OLYMPICS PREVIEW: Judo

The hand-to-hand combat sport of Judo will feature 386 athletes participating in short rounds played in knockout format, with the winners on each round qualifying for the next; according to london2012.com, the official Olympic games website.

THE GAME

The sport of Judo is based on Jujitsu, a centuries old martial art form used by samurai, according to london2012.com. The combat sport was created in the late 19th Century and calls for both opponents to use attack and defense techniques in a combination of throws and holds.

The website reports that striking was permitted in the original form of the combat sport, but was banned in the mid-20th Century because its roots lie in a self defensive form of martial arts.

Individual rounds last five minutes, and points are awarded based on the different throws and holds used by each opponent. If a competitor is awarded an ippon, the maximum amount of points one can earn, then the round will end immediately, according to the website. If competitors are tied at the end of the round, the next opponent to score any points will win.

OLYMPIC HISTORY

Judo made its Olympic debut at the 1964 summer games in Tokyo, Japan as a men’s competition. A women’s competition was added to the Games in 1992 at Barcelona, Spain. This year the Olympics will host a total of 14 events, seven for men and seven for women. There will be 14 victory ceremonies, with a total of 42 medals awarded.

Author: Natalie Soldoff

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