Judo equipment

An introduction to judo kit requirements

Here’s our guide to the kit and equipment requirements needed for a successful bout of judo. We'll talk you through the judo ring, the clothing worn, and some of the basic rules.

The judo ring
A judo contest is conducted on vinyl covered foam mat area called ‘tatami’, the contest area being a square 8m x 8m (26.25ft x 26.25ft).

Judo equipment

This is surrounded by a red outer metre ‘danger area’ which is inside the playing area, but competitors can only remain in that area for a few seconds before attempting a throw or they will be penalized.

There is a 3m (9.85ft) outer zone ‘safety area’ in which participants can be thrown as long as the thrower remains inside the contest area.

Clothing for judo bouts
Judo competitors are called ‘Judokas’ and the clothing they wear is called ‘Judogi’.

Judo pants are called ‘zubon’ and the jacket is called ‘uwagi’. The belt identifies the skill level of the competitor, with black belt being the highest.

For identification purposes, one participant will wear a completely blue uniform and the other will wear white.

The referees in judo
Three referees oversee a bout. One central referee controls the contest by moving around the mat, while two others sit at opposite corners. Each decision has to be agreed upon by at least two of the three or it is changed.

The judo contest
An Olympic contest lasts 5 minutes for male 'judokas' and 4 minutes for women, provided that it hasn’t already been stopped by the award of an ‘Ippon’.

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