HomeSportsJudoTop 10 Greatest Judo Players In The World Ever | Toughness Personified
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Top 10 Greatest Judo Players In The World Ever | Toughness Personified

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Judo is a Japanese martial art and unarmed combat sport which originated in Japan in 1882. The game was first included in the Summer Olympic Games in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. The sport is widely spread throughout the world, and it is most often played in competitive tournaments. It is a modern form of jiu-jitsu (martial art). This sport involves defending and attacking the opponent and the ultimate goal of the player is to put pressure on the opponent’s arms, joints, and neck to lose. A person who learns judo is called a judoka. The game is known for its spectacular throwing techniques and a judoka should have high muscle mass, low-fat content, and high strength. In this blog, we will look at the top 10 greatest judo players of all time.

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Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever

Rank Best Judo Players
1 Kano Jigoro
2 Yasuhiro Yamashita
3 Tadahiro Nomura
4 Anton Geesink
5 Masato Uchishiba
6 Ilias Iliadis
7 Teddy Riner
8 David Douillet
9 Wim Ruska
10 Hitoshi Saito

Hitoshi Saito

Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever | KreedOn
Image Source- The Japan Times

Hitoshi was a former Japanese judoka and was the coach of the Japanese judo team at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He won two consecutive Olympic gold medals. In 1983, he bagged a gold medal at the World Judo Championships.

He won numerous gold medals in different divisions like heavyweight or open weight. After retirement, he became an instructor at the All-Japan Judo Federation and Kokushikhan University. In 2015 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.

Wim Ruska

Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikipedia

A Dutch legend named Willem Ruska (Wim Ruska for short) was a brilliant judoka. Ruska was the first athlete to clinch two gold medals in Judo in one Olympics. He was one of the most dominant judo players in the world ever and was inducted into the International Judo Federation Hall of Fame in 2013. He clinched five European titles in the 93 kg category. Ruska was the winner of the Judo Championships in 1967 and 1971. 

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David Douillet

Image Source- CNN

Douillet is a French politician and retired judoka. He is one of the greatest judo players in history. He bagged judo heavyweight gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney. David started judo at age 11, in the commune of Neufchâtel-en-Bray, near his birthplace.

He bagged 4 championship titles and one European title in his career. David was also appointed Minister of sports until 2012.

Teddy Riner

Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever | KreedOn
Image Source- Time News

This French Judoka’s full name is Teddy Pierre-Marie Riner. He won 10 gold medals at the world championship and clinched 5 gold medals at the European Championships. Teddy was the youngest champion in the Rio de Janerio Championship and in 2013, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. Before joining Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017, he was a member of the Levallois Sporting Club.

Ilias Iliadis

Image Source- Youtube

He is a Greek judo martial artist born in Georgia. In half-middleweight, he won the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. He won the Tokyo Judo Championship in the 90 kg category in 2010. In 2014, he was named the Greek Male Athlete of the Year. Since 2019 Iliadis has taken the responsibility of head coach for the Uzbek national team.

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Masato Uchishiba

Masato Uchishiba | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikipedia

He is a Japanese judoka who won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, and at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. He coached the women’s judo team at the Kyushu University of Nursing but in 2011, he was suspended from his position due to sexual harassment. Masato won two Olympic gold medals. He defeated Jozef Krnáč of Slovakia in the finals of the Olympic games in Athens.

Anton Geesink

Image Source- CNN

Anton Geesink’s full name was Antonius Johannes “Anton” Geesink. He was a Dutch judo martial artist and was the first non-Japanese judoka to win gold at the World Judo Championship in 1961 and 1965. He won 21 European titles throughout his career. Geesink won the gold medal in the open class as the first non-Japanese at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He died at the age of 76 in 2010.

Tadahiro Nomura

Image Source- Japanese Experts Net

Tadahiro Nomura, a Japanese Judo player won three individual Olympic gold medals in a row, all in the extra lightweight division. He is one of the most successful and famous judo players in the world. He secured victories in most of the tournaments for the extra lightweight division and got his first gold medal in 1996. In 1997, he won gold in the World Judo championship.

Yasuhiro Yamashita

Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever | KreedOn
Image Source-

Yamashita is a Japanese judo martial artist and currently is an instructor/advisor at the International Judo federation. He secured 203 victories between 1977-1985 and retired from competitive judo on June 17, 1985. With his brilliant performance, he won the Olympic title in 1977 making him the youngest judo player among others at the age of 19 years. He was honored with the Japanese National Prize in 1984.

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Kano Jigoro

Top 10 Judo Players in the World Ever | KreedOn
Image Source- Wikidata

At number 1 we have Kano Jigoro. Jigoro introduced the black-and-white belt system in Judo. He is still regarded as the best and the greatest player in judo all over the world. In his career, he has received various medals and titles and even had the greatest number of fans than any other martial artist might have. He was the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was also inducted as the 1st member of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Hall of Fame in 1999.

Top 10 Indian Judo Players Ever

Cawas Billimoria, Image Source- The Hindu
S.N Indian Judo Players
1 Cawas Bilimoria
2 Narendra Singh
3 Avtar Singh
4 Akram Shah
5 Garima Chaudhary
6 Tababi Devi
7 Lourembam Devi
8 Kalpana Devi
9 Sushila Likambam
10 Navjot Chana

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Nidhi Singh
Nidhi Singh
As quoted by M K Gandhi “learn as if you were to live forever”. This is the philosophy that she tries to live by. Learning new things is a passion that leads you to a school of upskills. Given her interest in writing, she pursued her dreams by taking a bachelor's degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from GGSIPU and received several accolades in academics. She is working as Senior Editor at KreedOn and loves challenges and completing multiple tasks within a stipulated timeline. She loves watching football and the credit goes to Lionel Messi. In her leisure time, she loves to paint her imagination.


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