Tokyo 2020 – Judo Returns Home

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Tokyo 2020 – Judo Returns Home

Posted: 03/07/2021

With less than a month to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games (23 July - 8 August), we look back at the rich history of the sport and its roots in Japanese culture.

A Brief History of Judo 

Derived from jujitsu, Judo, as we know it today, was born when Jigoro Kano first started his school, the Kodokan, at a small temple in Tokyo. Still in existence today the Kodokan is the most highly regarded institute in Japan attracting Judoka from around the world.

Steeped in a rich history of Japanese culture, Judo roughly translated as ‘The Gentle Way’ is based on the moral code of courtesy, courage, honesty, honour, modesty, respect, self-control and friendship. Judo at its heart is designed to create better judoka both on and off the mat.

Judo @ the Olympics 

Photo Credit IJF Olympic Games Beijing 2008, PAISCHER Ludwig, Austria, -60

Photo Credit IJF Olympic Games Beijing 2008, PAISCHER Ludwig, Austria, -60

Judo had its debut at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games where it became an official Olympic event. The sport has since featured at nearly every summer games with the exception of the 1968 Games in Mexico City. In 1992 female categories were included for the first time at the Barcelona Games, allowing females to compete at the Olympic level for the first time.

Kano himself was also the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee in 1909 as he worked on spreading the sport of Judo worldwide.

Team GB @ The Olympic Games 

Photo Credit IJF: Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, -70 kg, BRONZE AUT GRAF vs GBR CONWAY (c) Gabriela Sabau, (c) Tamas Zahonyi

Photo Credit IJF: Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, -70 kg, BRONZE AUT GRAF vs GBR CONWAY
(c) Gabriela Sabau, (c) Tamas Zahonyi

Team GB Judo has won eight silver and 11 bronze at the Summer Games since 1972. The most recent medal was at Rio 2016 when Sally Conway brought home a bronze.

After an unprecedented qualification period due to the global pandemic, Team GB will announce their team (based on the Olympic qualification criteria) on Monday 5th of July.

Judo will begin on Saturday 24th of July 2021 full details of the competition can be found here.

 

Title Image Credit IJF Olympic Games London 2012, GNETO Priscilla, HEYLEN Ilse, France, Belgium, -52