Weight classes and fighting styles : judo

Bronze medallists

The two losing semi-finalists move directly into the semi-finals of the competition for bronze. All other competitors who lost to the two finalists compete in a knockout tournament within their original pools, and two winners emerge to fill the remaining semi-final spots.

by Mike Morrison and Mark Zurlo

While many other martial arts focus more on punching and kicking, judo is a mix of strength, flexibility, and using a competitor’s strength, weight, and momentum against him or her. Technique and balance, rather than power, is the key.

Judo contests last a maximum of five minutes. To win the contest a judoka (or competitor) must score an Ippon (10 points) by using a successful technique. Lesser scores such as waza-ari (7 points), yuko (5 points) and koka (3 points), can be awarded when a technique does not warrant an Ippon.

In the case of a tie, the referee will extend the match by three minutes. The first competitor to score during the «Golden Score» period (first instituted in the 2004 Olympic Games) wins.

Both the men’s and women’s competitions are broken up into seven weight classes each. The classes are—extra lightweight (the limit is 132 pounds for men, 106 for women), half lightweight (143 and 115), lightweight (157 and 123), half middleweight (172 and 134), middleweight (190 and 146), half heavyweight (209 and 159), and heavyweight (over-209 and over-159).

The judo competition in London will be held July 28-Aug. 3 at the ExCel center, the largest of the Olympic venues.

Expanded programme

Judo has grown and developed as an Olympic sport. It is the first Olympic sport to have originated in Asia, with Dr Jigoro Kano being the first Asian IOC member. When it debuted at the 1964 Tokyo Games, it was a men-only discipline and there were just four weight classes.

r/judo — Deciding a weight category

I go to a school that does both BJJ and Judo. I do mainly BJJ, the South Carolina Judo state tournament is tomorrow and I am wondering how Judo rules are with weight. I normally don’t compete in Judo, but since the tournament is in my home town I was pressured to do so. My question is for the the 81kg weight class (179lb), do I need to be exactly 179.0lb or can I be 179.8 lb?

Hi guys. I started judo a couple months ago. There will be a local tournament three months later. I am considering to compete. However, I can’t make up my mind on weight category. I am 180 cm and weight 77 kg. Should I cut weight to -73 or gain weight to -81?

There is still room for me to cut to 73, it will not be a problem. However, I think maybe I am a bit too tall to compete at -73? Because during randori, I have been thrown by seoi nage A LOT (~90%)!

So should I give up the advantage of strength and move up to -81, in order to avoid shorter opponents?

Thanks a lot guys

I’ve got a competition in exactly a weeks time. I currently weigh 67.8kg, and was hoping to compete in the 66kg and under. I’m curious if this is an achievable goal, and was wondering if anyone had any tips for what to do/what not to do.

Also, is weigh-in including the Gi weight? This is my first competition so I’m pretty unsure about how things are done.

UPDATE: I took the advice from many members of this subreddit and cut carbs out of my diet for a week. I hit the -2kg (66kg) mark on day 5, and on competition day I’m actually a kilo under! Looks like I get to have a big breakfast :) Thanks all!

Matches by weight class

As late as 1997, the weight divisions for contests within Japan differed from those of international contests, but in 1998, the Japan weight divisions were revised to correspond to the international weight divisions (7 divisions)

[Men] 60kg or less, 66kg or less, 73kg or less, 81kg or less, 90kg or less, 100kg or less, over 100kg.
[Women] 48kg or less, 52kg or less, 57kg or less, 63kg or less, 70kg or less, 78kg or less, over 78kg.

The above weight division system is used at the annual All Japan Judo Weight-Class Championships, and, in the year of an Olympiad or a World Judo Championships event, the winners of these weight divisions at the All Japan Judo Championships are selected as Japan’s representatives to those international events. Moreover, there is also an «open weight» division (no weight restrictions) at the World Judo Championships which is held every two years. There is also an «open weight» division in the annual All Japan Judo Championships, at which the Japan champion is determined. In the year of an Olympiad or a World Judo Championships event, Japan’s heavyweight division representatives to those events are selected at the All Japan Judo Weight-Class Championships. For the men, representatives are selected for the 100kg and less, the over 100kg, and the open-weight divisions. For the women, representatives are selected for the over 78kg and the open-weight divisions.

I usually watch the final blocks. I like the heavier weight classes as that is where I am. But I do enjoy the lighter weight classes because they are fast and dynamic.

I like the Mongolians and Georgians because they use the style I want to emulate. I do enjoy the Brazillians, Israelis, and the Slovenians. The French, Germans, and Canadians are good too. I enjoyed the Canada GP because the Americans had a decent showing.

I have the following questions related to weight divisions:

We all know that the women’s -48 and the men’s 100 are obviously fought very differently. Would you agree that there is a distinct play style in each of the divisions in between?

Following on from that, is it necessarily always better to fight in the lowest division that one can make weight for? E.g. Would a 77 kg man necessarily always want to play in -73, or are there scenarios where he would perform better in -81?

How do men’s and women’s divisions compare in play style? Is the men’s -73 more similar to the women’s -70 (similar weight), or to the women’s -57 (light-ish for both men and women)?

How significant is weight at non-elite levels anyway? What’s your approach to deciding on which category to fight under at competitions?

Japan dominant

The sport, not surprisingly, has been dominated by the Japanese, who have won three times as many gold medals as their nearest rival France. Other strong countries in Judo today are Korea, Russia, China, Brazil and Cuba.

Knockout tournament

Competitors (“Judoka”) take part in a single-elimination tournament after being divided into two pools by a draw. An unusual twist is that there are two bronze medals.

Senior women:

to 44kg (97#), to 48kg (106#), to 52kg (115#), to 57kg (126#),

to 63kg (139#), to 70kg (154#), to 78kg (172#), above 78kg (172#)

to 56kg (123#), to 60kg (132#), to 66kg (146#), to 73kg (161#),

to 81kg (179#), to 90kg (198#), to 100kg (220#), above 100kg (220#)

Back to the dojo

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