The Judo World Championships 2019 will take place from Sunday, August 25 through Sunday, September 1. Each day is dedicated to a single weight class, with weigh-ins for those athletes taking place the night before.
The action kicks off on the 25th with the extra-lightweight competitions for both men and women. The 26th sees the half-lightweights in action, with each day after that seeing the next higher weight class compete. In every weight class, the tournament is played out in a single day, starting with preliminaries and with the finals taking place in the evening.
The final individual competitions take place on August 31, when the heavyweights will compete. September 1 then sees the mixed team competition, which wraps up the Judo World Championships for this year.
2019 World Judo Championships Host
The 2019 World Judo Championships are being held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. This venue is perhaps the most important arena in judo, having been built specifically to hold the judo event at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. The Nippon Budokan will also host the 2020 Summer Olympic judo.
While Japan has been instrumental in the development of judo as a competitive sport, the World Judo Championships have been held in various locations around the world. The 2018 event took place at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, Azerbaijan, while the 2021 championships – the event is not held in Olympic years – will take place in Vienna, Austria.
World Judo Championships Results and History
The World Judo Championships were first held in Tokyo in 1956. That first tournament looked a lot different than the event does today. When Shokichi Natsui became the first judo world champion, he did so in a single field without any weight classes, defeating fellow Japanese judoka Yoshihiko Yoshimatsu in the final.
While Japan has always been a powerhouse in judo, they haven’t held a stranglehold on the world championship. The first non-Japanese winner of the World Judo Championships with Dutch judoka Anton Geesink, who won the title in 1961.
1964 saw Olympic judo contested for the first time. Weight classes were first introduced at the 1965 World Judo Championships, which took place in Rio de Janeiro. In 1980, a women’s world judo championship was held for the first time, and while it existed as a separate event for the first few years, in 1987, the men’s and women’s competitions were turned into a single World Judo Championships.
For most of its history, the World Judo Championships have been held every other year. But beginning in 2009, the event has become a nearly annual competition, only being skipped in years in which the Summer Olympics are being held. That will continue in 2020 when judo will be included in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
As we mentioned earlier, Japan has historically been the strongest judo nation in the world. They top the World Judo Championships all-time medal table, which includes men’s, women’s, and team competition.
World Judo Championships All-Time Medal Table
Japan’s dominance hasn’t waned in recent years. In the 2018 World Judo Championships, the Japanese had a particularly strong year, earning more gold medals than all other nations combined.
2018 World Judo Championships Medal Table
Judoka are ranked using a traditional kyu-dan grading system. While the specifics of the system vary by country, beginner students will typically start with a white belt, then progress through various colored belts as they work through the kyu ranks with a local sensei (teacher).
Dan ranks are traditionally only awarded by independent judges, with a judoka earning their black belt at the grade of first dan. At high dan ranks, practitioners might wear a red and white panelled belt, with 9th and 10th dan judoka sometimes wearing a red belt.
Judo has been one of the many disciplines that has been heavily utilized in mixed martial arts, with judo grappling and takedowns having proven effective even at the elite level. Several prominent UFC champions have had previous competitive experience in judo, including Ronda Rousey and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
World Judo Rankings
The 2019 World Judo Championships will feature world-class judoka from 152 countries, and unless you’re heavily invested in the sport, chances are you’ve heard of few – if any – of these incredible athletes. Here’s a look at the top-ranked judoka who are confirmed to be participating in each weight class heading into the championships.
Men’s Extra-Lightweight (60 kg)
Men’s Half-Lightweight (66 kg)
Men’s Lightweight (73 kg)
Men’s Half-Middleweight (81 kg)
|Frank De Wit||Netherlands||3|
Men’s Middleweight (90 kg)
|Ivan Felipe Silva Morales||Cuba||4|
Men’s Half-Heavyweight (100 kg)
|Guham Cho||South Korea||2|
Men’s Heavyweight (Over 100 kg)
|Lukas Krpalek||Czech Republic||2|
Women’s Extra-Lightweight (48 kg)
Women’s Half-Lightweight (52 kg)
|Charline Van Snick||Belgium||5|
Women’s Lightweight (57 kg)
Women’s Half-Middleweight (63 kg)
Women’s Middleweight (70 kg)
|Marie Eve Gahie||France||2|
Women’s Half-Heavyweight (78 kg)
|Natalie Powell||Great Britain||6|
Women’s Heavyweight (Over 78 kg)
|Larisa Ceric||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3|
|Maria Suelen Altheman||Brazil||4|
Odds and Tips
Betting on judo requires an approach that’s similar to wagering on other combat sports. You should look at the recent results of major judo competitions, such as the previous year’s World Judo Championships. It’s also important to consider the current rankings list, which includes information on lesser tournaments held throughout the year.
