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Essential facts about Judo compared to other Martial Arts

15 Dec 2020 20:00

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
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How much do you think you know about judo and other martial arts? In this guide, we look at some of the most interesting facts that we could find and fill you in about the rivals to become an Olympic sport.

If you consider yourself a judo arts fan, you might think that you know everything that there is to know about our sport but what do you know about other sports. The World Combat Games showed that martial arts can be so varied and so it is good to know who are the rivals to take an Olympic position. We are here to fill you in and we have put together some of our most interesting facts about some of the sports. Read on to find out more.

Judo as an Olympic Sport

Judo has developed well since Marius Vizer gave direction to our sport. Let’s face it, since then we can see each main IJF World Tour event pretty well in our homes online. In this period of corona we need a proper televised product. The rules have been adjusted, maybe boring for some of the diehards, but it took distance from wrestling which is another Olympic rival. Organisation-wise judo is much more advanced than many other martial arts. Fact is that some of the well trained judoka are quite successful in other martial arts such as Sambo and MMA, actually even in other sports like Rugby.

Taekwondo not world-wide yet

One of the primarily striking or stand up sports within martial arts. Taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art that has been practised for more than 2000 years. Taekwondo is loosely translated as 'the way of the foot and fist' but some translate it as, 'the way of kicking and punching,'. „Tae“ means foot, „kwon“ means fist and „do“ means „the (spiritual) way“. Taekwondo was included in the official Olympic programme in 2000. It is the second martial arts after judo to become an Olympic sport. Later Karate also got the Olympic status. Comparing Taekwondo to Judo, there is a lot of work to do. Judo has much better venues styling, televised events and is well organised and more competitive.

Karate included for 2021

Karate-do is a martial art which emerged in Okinawa, Japan. Originally, it was just a group of techniques that permitted self-defence without weapons other than your hands and feet. Throughout these years it suffered some changes to finally turn into the current sport of Karate. On 1 June 2016 the International Olympic Committee's executive board announced they were supporting the inclusion of Karate into the Olympic Programme.

Boxing under pressure

Boxing is under pressure. Organisational it is divided and the amateur division is full of tradition at the Olympic Games, but also having difficulties with their board. The Olympic Games have traditionally been the birthplace of many Boxing legends. Just like judo, Cuba’s impressive haul of gold medals started in boxing with great characters like heavyweight Téofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon. Also other countries like Russia and the Ukraine raised many top players providing the heroic image of the sport. But the truth is they are heavily under IOC pressure to keep performing at Olympic level.

Other ambitious Fighting sports

Another interesting fact about martial arts is that they can often feature in games. There are so many top martial arts video games that have led to some professionals getting into the sports themselves. You can even find martial arts themed slots and these tend to be very popular. Whether its karate or judo you like, you’ll find a relevant game. Also new sports like Sambo and the MMA fighters of IMMAF are very ambitious to be recognised as Olympic sport. It will take years but it still triggers and requires performances  of the current martial arts at the Olympic Games.

MMA Dates Back to Ancient Times

You should know that MMA or Mixed Martial Arts actually dates back to the ancient Olympics. This sport was an event and it was named Pankration at the time. Since the start of the modern Olympics, MMA has been the only sport that was not reinstated. This is despite the popularity of this sport over more recent years.

Judo still dominating at Olympic level

As you can see, there are many good competitive sports in martial arts and even some you might not have heard before like Savate, Kendo, Aikido, Sumo or Wushu. They appear in many multi event sports and there are tons of movies made about these sports. If you are a judo fan, you are in fact spoiled by the coverage in media and tradition. Judo is taking advance on its values which is in the line of the Olympic values. Also judo made a good progression with its team event and gender equity at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Judo will be assured an Olympic position for the next three Olympic Games and have a guaranteed future. Other sports will have to fight for years for such a world-wide audience and participation and still a growing rank. Judo can still be assumed as the most dominant Olympic martial art.

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