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Jigoro Kano makes a comprehensive study of the ancient self-defence forms and integrates the best of these forms into a sport which becomes known as kodokan judo. The term kodokan breaks down into ko (lecture, study, method), do (way or path), and kan (hall or place). Thus it means "a place to study the way". Similarly judo breaks down into ju (gentle) and do (way or path) or "the gentle way".

Judo practiced at the Fujimi-cho Kodokan dojo by Hishida Shunso - © Kodokan Institute
Judo practiced at the Fujimi-cho Kodokan dojo by Hishida Shunso - © Kodokan Institute
1882

The categorisation of kodokan judo is completed. The kodokan had three broad aims: physical education, contest proficiency and mental training.

so Masatomo Dojo - © Kodokan Institute
so Masatomo Dojo - © Kodokan Institute
1887

Proceeding with the organisation of the kodokan and enacting the regulations of judo, Kano becomes the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee and works for the spread of judo worldwide.

11-year-old Kano Jigoro (right) - © Kodokan Institute
11-year-old Kano Jigoro (right) - © Kodokan Institute
1909

Kano is awarded the Asahi Prize for his outstanding contribution to the organising of sport in Japan during his lifetime.

Kano giving a lecture at Shimotomisaka dojo © The Kodokan Institute
Kano giving a lecture at Shimotomisaka dojo © The Kodokan Institute
1935

Kanō dies at sea, while on board the NYK Line motor ship Hikawa Maru.

Kano (second from the left) discussing judo's future with E. Rawlings, UK Embassy, Baron Okura Kishiro and Alexander Nagai in Berlin, 1936. The three men established a judo-jujutsu club at Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1906. Nagai played a role in helping Jews to escape Nazi persecution (© The Kodokan Institute)
Kano (second from the left) discussing judo's future with E. Rawlings, UK Embassy, Baron Okura Kishiro and Alexander Nagai in Berlin, 1936. The three men established a judo-jujutsu club at Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1906. Nagai played a role in helping Jews to escape Nazi persecution (© The Kodokan Institute)
1938

The International Judo Federation (IJF) is founded, composed of National Federations from Europe plus Argentina. Italy's Aldo Torti is named as the IJF's first President.

Judo championship in Japan (referee: Nagaoka Hideichi) © The Kodokan Institute
Judo championship in Japan (referee: Nagaoka Hideichi) © The Kodokan Institute
1951

Japan's Risei Kano, son of Jigoro, takes over as IJF President.

Dan grading in France, Kawaishi Mikinosuke, 1949 (© Michel Brousse Collection)
Dan grading in France, Kawaishi Mikinosuke, 1949 (© Michel Brousse Collection)
1952

Judo becomes an official event in the Olympic Games of Tokyo, backed by judo fans and sport promoters all over the world. Medals were awarded in four classes, and competition was restricted to men only. The competition was held in the Nippon Budokan, which was built to host the competition. Japanese victories for lightweight Takehide Nakatani, middleweight Isao Okano and heavyweight Isao Inokuma put them top of the medals table. The Netherlands' Anton Geesink wins the open category.

British judoka Tony Sweeney, Syd Hoare (1939 - 2017), Brian Jacks, and Alan Petherbridge trying their Tokyo Olympics outfits by Brian Hewson, Uk, 12th August 1964 ©Getty Images
British judoka Tony Sweeney, Syd Hoare (1939 - 2017), Brian Jacks, and Alan Petherbridge trying their Tokyo Olympics outfits by Brian Hewson, Uk, 12th August 1964 ©Getty Images
1964

British Judo Association President Charles Palmer assumes the equivalent role within the IJF.

Japanese teacher of Shotokan karate Hirokazu Kanazawa demonstrating the breaking of a piece of wood in front of a group of students, UK, 2nd May 1965 ©Getty Images
Japanese teacher of Shotokan karate Hirokazu Kanazawa demonstrating the breaking of a piece of wood in front of a group of students, UK, 2nd May 1965 ©Getty Images
1965

Judo is omitted from the sports programme of the Olympic Games in Mexico City.

