• Olympic Debut
    Tokyo 1964
  • Most Gold Medals
    Nomura Tadahiro (JPN)
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Judo spotlight

Best of Tokyo 2020

History of


Judo is derived from jujitsu, the hand-to-hand combat technique of ancient samurai warriors. It involves throwing opponents to the floor and holding them in submission.

Japanese Choice

Judo is a traditional Japanese wrestling sport developed in the 1880s. It was Dr Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) who combined the features of the various schools of the sport and codified the rules. Kano stressed the philosophical principles of judo, adding methods of physical, intellectual and moral education, eliminating many of the dangerous parts of jujitsu, and opening his first school, or dojo, in 1882.

'The Way of Suppleness'

In Japanese the word "ju-do" means "the way of suppleness", referring to the story of the tree branch "bending" under the weight of the snow and not breaking. However, the bouts of five minutes are hardly gentle and can be as physically demanding as boxing and wrestling.