Judo at the 2012 London Summer Olympics - dummies

Judo at the 2012 London Summer Olympics

The Judo events at the 2012 London Olympics take place at ExCeL London (Exhibition Centre London) from July 28 through August 3. There are seven weight classes for both men’s and women’s events: extra lightweight, half-lightweight, lightweight, half-middleweight, middleweight, half-heavyweight and heavyweight. While the categories are the same, the weight distinctions are different for each gender.

Men’s Women’s
Extra lightweight 60 kilograms/approx. 132 pounds 48 kilograms/approx. 106 pounds
Half-lightweight 66 kilograms/approx. 145 pounds 52 kilograms/approx. 114 pounds
Lightweight 73 kilograms/approx. 161 pounds 57 kilograms/approx. 125 pounds
Half-middleweight 81 kilograms/approx. 178 pounds 63 kilograms/approx. 139 pounds
Middleweight 90 kilograms/approx. 198 pounds 70 kilograms/approx. 154 pounds
Half-Heavyweight 100 kilograms/approx. 220 pounds 78 kilograms/approx. 172 pounds
Heavyweight +100 kilograms/approx. +220 pounds +78 kilograms/approx. +172 pounds

Olympic Judo qualifications are based on a complicated ranking system developed by the International Judo Federation (IJF). Based on this world rankings list, the top 22 men and 14 women per division will qualify to compete.

Scoring and penalties are determined by the referees. Scoring is awarded based on three categories: ippon, waza-ari, and yuko.

  • An ippon is given for a controlled throw that lands an opponent on the back.

  • A waza-ari is given for a throw that lands an opponent on the back, but lacking the control and force of an ippon.

  • A yuko is given for a throw that lands an opponent on the side. Yukos are only considered to determine the winner of a tied event.

Penalties are given for lack of activity and illegal moves. Tied matches can also be resolved by the Golden Score rule. In this situation, the clock is reset and the first participant to make any score wins.

Judo is a combative sport that was developed in Japan in 1882. The name means “gentle way.” The primary focus of Judo is grappling, with the main goal being the take down and immobilization of your opponent. There is little emphasis on striking your opponent in any way, but it is allowed in particular forms of Judo. One of these popular forms of Judo is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Judo was first introduced to the Olympic Games as a demonstration event in 1932. It wasn’t officially added as a competitive event for men until 1964. The women’s event took its turn as a demonstration event in 1988 and was officially added as a competitive event in 1992.

For more information and complete rules regarding Judo, visit the website of the sport’s governing body, the International Judo Federation.