What is Judo?

    Kayla Harrison of US, in white, fights with Vera Moskalyuk of Russia during the women's under 78 kg category final match at the World Cup Judo tournament in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2012.Kayla Harrison of US, in white, fights with Vera Moskalyuk of Russia during the women's under 78 kg category final match at the World Cup Judo tournament in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2012.
    x
    Kayla Harrison of US, in white, fights with Vera Moskalyuk of Russia during the women's under 78 kg category final match at the World Cup Judo tournament in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2012.
    Kayla Harrison of US, in white, fights with Vera Moskalyuk of Russia during the women's under 78 kg category final match at the World Cup Judo tournament in Budapest, Hungary, February 12, 2012.
    Judo, which means "gentle way" in Japanese, is a martial art created in Japan by Jigoro Kano in 1882.  It was derived from the ancient techniques of jiu-jitsu.  It is the most widely-practiced martial art in the world, and the second-most practiced sport worldwide behind soccer.  The combat sport develops self-discipline and lays its foundation on respect for one's self and others.

    Judo joins taekwondo as the only Asian martial art sports included in the Olympic Games.  Men's judo debuted in the Olympics in 1964, and women's judo followed in 1992.

    A judo match takes place on a mat with three referees officiating.  The objective is to score an ippon, one full point, which can be achieved in four ways and immediately ends the match.  One way is by pinning the opponent on the back, maintaining control of the head and shoulder for 25 seconds.  Another way to win is by arm lock, applying pressure directly on the elbow of a straight arm or twisting an arm bent at a right angle until the opponent submits.  A third way to win is by choke, applying pressure to the sides of the opponent's neck, but not the windpipe, until the opponent gives in.  The final way to achieve an ippon is by throwing an opponent so that the landing is hard on the back.

    If no ippon occurs, athletes can win by penalties or showing control over the opponent.  Referees give penalties for stepping out of bounds, stalling, taunting and performing dangerous acts.

    Athletes can show control by remaining on the offensive.  Points are earned for waza-aris or yukos.  A waza-ari, or half-point, is earned by a near-perfect throw or by holding an opponent down for 20 seconds.  Two waza-aris are scored the same as an ippon and ends the match.  

    Yukos are lesser degrees of throws and holds and cannot end a match, no matter how many are achieved.  Without an ippon or two waza-aris, Olympic judo matches last five minutes.  That might not sound like a long time, but USA Judo official Ernest Pund says it can feel like "an eternity" to athletes.

    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora