Discover the Spirit of IPPON

The History of Judo


Dr. Jigoro Kano

Dr. Jigoro Kano (The Father of Judo) made a comprehensive study of the ancient self-defence forms and integrated the best of these forms into a sport which is known as Kodokan Judo.


European Championships

The first European Championships were held in Dresden, Germany


Tokyo Games

Judo joins the Olympic Games in Tokyo (-68 kg ; -80 kg ; +80 kg ; Open)



Record-breaking participation at the Rio 2016 Olympics as 390 judoka competed from 136 nations to surpass the record previously set at London 2012.

Origins of Judo

Judo was founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882 in Tokyo, Japan. Kano, a martial artist and educator, sought to create a modern martial art that combined physical and mental discipline while emphasizing the principles of mutual respect and efficient use of energy.

Jigoro Kano

Kano was born into an affluent family as the son of a head priest in 1860. Even though Kano was good at his lessons, he constantly worried about his weak physique and the bullies who used to give him a tough time. He decided to learn jujitsu but had difficulty finding a good trainer. Most people who knew the art were not enthusiastic to pass them on as they considered them useless. Finally, he started training with Yanosuke Fakuda, a jujitsu master at a school. He grew so passionate about martial arts training that at the age of just 21, he started a new school to teach a new martial art called Judo, consisting of some of the best moves of several prominent jujitsu styles. And that was the birth of Judo!

In late nineteenth century, Kano traveled to Europe to spread Judo outside Japan. Kano tirelessly worked to spread Judo across the globe, even while serving in the Olympic Committee. It was a dream come true moment for Kano when men’s Judo was officially announced as an Olympic event in 1964 Tokyo Olympics. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the women’s contest was introduced as a demonstration, but it was at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that women’s Judo was added as an official contest