Judo vs. Korean Judo

What's the Difference?

Judo and Korean Judo are both martial arts that focus on throws and grappling techniques, but they have some key differences. Korean Judo, also known as Yudo, places a greater emphasis on striking techniques and self-defense, while traditional Judo focuses more on throws and groundwork. Additionally, Korean Judo incorporates elements of traditional Korean martial arts, such as Taekwondo and Hapkido, giving it a unique blend of techniques. Both styles emphasize discipline, respect, and physical fitness, making them popular choices for individuals looking to improve their self-defense skills and overall well-being.


AttributeJudoKorean Judo
FounderJigoro KanoYoon Byung-In
PhilosophyMaximum efficiency with minimum effortFocus on self-improvement and discipline
TechniquesThrows, joint locks, pins, strikesSimilar to Judo but with emphasis on kicks and strikes
CompetitionInternational competitions like OlympicsCompetitions at national and international levels

Further Detail


Judo, which means "gentle way" in Japanese, was founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882. Kano developed Judo as a martial art that focused on using an opponent's strength against them, emphasizing technique and leverage over brute force. Korean Judo, on the other hand, has its roots in Judo but has evolved over time to incorporate elements of traditional Korean martial arts. Korean Judo, also known as Gwonbeop, has a strong emphasis on self-defense techniques and practical applications for real-life situations.


Both Judo and Korean Judo share many of the same techniques, such as throws, joint locks, and pins. However, Korean Judo practitioners often incorporate striking techniques, such as punches and kicks, into their training. This emphasis on striking sets Korean Judo apart from traditional Judo, which focuses primarily on grappling and throwing techniques. Additionally, Korean Judo practitioners may also learn traditional Korean martial arts weapons, such as the sword or staff, as part of their training.

Training Methods

Training methods in Judo and Korean Judo are similar in many ways. Both disciplines emphasize the importance of repetition and practice to develop muscle memory and improve technique. However, Korean Judo training may also include elements of traditional Korean martial arts training, such as forms (known as poomsae in Korean martial arts) and meditation. These additional training methods help Korean Judo practitioners develop focus, discipline, and mental fortitude in addition to physical skills.


Competitive Judo is governed by the International Judo Federation (IJF) and follows a set of rules and regulations that dictate how matches are scored and conducted. Korean Judo competitions may follow similar rules to traditional Judo competitions, but they may also incorporate elements of traditional Korean martial arts competitions, such as forms competitions or demonstrations of self-defense techniques. Additionally, Korean Judo competitions may include sparring matches that allow practitioners to showcase their striking techniques in addition to their grappling skills.


Judo has a strong emphasis on mutual benefit and respect, with practitioners encouraged to develop not only their physical skills but also their character and moral values. Korean Judo shares this emphasis on respect and discipline but may also incorporate elements of traditional Korean philosophy and ethics into its teachings. For example, Korean Judo practitioners may learn about the five tenets of Taekwondo – courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit – as part of their training.

Global Influence

Judo has a strong global presence, with millions of practitioners around the world and a well-established system of international competitions and organizations. Korean Judo, while less well-known outside of Korea, has also gained popularity in recent years as more practitioners seek to explore the unique blend of techniques and philosophies that it offers. Both Judo and Korean Judo continue to evolve and grow, with practitioners from different backgrounds and cultures contributing to the development of these martial arts.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.