Judo Legends

Judo actually means ‘gentle way’. It is actually a modern Japanese martial art as well as a combat sport. Judo had origination in Japan, in the end of 19th century. The strikes and thrusts are done by weapons and by hand movements. Judo is included in the national sports and has a rich history. Judo is a combat support and is a popular martial art. In the year 1910, Judo became a recognized sport and in the very next year, it was accepted as a part of education system of Japan.

Judo Legends

Dr. Jigori Kano (Inventor of Judo)

Jigori Kano was born in Mikage town (Japan) in the year 1860. He formulated his own views for martial arts. This made him to develop a martial art style of his own. His style had the main fundamental of utilize the energy of opponents against them and eradicated some dangerous techniques of Jujutsu. He had a firm hope that his fighting style would refine and attained acceptance as a sport, which became ultimately true.

There are many legends in the world of Judo. Some information about the legends is given below:

Kyuzo Mifune

Kyuzo Mifune became famed in judo circles and attained 10th Dan alone at that time. He was awarded this nobility in 1920. It is said by many Judo legends that in the 60 years of practice of Kyuzo Mifune, he never lost any match and was never thrown.

Karo Parisyan

This player is Armenian American and the successful judo practitioner, which turned MMA fighter in the history of sports. He is one of the best players of Mixed Martial Arts and defeated Ryo Chonan, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra and Shonie Carter.

Tani Ryoko

Ryoko is one of the most famous female Judo players in Japan. She is known as Yawara Chan. She won International Judo Championship (Women’s championship) in 1990. She won 48 kg category gold medal from Sydney Olympics in the year 2000. In the year 2003, she married a baseball player.

Ingrid Berghmans

She is an ex-judoka from Belgium, who came to known as Ingrid Vallot after her marriage. She was the famous player of Belgian judo in late 1970s and 1980s and was named as Sportswoman of year for eight times. She is the most successful players in the history of sports, with six world titles. She won Open class in the year 1980, 82, 84 and 86 and at under 72 kg in 1984 and 1989 has won several medals and even got a bronze. She was a part of 1988 Summer Olympics in 72 kg division and European Champion 72 kg in 1985, 88, 89 and Open in 1983, 87, 88.

Kosei Inoue

The player was born in Miyakonojo of Miyazaki. He is one of the world-class Judo athletes from Japan. He won gol


d medal in the Summer Olympics of 2000, in under 100 kg class. This player is famous for the specialty throws. He is considered as one of the best Judokas in this competition. There are wide accomplishments; including three gold medals at All Japan Championship and World Championship. Tomokazu Inoue is his elder brother, which is also a judoka and previous Asian champion.

Hitoshi Saito

Saito is a retired judoka, who won two consecutive gold medals in Olympic Games. He continued to work at Kokushikan University, after doing graduation in the year 1983 and won gold medal in heavy weight (+ 95 kg) division of 1984 Olympics and in open weight division of 1983 world judo championships. His arm was dislocated in 1985 and he had to retire from the match, which was being played with Cho Yong-Chul of South Korea. He injured his right knee, before All Japan Championship in the year 1987 and made a turn back in the year 1988.

David Douillet

Douillet is a French judoka and a politician. He was born in city of Rouen. The main accomplishment by him was that he won judo heavy weight gold medals in the Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000). The achievements made him one of the famous judoka in French history. After covering the sports career, he was engaged in politics.

Jason Newth Morris

Morris is an American judoka, which is well known to have silver medal in 78 kg weight category in 1992 Summer Olympics. It was a highlight point in his career, which included 7 gold medals in international level competition. Morris also won Bronze medal in 2002, in World Championship and also participated in Olympic Games. Presently, he writes for Real Judo Magazine and the head instructor at his club, named Jason Morris Judo Club. The coaches are many competitive athletes. This includes Carrie Chandler, who is ranked number one in US. Morris was named as coach of 

2008 US Olympic judo games.

Many of us know that there are countless figures we may consider to be listed as Judo legends, however this list has narrowed down some of the greatest and most influential of all time. Opinions of readers may conflict as to who should be listed here so as always, we are open to suggestions.


Other Nominees

Yoshitsugo Yamashita

Alexander Mikhaylin

Anton Geesink

Angel Parisi

Deunis van der Geest

Sun Hui Kye

Driulis Gonzalez

Isabel Fernandez