The Olympic rings are formed on the field by performers, during the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Mexico's 1968 Summer Olympics ©Getty Images
The Olympic rings are formed on the field by performers, during the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Mexico's 1968 Summer Olympics ©Getty Images
1968

Judo returns to the Olympic sports programme in Munich. Medals were awarded in six weight classes and competition was restricted to men only. Among the highlights was The Netherlands' Willem Ruska winning gold medals in both the heavyweight and open category competition, becoming the first judoka to win two Olympic gold medals.

French Lightweight judoka Jean-Jacques Mounier (R) fights against Mongolian Bakhava Buida on September 2, 1972 during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich ©Getty Images
French Lightweight judoka Jean-Jacques Mounier (R) fights against Mongolian Bakhava Buida on September 2, 1972 during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich ©Getty Images
1972

Medals are awarded in five weight classes at the Olympic Games in Montreal, where Japan top the medals table with three golds.

French judo champion Jean-Paul Coche, 7th May 1976 ©Getty Images
French judo champion Jean-Paul Coche, 7th May 1976 ©Getty Images
1976

Japan's Shigeyoshi Matsumae becomes the fourth President of the IJF.

Belgium's Robert Van de Walle reacts (R) after his defeat against Georgian Tengiz Khubuluri(L) during the Judo World Championships in Paris, on December 1979 ©Getty Images
Belgium's Robert Van de Walle reacts (R) after his defeat against Georgian Tengiz Khubuluri(L) during the Judo World Championships in Paris, on December 1979 ©Getty Images
1979

Judo competition at the Olympics in Moscow marks the first time that the medal table was not dominated by Japan, since the country joined the boycott of the Games because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the previous year. Medals are awarded to male judoka in eight competitions, seven weight classes and the open competition - two more than in 1976. All events were held at the Palace of Sports of the Central Lenin Stadium. The Soviet Union and France claim two gold medals each, while East Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland earn one apiece.

French judokas, medalists at the1980 Olympic Games face the cameras in front of Saint-Basil, Moscow Red Square ©Getty Images
French judokas, medalists at the1980 Olympic Games face the cameras in front of Saint-Basil, Moscow Red Square ©Getty Images
1980

Judo competition at the Olympics in Los Angeles continues the seven weight classes first used at the Moscow 1980 Games. With the open division, there are eight competitions, which are restricted to male judoka. Japan returned to the top of the medal table, after boycotting the Moscow Games. Because of the Soviet-led counter-boycott of the Los Angeles Games, several traditionally strong judo countries, including Cuba and the Soviet Union, do not participate.

English judoka Neil Adams, UK, 13th April 1984 ©Getty Images
English judoka Neil Adams, UK, 13th April 1984 ©Getty Images
1984

Argentina's Sarkis Kaloghlian becomes the fifth President of the IJF.

Martin of the USA throws his opponent during the World Championships ©Getty Images
Martin of the USA throws his opponent during the World Championships ©Getty Images
1987

Women's judo makes its first appearance at the Olympic Games, as a demonstration sport in Seoul. Japan failed to claim top spot in the medal table for the first time in an Olympics in which they participated, coming third behind South Korea and Poland. Austria's Peter Seisenbacher and Japan's Hitoshi Saito defend their respective middleweight and heavyweight titles from 1984, and become the first judoka to win gold at two Olympics.

Marc Alexandre of France knocks Sven Loll of East Germany to the mat during the final of the mens lightweight judo competition at the 1988 Seoul Olympics ©Getty Images
Marc Alexandre of France knocks Sven Loll of East Germany to the mat during the final of the mens lightweight judo competition at the 1988 Seoul Olympics ©Getty Images
1988

New Zealand's Lawrie Hargrave becomes the sixth President of the IJF.

