What Are The Rules Of Judo Competitions?

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Judo is a popular sport and martial art that originated in Japan. It is a highly technical and strategic sport that requires tremendous physical and mental strength. Judo competitions are held worldwide, with various organizations having their own rules and regulations. In this article, we will discuss the rules of Judo competitions as set by the International Judo Federation (IJF).


What is Judo?

Judo is a martial art and sport that involves throwing an opponent to the ground and immobilizing them with various grappling techniques. Judo is typically practiced on a mat called a tatami, with athletes wearing a white or blue uniform called a gi. Judo was founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882, and it has become a popular sport around the world.


What are Judo competitions?

Judo competitions are tournaments where athletes compete against each other using Judo techniques. Judo competitions are typically categorized by age, weight, and skill level. Competitors aim to score points by throwing their opponent to the ground, pinning them in a hold-down, or submitting them with a choke or joint lock.


What are the rules of Judo competitions?

The rules of Judo competitions are set by the International Judo Federation (IJF), which is the governing body of Judo worldwide. The IJF regularly updates and revises the rules to ensure fair play and safety for all athletes. Below are the current rules of Judo competitions:


In Judo competition, each throw, hold down, or submission technique executed properly would earn a point. Points are assessed for throws that place an opponent on their back with control and force. These throws are called ippons and a single ippon can immediately end the match. Points can also be awarded for a lesser throw (waza-ari) and cumulative holds (shido penalties)

Points are also subtracted for penalties called shidos. Shidos can be awarded for actions that do not conform to the standard of behavior expected such as failure to attack, stepping outside the mat, or poor gripping.



In case of a draw or an absence of ippons, the match will be evaluated by an expert board. This board will evaluate the various aspects of the athletes’ fight, including physical and technical efficiency and the behavior of the athletes throughout the match.


Time limit:

The time limit for a Judo match is five minutes for men and four minutes for women. If no one scores an ippon, the match is extended to four minutes for men and two minutes for women. If no ippon is scored during the extended period, the match is awarded to the athlete with the highest score.


Weight classes:

Judo competitions are organized according to weight classes. The weight classes for men are as follows:

– Extra-lightweight: 60 kg and under
– Lightweight: 66 kg and under
– Middleweight: 73 kg and under
– Light heavyweight: 81 kg and under
– Heavyweight: over 81 kg


The weight classes for women are as follows:

– Extra-lightweight: 48 kg and under
– Lightweight: 52 kg and under
– Middleweight: 57 kg and under
– Light heavyweight: 63 kg and under
– Heavyweight: over 63 kg


Safety rules:

The IJF has established rules to prevent injuries and ensure the safety of all athletes. Some key safety rules include the following:

– No strikes are allowed
– No hair grabbing, biting, or scratching is allowed
– No throwing an athlete on their neck or head is allowed
– No leg grabs are allowed unless they are initiated from a standing position
– Mats should be of adequate thickness to prevent injuries


What are the major events in Judo competitions?

Judo is an Olympic sport, which means that the sport’s best athletes compete in the Olympic Games every four years. The World Judo Championships are also held every year, bringing together the world’s best athletes to compete against each other.

In addition to these major events, Judo competitions are also organized at the national, regional, and local levels, giving athletes of all skill levels and ages an opportunity to compete.


What are the benefits of Judo competitions?

Judo competitions offer many benefits to athletes who participate in them. Some key benefits include:

– Physical fitness: Judo competitions are a great way to improve physical fitness. The sport requires strength, endurance, and flexibility.
– Mental toughness: Judo competitions require athletes to be mentally tough and focused. The pressure and stress of competition can help athletes develop their mental fortitude.
– Self-defense skills: Judo is a form of self-defense, and participating in Judo competitions can help athletes develop their skills for real-world situations.
– Competitive spirit: Judo competitions offer athletes the opportunity to compete against others and develop a competitive spirit.
– Friendship and camaraderie: Judo competitions bring athletes from different countries and backgrounds together, allowing them to forge new friendships and develop a sense of camaraderie.



Judo competitions are a great way for athletes to improve their physical and mental health. The rules of Judo competitions are set by the International Judo Federation, and they aim to ensure fair play and safety for all athletes. The sport’s major events include the Olympic Games and the World Judo Championships, but there are also many national, regional, and local competitions for athletes of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Judo athlete, there is a competition out there for you. So, get out there and start competing!

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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