An oriental form of wrestling originally developed from jujitsu as an art of self-defense. Participants wear a two-piece garment called a gi and are normally referred to as players.

Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or take down an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke.

Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori).

A player wins the match by making a clean throw, by pinning his opponent to the mat and keeping him under control for 30 seconds, or by applying a submission hold such as a twisting lock on the arm or elbow or a choke hold, which cuts off the flow of blood – not air – and eventually causes temporary unconsciousness. The opponent signals defeat by tapping, that is, tapping the mat or his opponent twice.

A match, which normally has a time limit of from 3 to 10 minutes, is supervised by a referee assisted by two judges. The referee, who is on the mat with the players, decides whether or not a throw is clean and awards a point or (if the throw is imperfect) a half a point or no point, watches for illegal or dangerous holds, and signals for timing to begin in case of a pin.

If in grappling the contestants move off the edge of the mat, they are ordered to freeze their positions and are dragged back to the center of the mat to resume wrestling.

Matches, which are conducted in weight classes like inter-collegiate wrestling or boxing, begin and end with contestants bowing to the referee and each other.

Judoka or judoist refers to a judo student or player.

Judo (which means "gentle way") was originally created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano as a physical, mental, and moral pedagogy in Japan. It is generally categorized as a modern martial art, which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport.

Judo became an Olympic sport for men in the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The Olympic Committee initially dropped judo for the 1968 Olympics on protests.

Dutchman Anton Geesink won the first Olympic gold medal in the open division of judo by defeating Akio Kaminaga of Japan. The women's event was introduced at the Olympics in 1988 as a demonstration event, and an official medal event in 1992.

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