Judo is a sport that demands a physical and strategic performance, testing the qualities of touch, balance and sensitivity.
Competitors must use different techniques to overcome or immobilise their opponent. The sport is open to athletes with a visual impairment in several weight categories. The sport is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and follows the International Judo Federation (IJF) rules used at other top-level judo events, with slight modifications for athletes with a visual impairment, which allow them to contact their opponent before the start of the match. Judo was introduced as a Paralympic Games sport in Seoul in 1988 and is widely practiced in 30 countries by both male and female athletes. The Athens 2004 Paralympics was the first time that women competed in Judo.
Judo was established in Japan in 1882 as a modern sport by Professor Jigoro Kano (1860-1938). He modified the traditional martial art techniques, defined jujitsu, into Judo, establishing a system based on an educational and sport mean. Professor Kano was the first Asian to be a member of the IOC and for 30 years he co-operated closely with the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
Judo was used as an activity for developing motor-skills, self-control and independence for people with a disability. It gradually developed into a competitive sport. The first Pan-European Blind Judo Championship and the first International tournament were both held in 1987. Judo is the only Paralympic sport that originated in Asia and has been included in the Paralympic programme since the Seoul 1988 Paralympics.
Visually impaired male and female athletes compete in events in various body weight categories. While male athletes take part in seven body weight categories (-60kg, -66kg, -73kg, -81kg, -90kg, -100kg and +100kg), women compete in six categories (-48kg, -52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg and +70kg). Athletes participate in classes that focus on the key elements of balance, touch, sensitivity and instinct. A main referee and two judges arbitrate a Judo contest. All officials are of equal status and calls are decided by vote. The main referee calls all points and penalties. The referee gives the signal "hajime" for the beginning of the match after the two athletes have already come into contact by touching each other's shoulders in order to calculate the distance between them (called the grip). The only difference between Olympic and Paralympic Judo is that judokas grab their opponents judogi before the start of the match.
The two judokas - the first in a blue judogi (Judo uniform) and the second in a white judogi - compete for five minutes. To win the contest, a judoka must score an "Ippon" (a score equalling 10 points) by using a successful technique.
This can be achieved by throwing the opponent on his back with force, speed and control. Other ways of scoring include grappling techniques to immobilize (25 seconds) or gain a submission with arm locks or strangle holds. Lesser scores can be awarded when a technique does not merit an Ippon, such as 1/2 point "wazaari", 1/4 point "yuko" and 1/8 point "koka". If neither of the judokas completes an Ippon by the end of the match, the winner is the one with the highest score. In the case there is no score or if the score is even, there will be a situation called the "golden score", where the first person to score a point wins. If after five minutes there still is no score, the officials will decide the match.
For more details on the rules relating to Judo click here
Downoad a detailed version of the rules as a PDF file
Downoad a detailed version of the rules as a text file
Calendar of main competitive events
Visit Paralympic site for updated calendar by clicking here
Records / landmarks
Results from the past Paralympic games can be found here :
1988 Seoul (Korea)
1992 Barcelona (Spain)
1996 Atlanta (USA)
2000 Sydney (Australia)
Jackson Simon (Born 1982)
Country: Great Britain
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Pier Morten (Born 1959)
Category: B1 and deaf
Country - Canada
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Anthony Clark (Born 1961)
Country – Australia
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Veniamine Mitchourine (Born 1965)
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IBSA Judo Sub-Committee Chairman
IBSA Judo Sub Committee Chairman
Via Ronacalli 6/i
31020 S. PIETRO DI FELETTO (TV)
Phone / Fax : +39 0438 787255