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Hey, young judo fans!

Ready to grip, flip, and trip through the top tatamis across the globe?

Join us as we explore the mats where judo isn’t just a sport—it’s a way of life.

Let’s hit the dojo and discover where judo reigns supreme!

Countries where Judo is most popular:

  1. Japan
  2. France
  3. South Korea
  4. Brazil
  5. Russia
  6. Germany
  7. Hungary
  8. China
  9. Netherlands
  10. United Kingdom
  11. Georgia

#1 Japan

江戸村のとくぞうNippon Budokan 220429g, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

As the birthplace of judo, Japan boasts a rich legacy with the martial art deeply interwoven into its cultural fabric. With countless dojos and a strong emphasis on discipline and respect, judo remains a cornerstone of Japanese sports.

Japanese judokas hold numerous Olympic and World Championship titles, reflecting the country’s dominant presence and ongoing contribution to the sport.

#2 France

PASCALOUEJudo., scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 3.0

France’s affinity for judo is evident in its vast network of judo clubs and the prominence of judo in physical education.

With a strong tradition of producing elite judokas, France has secured its place as a powerhouse in international judo competitions, such as the Olympics and World Judo Championships, fostering a widespread and dedicated following for the sport.

#3 South Korea

Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name), KOCIS Korea Judo Kim Jaebum London 37 (7696360870), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

South Korea is esteemed in the judo world for nurturing some of the finest judokas.

The sports infrastructure and support from the government have propelled judo to high popularity, and South Korean athletes routinely achieve success in Olympic and World Championship events, solidifying judo’s prestigious status within the country’s competitive sports scene.

#4 Brazil

Roberto Castro/Brasil2016.gov.br, Competitions in judo at the 2016 Olympics 06, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 3.0 BR

Judo holds high regard in Brazil, where it’s one of the most practiced martial arts. The country’s judokas are known for their explosive style and have captured numerous medals on international platforms, such as the Olympics.

Brazilian judo benefits from a robust nationwide system that scouts and develops talent, contributing to its popularity and success.

#5 Russia

Kremlin.ruDzudo, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 4.0

Judo in Russia is celebrated as both a competitive sport and a component of martial arts tradition, with a strong emphasis on physical fitness and discipline.

The sport benefits from comprehensive state-supported sports programs that nurture Olympic-level athletes, and its popularity is bolstered by Russia’s history of success in various combat sports, making it a prominent discipline nationwide.

#6 Germany

Rede do Esporte2018 World Judo Championships 139, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 3.0 BR

Judo has a significant following in Germany, supported by a robust network of judo clubs and a well-established national federation. The country has produced top judokas who have achieved success on the international stage, including Olympic and World Championships medals.

The discipline of judo is respected in German sports culture, emphasizing not just physical prowess but also mental discipline and education, virtues that resonate with the broader German approach to sports.

#7 Hungary

Oliver SellnerOliver-Sellner-Runde-2-Maenner-1.-Bundesliga-2022-21532, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Judo in Hungary is a sport with historical significance, having a tradition of excellence that dates back to the mid-20th century. This Eastern European nation boasts a strong judo infrastructure and has regularly produced athletes who shine in European and World Championships.

For Hungarians, judo is not just about competition; it’s a form of physical education that reinforces values like respect, perseverance, and fair play, which are deeply ingrained in the national sporting ethos.

#8 China

Tasnim News Agency, 2016 Summer Olympics Judo, August 9 – 22, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 4.0

Judo in China has enjoyed steady growth as the nation invests in martial arts as a key component of its sports development strategy. Despite being more recently introduced compared to traditional Chinese martial arts, judo has gained popularity, with Chinese athletes making a mark in international competitions.

The sport benefits from strong state support and the Chinese populace’s intrinsic appreciation for martial arts, which aligns with judo’s principles and philosophy.

#9 Netherlands

Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, 2018-10-10 Visser vs Pecha (Final Judo Mixed International Team) at 2018 Summer Youth Olympics by Sandro Halank–055, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

In the Netherlands, judo is highly regarded as a sport that cultivates discipline, respect, and physical prowess.

The Dutch have a structured approach to judo education and a competitive circuit that encourages participation from a young age. This has led to notable international success, fostering a strong judo community with deep roots in both recreational and elite levels of participation.

#10 United Kingdom

Judo exercise below Darwen Tower by Neil Theasby, Judo exercise below Darwen Tower – geograph.org.uk – 5647004, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

Judo in the United Kingdom has grown in prominence due to its inclusive nature and the physical and mental benefits it offers.

Supported by a network of local clubs and national programs, judo is popular across all ages. British judo has seen Olympic success, which continues to inspire wider participation and the growth of the sport throughout the UK.

#11 Georgia

Judomi89Lasha Shavdatuashvili, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

In Georgia, judo is more than a sport; it’s a point of national pride and a significant cultural marker.

Known for producing some of the world’s top judokas, the intense national focus on judo stems from its alignment with Georgian values of strength and honor. Judo is deeply embedded in Georgian society, with widespread participation and state support fueling its prominence.


Which country is Judo played the most?

Judo is played the most in Japan, the nation where the martial art was developed, and it remains a prominent and culturally significant sport, with a large number of participants and dojos.

Which country watches Judo the most?

Japan watches Judo the most, reflecting its strong cultural ties to the sport and a passionate fan base that follows both national and international competitions.

Where was Judo originally played?

Judo was originally played in Japan. For more on its rich history, refer to our Judo history article. Founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882, Judo has since spread worldwide, becoming an Olympic sport.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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