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In this lesson we will explain the objective of a Judo contest, contest Bowing Procedures with conventional Kumi kata (gripping).

The Objective of a Judo Contest

Jujutsu is the generic term that regroups all of the methods of empty hand combat that the warriors of the Japanese Middle Ages practiced. The fierce fights between the various schools of jujutsu contributed to the notoriety of their masters and pupils; it was in general duels between the schools that opposed the best practitioner of each among them.

Jigoro Kano at the end of the 19th century developed a school of jujutsu, that he called “JUDO”, different from the other “Ryu” by its target. Like the other schools, Judo cultivated the maximal efficiency, but the goal was not the same. “The improvement of man and society “ Judo is a method of physical, intellectual and moral education, by the practice of a martial art. Judo is the only martial art derived from jujutsu where the grip of the opponent is obligatory; this is what gave its technical wealth, finesse and intelligence. The confrontation in jujutsu didn’t allow real fighting since the goal was to kill without being killed oneself.

Jigoro Kano created a discipline where the confrontations allowed techniques to be applied completely, without ever injuring the opponent. Ippon was granted only if the fall of the opponent was controlled until they hit the ground, or they submitted. Apart from the elbow joint where one must leave the possibility for their adversary to quit, all techniques are executed in the sense of articulation and never in hyper extension. The control of the fall direction, the impact and the speed of execution are the definition of the perfect success of the throwing technique.

Judo is not a struggle where one accumulates advantages or points, whether standing up or on the ground, judo is a duel with a code. The only goal is ippon; all other values can be counted only if there is a will to score ippon.

The evolution of contests and refereeing through the years Of the challenges inter-schools of jujutsu without mercy, one passed, a little more than 100 years later, to be a member discipline of the International Olympic Committee.

The competition is today extremely well regulated and fully corresponds to the “Olympic Charter” humanist, educational and social. Judo remains nevertheless a martial art where a 100% duel must be the rule. It is the perfect technique that is rewarded with an ippon that puts an end to the contest. Ippon corresponds to “out of contest” as at the time of the warriors of the Middle Ages. The refereeing must take into account the philosophical aspect of the duel between the two competitors and reward them by the correct value or the correct sanction.

Contestant Bowing Procedures

The contestants are free to bow when entering or leaving the contest area, although it is not compulsory.

When entering the tatami area, contestants should walk to the entrance of the contest area at the same time. The contestants must NOT shake hands before the start of the contest. Sport and Organization Rules of the International Judo Federation page – 110

The contestants shall then walk to the centre of the edge of the contest area (on the safety area) at their respective side according the fighting order (judoka in the white judogi on the right side and judoka in the blue judogi on the left side of the referee’s position) and remain standing there.

At the signal from the referee, the contestants shall move forward to their respective starting positions and bow simultaneously towards each other and take a step forward from the left foot.

Once the contest is over and the referee has awarded the result, the contestants shall simultaneously take a step back from the right foot and bow to each other. If the contestants do not bow or do so incorrectly, the referee shall direct the contestants to do so. It is very important to perform the bow in the correct way.

The contest always starts with the contestants in the standing position, wearing their judogi correctly with the belt tied tightly above their hip bones, then the referee announces Hajime!

Conventional Kumi Kata – Gripping

Normal kumi-kata is taking hold the right side of the opponent’s judogi, be it the sleeve, collar, chest area, top of the shoulder or back with the left hand and with the right hand the left side of the opponent’s judogi be it the sleeve, collar, chest area, top of the shoulder or back and always above the belt or vice versa.