Judo: how women managed to give themselves visibility in this sport

Judo is an Olympic sport of Japanese origin founded by Jigoro Kano in 1882, formerly considered an exclusively men’s sport.

Currently many women are encouraged to practice this sport for various reasons. It can already be from simple entertainment to wanting to become a professional judoka. There have always been several inconveniences for women to exercise this sport since there is not enough visibility because they are carried out attack and self defense techniquesnormally associated with males.
Rena Rusty Kanokogi managed to refute all these prejudices and became the first woman to get women’s Judo to be included in the Games Seoul Olympics in 1998. This sport is a combat discipline in which Kanokogi destroyed the stereotype by raising awareness of equal treatment between the sexes, becoming the pioneer that thousands of women judokas will remember as the one who helped them participate in these well-known events. She died with the satisfaction of having been the only American woman to have been seventh And in judo.
She started training this martial art because a classmate of hers taught her a technique that she learned in one of her classes, and she managed to knock it down despite the fact that she weighed 10 kilos more than him, this caught Rena Rusty Kanokogi’s attention and she decided to learn. At first she had difficulties because the instructor of the center where she trained her partner did not want to have her as a student, because judo was considered a sport for men, but in the end she managed to train there thanks to being persistent.

In 1959, she was chosen to compete in that year’s competitions in New York, but as they expected that she would be the only woman in that environment, her coach advised her to cut her hair and bandage her chest to go unnoticed and not have problems. She won the competitions but they found out that she was a woman and forced her to give up the medal. When this happened, the judoka fought even more for equal rights in this sport, achieving many successes such as being a coach, the seventh Dan black belt, and she dedicated herself to refereeing, among others.

“Rena Rutsy Kanokogi training” | Source: Judo News

Miriam Blasco, the Spanish pioneer

Another example of improvement is the judoka Miriam Blasco, who was the first Spanish athlete of this sport to get the gold in 1992, 12 years after the first Women’s Judo World Cup was held in New York. She also won two medals at the world judo championships in 1989 and 1991, and five medals at the European Judo Championship between the years 1988 and 1994. In 1995 he won second place in the Spanish championship but could not qualify for the atlanta olympics in 1996. When she retired, she was a judo coach creating a club called “Club Judo Miriam Blasco”. Miriam Blasco achieved the sixth red white belt And.

“Miriam Blasco wins gold medal” | Source: The Vanguard

These two women are two clear examples of judo pioneers and have encouraged many women to practice it, giving us visibility to be able to participate in the most important competitions that exist in this martial art.




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