by Vid Kavnik and Vid Slemenik



Judo is a modern-day martial art, which has evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. The sport was created in 1882 in Japan by Jigoro Kano. He was training the art of Ju-Jitsu which was very dangerous at the time. Many people died or got badly injured while performing it. That is when Kano decided to create new martial art with safer and only best techniques. He named it JU-DO which means soft-path.

Today Judo is one of the most popular martial arts in the world also featured in the Olympic games. People who train Judo are called judoka and the uniform is called judogi. It can be white or blue. The use of Judo techniques is allowed on trainings, competitions, or in self-defense only. Every judoka owns his own belt which color depends on skills and experience he has. In Europe, we have 10 colors.

kano jigoro

In Judo we know 4 ways to win. The first is to throw your opponent on his back, the second is to choke him, the third is to joint lock his arm and the fourth is to hold him on his back for 20 seconds. For each of these techniques, you get a score called ippon which counts as instant winning. If you throw your opponent on the hip or if you hold him off his back for only 10 seconds, you get a wazari. Two wazaries mean ippon. In Judo we also have penalties for disrespecting the rules, judge or your opponents. It is called shido. Tree shidos mean hansoku-make (instant loss). You can also get a direct hansoku-make. This means you instantly get disqualified.


The beginnings of Judo in Slovenia goes to the year 1952, when some students formed their first club and joined the Olimpia athletic union. In 1957, in Ljubljana, the first Slovenian Judo Union was established due to a very high interest in this sport. Judo slowly began to spread across the country. Nowadays it is one of the most successful sports in Slovenia with many great athletes. We have won many European and world championship medals. The biggest achievements represent 5 olympic medals which is outstanding for such a small nation. For example, Tina Trstenjak won golden olympic medal in 2016, Urška Žolnir also won golden olympic medal in 2012 in London and Lucija Polavder won bronze medal in Peking, in 2008.