Belgium's Ingrid Berghmans (R) fights Japan's Yoko Tanabe (L) during the Judo World Championships in Belgrad, on October 15, 1989 ©Getty Images
Belgium's Ingrid Berghmans (R) fights Japan's Yoko Tanabe (L) during the Judo World Championships in Belgrad, on October 15, 1989 ©Getty Images
1989

Spain's Luis Baguena succeeds Hargrave.

French Cecile Nowak (L) and Austrian Michaela Bornemann fight during the World championships final in judo, on July 28, 1991, in Barcelona ©Getty Images
French Cecile Nowak (L) and Austrian Michaela Bornemann fight during the World championships final in judo, on July 28, 1991, in Barcelona ©Getty Images
1991

Olympic medals are awarded to female judoka for the first time at the Barcelona Games. The judo competition is contested in 14 weight classes, seven each for men and women. A medal haul comprising two golds, four silvers and four bronzes sees Japan reassert its supremacy over all other nations.

Miriam Blasco of Spain (R) jubilates after defeated Fairbrother of Great Britain in the women's under-56 kg judo final, 31 July 1992 at the Olympic Games in Barcelona ©Getty Images
Miriam Blasco of Spain (R) jubilates after defeated Fairbrother of Great Britain in the women's under-56 kg judo final, 31 July 1992 at the Olympic Games in Barcelona ©Getty Images
1992

South Korea's Yong Sung Park becomes the eighth President of the IJF.

David Douillet of France raises his arms in jubilation after beating German Franck Moller during the men over 95 Kg final of the World Judo Championships in Chiba 28 September 1995 ©Getty Images
David Douillet of France raises his arms in jubilation after beating German Franck Moller during the men over 95 Kg final of the World Judo Championships in Chiba 28 September 1995 ©Getty Images
1995

North Korea's Kye Sun-Hui claims a surprise Olympic gold medal in Atlanta having obtained a wildcard entry into the women's extra lightweight event.

Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. World Congress Centre. Heavyweight Judo. David Douillet (Fra) 1st. Eernesto Perezi (Esp) 2nd ©Getty Images
Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. World Congress Centre. Heavyweight Judo. David Douillet (Fra) 1st. Eernesto Perezi (Esp) 2nd ©Getty Images
1996

Japan win four Olympic gold medals in Sydney to top the medal standings. In men's competition, extra lightweight Tadahiro Nomura, half middleweight Makoto Takimoto and half heavyweight Kosei Inoue all triumph, while in women's, extra lightweight Ryoko Tamura comes out on top.

Giorgi Vazagashvili of Georgia celebrates bronze in the Men's 66kg Judo event at the Exhibition Halls in Darling Harbour on Day Two of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia ©Getty Images
Giorgi Vazagashvili of Georgia celebrates bronze in the Men's 66kg Judo event at the Exhibition Halls in Darling Harbour on Day Two of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia ©Getty Images
2000

Judo at the Olympic Games in Athens takes place at the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall, where 368 judoka compete for 14 gold medals with seven different weight categories in both the men's and women's competitions. Japan dominate the event by taking eight gold and two silver medals. There is controversy in the men's competition, when Iranian competitor and two-time world champion Arash Miresmaeili weighs in overweight and is disqualified before a match in which he would have faced Israeli judoka Ehud Vaks. Miresmaeili's comments strongly suggested that he had intentionally disqualified himself so as not to compete against an Israeli. "Although I have trained for months and was in good shape I refused to fight my Israeli opponent to sympathise with the suffering of the people of Palestine and I do not feel upset at all," he says.

Japan's Keiji Suziki (top) fights against Italian Paolo Bianchessi during the +100 kg judo competiton at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens 20 August 2004 ©Getty Images
Japan's Keiji Suziki (top) fights against Italian Paolo Bianchessi during the +100 kg judo competiton at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens 20 August 2004 ©Getty Images
2004

The first Judo for Children programme is launched in The Netherlands.

