Judo may not seem as popular and exciting as karate or kickboxing to some people. But this is deceptive, we introduce you to a number of famous juodokas and judo actors.

Bekannte Judoka und Judo Schauspieler

Most famous male judoka

  • Tadahiro Nomura is now considered the world’s most successful judoka of all time, having won three Olympic gold medals. Unsurprisingly, he hails from judo’s founding country, Japan. Although a look at the medal table of the Judo World Championships reveals that Japan has two and a half times as many gold medals as second-placed France, there are several German world champions who successfully faced the founding country in judo competition. You shall get to know some of them in the following.
  • Udo Quellmalz, holder of the 7th Dan, won a gold medal at the Olympics and two world championship titles and also became GDR champion 2 times and German champion 4 times.
  • Dietmar Lorenz was the first German Olympic champion in 1980 and also carries the 7th Dan.
  • Purely in terms of the Olympics, the most successful German athletes are Frank Wieneke and Ole Bischof, who each won one gold and one silver medal.
    Frank Wieneke was also the national coach for 8 years and carries the 7th Dan.
  • The current national coach since 2009 is Detlef Ultsch and has been world champion twice in his active career, with his first world title being the first German ever.

Famous female judoka

  • The first German female world champion in the weight category up to 72 kg was Barbara Claßen in 1982. She was also awarded the silver laurel leaf by the German President and collected various other trophies before committing suicide in 1990.
  • Other successful German judo women are the world champions Alexandra Schreiber-Little in 1987, Frauke Eickhoff in 1991 and Johanna Hagn in 1993.
  • Probably the most successful German judoka is Yvonne Bönisch, who won the first German women’s gold medal at the Olympics in 2004 in the category up to 57 kg. Already at the age of 15, she won the championship title at the German U19 Championships for the first time and was always represented at the top of judo rankings. In 2003 and 2005 she won silver at the World Championships and was presented with the Silver Laurel Leaf in 2004. In February 2010, she was awarded the 6th Dan, making her the youngest 6th Dan holder ever. Since 2013, the studied sports manager is active as a state coach in Brandenburg.

Which well-known judo actors are there?

Interestingly, there is little demonstrable influence of judo on the film world. Many actors are known to learn exactly what they need for their role and therefore do not necessarily wear the black belt, even if they embody a great master in their role. Probably the most famous actor who learned judo in real life is Steven Seagal, who is known to you from a long list of films from the genre of martial arts.

But what is the reason that there are hardly any judo actors?

One reason is certainly that the techniques of judo were honed to be suitable for athletic competition. Although the throws are undoubtedly effective, they have the problem that they usually look unspectacular.

This is not a problem for competition, but a problem for Hollywood, if you know what I mean. Here, techniques from sports are usually used that look more dramatic than they really are. However, if you watch one or another movie of this genre, you will notice that one or another technique from judo is hidden. The classic shoulder throw, for example, is often seen, usually with the opponent thrown on top of an object to increase the effect. Other throws are also used, for example in the movie series “Karate Tiger”.

In general, however, judo is simply not for the movies, but for the competition mat. The gentlemen and ladies in Hollywood have also understood this.