For those who want to go deeper, finding head-to-head results between judoka can give insight into athletes who have a stylistic advantage over particular opponents.
Judo isn’t a sport that sees tremendous turnover from year to year, so most of the medal winners from the previous world championships tend to perform well again the following season. In fact, several of the 2018 gold medal winners are coming in as the top seeds in their weight classes for the 2019 World Judo Championships, including the following:
- Saeid Mollaei (Men’s Half-Middleweight)
- Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (Men’s Middleweight)
- Guram Tushishvili (Men’s Heavyweight)
- Tsukasa Yoshida (Women’s Lightweight)
- Clarisse Agbegnenou (Women’s Half-Middleweight)
- Chizuru Arai (Women’s Middleweight)
There are typically only two markets available for judo betting: outright bets on who will win each weight class, and individual match betting. Odds typically become available for the World Judo Championships at online sports betting sites in the days just before the event begins.
Free Bets and Betting Offers
Bookmakers offer a variety of free bet offers for new customers as a way to welcome them to their sites. One of the simplest offers is a matching bonus that gives you free credit to use however you like in the bookies. Other bookies offer boosted odds on specific bets or will give you your money back in credit if you lose your first bet after opening your account.
While bookmakers rarely create offers specifically for the World Judo Championships, our list of recommended betting sites all offer brilliant bonuses.
How to Bet on Judo
Judo betting is fairly straightforward. There is no in-play betting or prop betting available on the World Judo Championships, meaning that you can make two kinds of wagers: either a bet on who will win an individual match or an outright bet on who will win a given tournament.
A bet on a single match may offer odds similar to the following:
Guram Tushishvili (-200) vs. Ushangi Kokauri (+170)
In that example, a $200 bet on Tushishvili, who is favored, would return a profit of $100 if he wins. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on Kokauri (the underdog) would return a profit of $170 if he is victorious.
Outright or futures betting on a tournament will provide odds on some or all of the competitors in a list. For example, this year’s women’s heavyweight outright betting market might offer odds on favorites that look like this:
- Idalys Ortiz (+200)
- Sarah Asahina (+250)
- Larisa Ceric (+400)
- Maria Suelen Altheman (+500)
In this example, a $100 bet on Ortiz to win the tournament would earn you $200 in winnings, but only if she won the gold medal. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on Altheman would win $500 if she won gold.
2019 World Judo Championships Tickets
Tickets for the World Judo Championships 2019 are available through the International Judo Federation’s website. Single day tickets range from JPY 1,500-12,000 ($14-$114), with 8-day passes available for JPY 32,000-57,000 ($303-$540).
During the World Judo Championships, you may hear a number of different terms related to how matches are refereed and scored. Here’s a quick look at some of the most important terms:
- Golden Score: If a match ends with a tie score, an untimed sudden death period known as the Golden Score is used to settle the tie, with the first score of any type determining the winner (including a penalty against one’s opponent).
- Hansoku-Make: A major rule violation that results not only in the loss of a match but also in ejection from a tournament.
- Ippon: A score that immediately wins a judo match. This can be scored via a throw that puts the opponent on his or her back with significant force and control. It can also be scored by pinning an opponent on their back for 20 seconds, or via submission.
- Judoka: The name given to a judo practitioner.
- Koka: Formerly, a score that was considered lesser than a yuko, with no number of koka equaling a single yuko. However, this score has not been used since 2008.
- Maitta: Literally, “I surrender.” This is one way for a judoka to signify that they wish to submit (they may also tap the opponent or the mat multiple times).
- Nage-waza: A catch-all term for throwing techniques used in judo.
- Ne-waza: A term for grappling techniques in judo.
- Shido: A minor rule infringement, such as a long period of non-aggression. Shidos begin as warnings; however, three such penalties result in a win for the opponent.
- Waza-ari: A throw that puts the opponent on their back, but without enough force to merit an ippon. Under older scoring systems, two waza-ari were equivalent to an ippon; this is no longer true, and waza-ari scores are tracked throughout a match. Waza-ari can also be scored for pins between 15-20 seconds.
- Yuko: A throw that ends with the opponent landing on their side. Yuko were once tracked as a lesser score than waza-ari but are now included in the waza-ari score.
World Judo Bookmakers FAQ
The World Judo Championships are held in a different country every year. In 2019, the host will be Japan. Many other countries have played host including Brazil, Kazakhstan, the UK and Spain.
In the history of the World Judo Championships, Japan is the most successful nation. Japan also tops the all time Olympics medal table for Judo.
Yes, many major betting sites offer markets on Judo, especially for competitions such as the World Championships or Olympics. You can usually bet on overall winners of a competition or specific matches.
Yes, principles of Judo can be used in MMA and all Judo techniques are legally allowed in the sport. Many successful MMA fighters have a background in Judo, including Ronda Rousey who won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.