Children perform karate at the Family Festival Street Fair at the Tribeca Film Festival April 30, 2005 in New York City ©Getty Images
Children perform karate at the Family Festival Street Fair at the Tribeca Film Festival April 30, 2005 in New York City ©Getty Images
2005

European Judo Union President Marius Vizer becomes the ninth President of the IJF. The Romanian-born Hungarian continues to hold the position today.

Min Sun Aea (White) of Korea competes with Takashi Ono (Blue) of Japan in the men's 81kg category final during the Good Luck Beijing 2007 Judo Open at the University of Science and Technology Gymnasium on November 16, 2007 in Beijing,China ©Getty Images
Min Sun Aea (White) of Korea competes with Takashi Ono (Blue) of Japan in the men's 81kg category final during the Good Luck Beijing 2007 Judo Open at the University of Science and Technology Gymnasium on November 16, 2007 in Beijing,China ©Getty Images
2007

Cuba's Driulys González, Australia's Mária Pekli and Japan's Ryoko Tamura-Tani compete at their fifth Olympics in Beijing and thus join Belgium's Robert Van de Walle and Puerto Rico's Jorge Bonnet in achieving the feat.

Maria Pekli (white) of Australia fights against Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil during the Women's 57 kg Judo event at the University of Science and Technology Beijing Gymnasium on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Maria Pekli (white) of Australia fights against Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil during the Women's 57 kg Judo event at the University of Science and Technology Beijing Gymnasium on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
2008

IJF announces the launch of World Judo Day, set up to take place every year on October 28, the birthday of Jigoro Kano.

Japan's Yashiro Yamashita gives a lecture as he teaches Judo techniques to Palestinian students, members of the Judo Federation, in the biblical town of Bethlehem during his visit to the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories ©Getty Images
Japan's Yashiro Yamashita gives a lecture as he teaches Judo techniques to Palestinian students, members of the Judo Federation, in the biblical town of Bethlehem during his visit to the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories ©Getty Images
2010

Russia top the medal table at the Olympics in London with three golds and five in total.

Teddy Riner of France (white) and Alexander Mikhaylin of Russia compete in the Men's +100 kg Judo on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Teddy Riner of France (white) and Alexander Mikhaylin of Russia compete in the Men's +100 kg Judo on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
2012

IJF launches a series of movies called Judo for the World to illustrate how judo can change the lives of young people around the globe.

Ryunosuke Haga of Japan throws Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan for ippon in the Men's 100kg preliminary at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on December 6, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan ©Getty Images
Ryunosuke Haga of Japan throws Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan for ippon in the Men's 100kg preliminary at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on December 6, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan ©Getty Images
2015

Fourteen gold medals are won at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with competition taking place at Carioca Arena 2. Majlinda Kelmendi’s gold in the women’s 52kg class is the first-ever at the Olympics for Kosovo. In the women’s 57kg, Rafaela Silva wins the first gold of the Games for hosts Brazil. Japan win three gold medals to top the standings.

Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo (blue) and Odette Giuffrida of Italy compete during the Women’s -52kg gold medal final on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo (blue) and Odette Giuffrida of Italy compete during the Women’s -52kg gold medal final on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
2016

Japan win eight gold medals to finish top of the table at the World Championships in Budapest

Gold winner Japan's team celebrates on the podium of the team event at the World Judo Championships in Budapest on September 3, 2017 ©Getty Images
Gold winner Japan's team celebrates on the podium of the team event at the World Judo Championships in Budapest on September 3, 2017 ©Getty Images
2017

Japan win eight gold medals to finish top of table at the World Championships in Baku

Japan's judokas celebrate their victory against France in the mixed team final block at the 2018 Judo World Championships in Baku on September 27, 2018 ©Getty Images
Japan's judokas celebrate their victory against France in the mixed team final block at the 2018 Judo World Championships in Baku on September 27, 2018 ©Getty Images
2018