"Power, strength and agility are all characteristics needed to compete in Judo..."
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.
Additional information and useful links
History of Judo
History of Judo
On July 24, 1948 the British Judo Association (BJA) was established as the representative national body for the sport.
The techniques involved in Paralympic Judo are the same as in Olympic Judo. Techniques can be divided into two categories - standing techniques (throws), and groundwork (hold downs, arm locks and strangles). In any competition, players seek to score an 'Ippon', a move which results in the thrower immediately winning the contest. If a throw does not rate an Ippon score, the players may continue the contest, seeking a hold down - pinning their opponent on the back for 30 seconds - or a submission from a strangle or arm lock.
As a contact sport, Judo has required relatively little adaptation to make it accessible to VI players. Once the players have taken their grips, there is no difference in the style or skills required. Anyone interested in taking up Judo should find an accredited club with a qualified instructor.
National Governing Body
British Judo Association (BJA)
The British Judo Association (BJA) is the National Governing Body for Judo in Great Britain.
The Association represents Great Britain internationally and is a member of The International Judo Federation, The European Judo Union, The Judo Conferderation of the European Union, The British Paralympic Association, The British Olympic Association, The Central Council of Physical Recreation, Commonwealth Judo Association, and the Commonwealth Games Council.