/ (ˈɪpɒn) /
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judo karate a winning point awarded in a sparring competition for a perfectly executed technique
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Word Origin for ippon

C20: Japanese, literally: one point
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


What does ippon mean?

In competitive martial arts, an ippon is a point awarded by judges to a competitor in a sparring match for performing a technique perfectly, typically a strike considered decisive. In many cases, being awarded an ippon results in an immediate victory in the match.

It is used as part of the scoring system for a variety of competitive martial arts, including karate, judo, kendo, and jujitsu.

Rules vary from sport to sport regarding what moves are awarded an ippon.

In karate, an ippon can be awarded for landing a kick to an opponent’s head.

In judo, an ippon can be awarded for a particularly forceful throw to the ground, for a pin lasting a certain amount of time (usually more than 20 seconds), for a knockout, or when one’s opponent concedes.

In kendo, in which competitors spar with bamboo swords, an ippon is awarded based on several certain criteria involving how a strike has been landed, including the proper stance.

In jujitsu, the actions that are awarded ippons often differ depending on what stage the match is in.

Example: In judo, I always go up against opponents with a similar skill level, so I rarely receive an ippon.

Where does ippon come from?

The word ippon is borrowed directly from Japanese, in which it literally means “one point.”

Depending on the rules of the particular sport, an ippon is often worth more than one point. Sometimes, it’s worth two or three. In Olympic judo, for example, an ippon is worth 100 points.

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What are some words that often get used in discussing ippon?

How is ippon used in real life?

The word ippon is used in several different competitive martial arts, notably karate and judo. Sometimes, an ippon results in immediate victory.


Try using ippon!

True or False?

An ippon always results in an automatic win.