Judo

"Power, strength and agility are all characteristics needed to compete in Judo..."

USABA Judo Adaptation for Blind Athletes 231
USABA Judo Adaptation for Blind Athletes

Judo, which has been a Paralympic sport since Seoul 1988, is open to all visually impaired athletes. Power, strength and agility are all characteristics needed to compete in Judo – one of only two combative sports at the Games.

Visually impaired Judo is currently practiced in over 30 countries around the globe. Judo is also available to people with other impairments, including learning disabilities on a smaller scale. 

As with non-disabled Judo, athletes – or ‘judokas’ – are classified by their weight. There are seven men’s weight divisions ranging from -60kg to +100kg, and six women’s divisions from -48kg to +70kg.

The only difference in visually impaired Judo compared with the non-disabled sport is that visually impaired athletes are allowed to be in contact at the beginning of the bout.

Each contest lasts a maximum of five minutes and to win the contest a judoka must score an ‘ippon’, which equals 10 points, by using a successful technique such as a throw or a hold. If neither judoka has scored an ippon by the end of the match, the one that has accumulated the most points wins.

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