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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.