingly. A judoka’s combination of technique, form, and execution determines the score and ultimately wins the game. Familiarizing oneself with the different scores, penalties, and techniques can enrich the Judo watching experience.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

Recent Posts