The modern martial art was brought to India by Rabindranath Tagore to India.

Judo is a modern martial sport created by Kano Jigoro of Japan in the year 1882. The sport originated from “Jujutsu” also a martial art. The sport was introduced to India by Rabindranath Tagore who wrote the National Anthem for both India and Bangladesh. Tagore brought Japanese coach Shinzo Tagayaki to the Shantiniketan and started teaching people in Kolkatta. The Judo Federation of India was formed in the year 1965.

Judo was first introduced in the Olympics at Tokyo in the year 1964 but was again excluded from the Charter for the next Olympics in 1968 in Mexico. Since 1972, after the sport was reintroduced again it has featured in all the Olympics to date.

Judo for women was introduced later in the year 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics. In 1988 it was a demonstration sport for women and was awarded medals in the next Olympics. At present, there are seven weight categories for both men and women.

Notable Players from India

Narender Singh

Narender Singh became the first Judoka to represent India in two Olympic Games (1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta). He has won several accolades the first being the Arjuna award. In 1990 Narendra won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the 60kg weight category held in Auckland.

Akram Shah

Akram was part of the CRPF ( Central Reserve Police Force ) based on a sports quota and has won many medals at the All India Police Games. He was a stronger contender in India for almost a decade from 2000-2010 also having represented India at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

In Athens, Akram finished 9th in the 60kg weight category. He also secured a silver medal at the 2022 CWG Games and a bronze medal at the 2003 Asian Championships.

Garima Chaudhary

The 32-year-old has been training Judo from the year 2004 and has been an active part sport for more than 15 years. She participated in the 2011 World Championships along with participating at the Asian Championships. Her participation at both these events brought in valuable points allowing her to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Also, she was the only Judoka to qualify for the Olympics in 2012.

Garima later shifted her weight category from 63kg to 70kg and in 2019 won a gold medal at the South Asian Games in Nepal.

Kalpana Devi

Kalpana Devi the 32-year-old has served as a head constable at the ITBF ( Indian Tibetian Border Force ). She started her career on a bright not winning the sub-junior Nationals in 1998. Going further she won four junior National Championships and one Asian Junior Championships. At the senior level she has won two National Championships.

The transition to the senior setup too was very good winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Avtar Singh

Avtar came from a poor background and at times found it tough to participate in tournaments due to financial constraints. Breaking all odds he participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics ( 90kg category) but lost in the opening round. Avtar Singh won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games and a bronze medal at the 2018 Taipei Open (100kg category).

Medals received by India

India to date has not won any medals at the Olympics but has been winning medals at the Continental and Commonwealth games consistently.

Asian games – 5 bronze medals

Commonwealth games – 5 silver and 6 bronze medals

Asian Championships – 4 silver and 11 bronze medals

At the recently concluded 2022, CWG Games India won 3 medals.

Future talents

Linthoi Chanambam

Linthoi became the first Indian ever to win a gold medal at the World Cup (any age category) in the cadet section (57 kg category). The 16-year-old beat Brianca Reis the Pan-American Junior champion from Brazil by Waza-ari. Linthoi Chanambam in 2021 had won a gold medal at the Junior Nationals and Asian Cadet and Junior Championships.

The athlete from IIS is training under a foreign coach and has been progressing well. Not many in the past have transitioned from cadet to the senior section but Linthoi has given the Judo community good hope to prosper in the future.

Tababi Devi

Tababi Devi became the first Indian to win a medal at the Olympics ( 2018 Youth Olympics) winning the silver medal. In 2017 she was crowned the champion at the Asian Cadet Championships and since won 3 medals at the Continental Championships.

She is just 20 and has a lot of potential going forward with her eyes set on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nitin Chauhan

Nitin Chauhan became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the 2022 European Open. The 23-year-old primarily competes in the 66kg weight category. He has also represented India at the 2022 Asian Championship in both individual and team events.

Tulika Mann

24-year-old Tulika Mann recently won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. She was initially not part of the squad but was included later. She has also won a gold medal at the 2019 South Asian Games and represents India in the 78kg weight category.

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