Judo is a sport that demands a physical and strategic performance, testing the qualities of strength, touch, balance, technical skills and sensitivity. It is a sport activity that is ideal for the young and the old and is suitable for male and female players. The sport is open to athletes with blindness/visual impairment in several weight categories.
It is one of the martial arts. As an activity it can be practiced for recreationally to assist in the development of self defence skills, for mobility-related skills such as balance and co-ordination, self-confidence, self-discipline and independence. However for those who are more competitive Judo is included on the Paralympic Programme for blind and visually impaired since the 1988 Paralympic Games. Since 2004 the Paralympics also has included women’s weight categories.
Competitors must learn different techniques to overcome or immobilize their opponent. The contest lasts five minutes for both men and women and the winner is the athlete who scores an ippon or who scores the greater number of points.
Judo includes a great quantity of elements such as push and traction power, balance, direction shifts, throws, holding-techniques and so on.
Perfect and efficient control over one’s own physical movement is a key aim in Judo. Judo helps to develop strength, resistance, sense of balance and orientation, breathing and body circulation, independence in movements and it also develops physical capacity for better adaptation to every day’s life. At the highest levels, attacking techniques applied with perfect timing do not seem to involve any strength whatsoever.
Basic principles of judo include ethics, respect of rules and of the opponent. Judo is an art which does not aim to elevate only the body, but also moral and spiritual characteristics of the person, helping psycho-motor development of the individual also. Thus Judo helps both physical and self defence capability too.
The sport is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and follows the International Judo Federation (IJF) rules used at other top-level, able-bodied judo events, with only slight modifications for athletes with a visual impairment. This allows visually impaired and blind athletes contact with their opponent before the start of the match.
If you would like more information about judo or would like to volunteer, please contact us.
Vision Sports Ireland,
1 Christchurch Hall,
Tel: 085 8500193