Glossary of Judo terminology

Open weight division

Open weight division

The "Open weight division" format imposes no weight restrictions on the contestants, and exemplifies the original and distinguishing secret of Judo-the ability of a small contestant to throw or topple a larger contestant.
However, as Judo spread around the world and became an Olympic event, it came to be viewed primarily as a sport, and "Weight class were established to eliminate handicaps due to weight differences.
Men's and women's Judo contests are now held in both the "weight division" and "open weight" formats. The All Japan Judo Championships, however, uses only the "open weight" format to determine the Japan champion.