Physical and Health Education

Is Judo a martial art?

Judo is a martial art in which two opponents use movement, balance and leverage to gain advantage over each other. It was adapted from traditional Japanese martial called jujustsu.

Judo a combative game was founded by a Japanese Jigoro Kano in 1878 is an ethical refinement of justice on oriented martial art. Judo became an Olympic sport in 1964 when the game was held in Tokyo, Japan. Judo first got support in Nigeria in 1972 during the preparation of the second all African games. In line with the national sport commission and Nigeria amateur Judo association (NAJA) towards the advancement of Judo in Nigeria, A British named Judoka Mr. Alexander E. Ifidon was appointed sports commissioner in Nigeria in 1973. The Nigeria Judo association was later renamed Nigeria Judo Federation in 1993 and to the international Judo Federation.

Today the Judo Federation is widely accepted in Nigeria in all the 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT. The first president of the Federation was Mr. S.T Barrow(1972-1994) but the current president is Dr Orji Uzor Kalu.

Equipment and facilities

  • Mat not less than 9mand safety zone of not less than 1m all around the squared mat
  • A belt is worn which indicates the Judokas standard.
  • Judo suit
  • The jacket

Basic skills in Judo

Stance; the most convenient way is to take the tennis players stance. The body is quite easy, but not stiff, the knee slightly bent. From this posture both attack and defense are easy to execute

Gripping; this is achieved in a standing position. One can hold the opponent as he wishes. The Judoka holds the opponent left sleeves with his right lapel with his left hand. This grip should be firm to enable him throw the opponent.

The movement (footwalk); this involves sliding the feet over the mat with one following the other is called Tsuguashi, which stands for following. This should be practiced so that your balance will not be broken.

Falling; the act of falling without injury has been developed to a science. Safe  falling is essential to avoid injuries .The Judoka while falling gives in at joint, relaxes his body and absorbs in impact. A judoka is also given extensive instruction in the art of falling.


B basic throws in judo includes,

  • Loin throws; in this the opponent is held at the collars. The judoka turns his back to have good entry into the opponent
  • Hip throw, the opponent is held at the waist and brought to off balance; he is lifted up and thrown on the ground.
  • Foot stop, the opponent is speedily moved forward. As the opponent moves forward the feet is blocked to turn him over to make the throw more effective, the opponents arm are also pulled.


A judo match is won when one contestant scores an ippon. When is ippon awarded?

  • Forceful throw
  • Holding an opponent down for 25 seconds
  • Applying a successful choke , hold or elbow lock

Breaking the balance, the judoka try to imbalance each other while in standing position and holding each other. To imbalance the opponent, the trunk must be pushed or pulled out as fast as possible. The judoka doing so moves his feet with short and smooth steps. The step is the same as sliding to a side.

Basic Judo rules

  • At the beginning and end of each bout, the two judokas must bow to each other and the contest area.
  • A judo match takes between 3 and 10 minutes duration
  • Punching or putting a hand, foot, leg or arm on an opponent’s face is prohibited.
  • Refusing to attack or not showing enough aggression can result in a penalty.
  • Winning a point is called an ippon.
  • Judoka must not make a derogatory remark or gestures to their opponents .Deliberately going to the floor can warrant a penalty.
  • Judoka must be clean, have dry skin and short nail on both feet and hands.


  1. …….. is an ippon
    winning point
    b. losing point
    c. equal point
    d. no point
  2. Judo match is between ………
    5 and 8 minutes
    b. 2 and 7 minutes
    c. 3 and 10 minutes
    d. no assigned time
  3. Judo a combative game was founded by a Japanese Jigoro Kano in ….
    b. 1878
    c. 1778
    d. 1889
  4. Judo became an Olympic sport in ……. and game was held in ……..
    1964, Tokyo
    b. 1954, Japan
    c. 1974, Tokyo
    d. 1984, Japan
  5. A practitioner of the Japanese martial art of judo is called a ……
    b. Judoan
    c. Judo fighter
    d. Judoka

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