Judo is one of the most well-known traditional Japanese sports. Jigoro Kano who founded the Kododan in 1882, developed judo from jujutsu, a traditional martial art. The word judo literally means “the way of softness or gentleness,” meaning that even small wrestlers can take advantage of their opponent’s force and weight in order to overwhelm them. The major techniques involve throwing and grappling. The purpose of judo is not just to defeat the opponent but to train one’s body and mind. The color of the belts worn by participants over jackets indicates their rank: white is the lowest, then brown, black is worn by the first to fifth dans; red and white by the sixth to eighth dans; and red by the ninth and tenth dans. Since the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 judo has been ad official Olympic event for men, with contestants classified according to their weight. Judo became an official event for women in 1992. It was one of the first Japanese sports introduced overseas, and as of 2010 there were 200 countries and regions belonging to the I.J.F.(International Judo Federation).

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