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Sport Overview

As the sport is contested by athletes with a visual impairment, judokas have contact with their opponent before the start of the match.

In 2011 in Guadalajara, Cuba finished first with five gold, four silver and one bronze. Following in second place was Brazil with two gold, four silver and one bronze. Mexico came in third with one gold and two silver medals.


Judo developed from the martial art of jujitsu and was established as a sport in Japan in 1882.

How it works

Judo encompasses throwing and groundwork techniques, and in its evolution from a fighting art, emphasizes balance, reflex, power, flexibility and coordination.

Judo matches last five minutes for men and four minutes for women; scores are awarded for different throws and holds, with the objective of scoring an ippon or more points than the competitor.


The maximum score awarded during a contest. If an ippon is awarded, the match ends immediately.

A judo competitor.

A martial arts teacher.



Visual Impairment

Sport Classes

Judo athletes (judoka) are classed according to their visual impairment.

Judoka in B1 are either blind or have very low visual acuity such that the athlete cannot recognize the letter “E” measuring 15 cm x 15 cm from a distance of 25 cm.

Athletes in the B2 sport class have a higher visual acuity than those in the B1 class, but are unable to recognize the letter “E” from a distance of 4 metres. As well, athletes with a visual field of less than 10 degrees diameter are eligible for this class.

The B3 sport class describes the least severe visual impairment eligible for judo with athletes having either a restricted visual field of less than 40 degrees diameter or low visual acuity.

Additional Information

Additional Information