[ joo-doh ]
/ ˈdʒu doʊ /
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See synonyms for: judo / judi on Thesaurus.com

a method of defending oneself or fighting without the use of weapons, based on jujitsu but differing from it in banning dangerous throws and blows and stressing the athletic or sport element.
the sport of fighting by this method.Compare jujitsu, karate.
of or relating to this fighting method or sport.
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Origin of judo

1885–90; <Japanese jūdō<Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese róu soft + dào way


ju·do·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is judo?

Judo is a martial art and unarmed self-defense system focused on throwing or pinning with a minimum amount of physical effort. It is based on jujitsu.

Judo is also a sport and an event in the Summer Olympic Games.

In the sport of judo, the object is to score points by throwing or pinning one’s opponent. Names of points awarded for different kinds of throws or holds include yuko and waza-ari. A point known as an ippon is awarded to a competitor who displays perfect technique and results in an automatic victory in the match. A minor penalty is called a shido. A major penalty is known as a hansoku-make and results in disqualification.

Many of the throwing techniques used in judo have been adopted in other sparring sports, including in mixed martial arts.

A person who practices or competes in judo can be called a judoka.

Example: I practice judo, but not competitively—just for self defense and exercise.

Where does judo come from?

The first records of the word judo in English come from the 1880s. It comes from the Japanese word jūdō. The first part, , is also used in jujitsu and means “soft” or “gentleness.” It derives from the Middle Chinese róu, “soft.” The ending also derives from Middle Chinese and means “way” or “method.” The do in the name of the Korean martial art tae kwon do is based on the same root.

Judo was developed from the traditional Japanese martial art of jujitsu, a system of unarmed self-defense perfected by the samurai. In 1882, Japanese educator Kanō Jigorō established a training school to teach a form of jujitsu he had developed that aimed to eliminate some of its more dangerous elements. Judo spread throughout Japan and was eventually developed into a sport that gained popularity internationally.

Judo was first featured as a special event in the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. It was made a permanent Olympic event in 1972. The women’s judo event was added in 1992.

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How is judo used in real life?

Judo is practiced as both a martial art and a sport. It is especially known for its throwing techniques.

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True or False?

In the sport of judo, a score known as an ippon results in an automatic victory.

How to use judo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for judo

/ (ˈdʒuːdəʊ) /

  1. the modern sport derived from jujitsu, in which the object is to throw, hold to the ground, or otherwise force an opponent to submit, using the minimum of physical effort
  2. (as modifier)a judo throw

Derived forms of judo

judoist, noun

Word Origin for judo

Japanese, from gentleness + way
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