Apparently and understandably, the beginning of JUDO in India is shrouded in mystery. The first definite written reference of Judo Coaching available in Kodokan refers that Gurudev  Ravindernath Tagore arranged demonstrations and coaching of Judo at Shantiniketan in 1929 by Mr. Takagaki, a Japanese Judo Coach to India. This unforgettable, historical and marvelous union of outstanding personalities in two different fields was blesses with the formation of a special poem, on Judo, written by none other that Gurudev Ravindernath Tagore himself.

It is fascination to note that many Indians learned Judo and were graded by Kodokan before 1929 also. As per records at Kodokan Shri. Deshpande was the first Indian to be awarded Black Belt ( Sho-dan ) in 1932. In 1904, five Indian Judokas were practicing Judo in Kodokan. There are evidences that Judo was being practiced in India before 1929 also. Mr. A.F.S. Barodawala learned Judo from two Japanese, who stayed in Mumbai for quite some time, and got Balck Belt in 1930. A few years later French Judo experts also started coaching in Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

The belief that Mr. Khaniwale was the first Indian to learn and start Judo Coaching in India is not correct. As a matter of fact, Mr. Khaniwale went to Japan in 1929 and learned Judo during his stay there. Later on, he was awarded Black Belt ( Sho-dan ) from Kodokan in 1934 and started Judo Club in Amravati, Maharashtra.

In 1965 when Judo Federation of India was formed, there were three prominent Judo Clubs in India. Kajau Judo Club, Wallesley St. Culcutta, under Mrs. Mukerjee ( I K Kyu from Budokwai, London ), Bombay Judo Club, under Shri. N.T. Bangera and Fargusion College, Pune under Shri. Khaniwale.

The next 30 years consolidated the game of Judo in other States and Clubs of India. There wer efforts to broadbase the game and to encourage likeminded individuals to learn the art and skill of Judo. Since, one form of Judo, i.e. `Randori’  was similar to Wrestling, which may caused many wrestlers took interest in Judo and dominated in organizational and day to day functioning, until a batch of real Judokas took keen interest in organizational matters. Most of these Judokas were either from Bambay or Pune and contributed a lot in establishing Judo in India in the true sense of the game.


The formation of Judo Federation of India in 1965, considerably accelerated the growth of Judo in India. In this period of great change and progress, contributions made by Dr. S.A. Pisolkar, Shri. Sheri Dhawan and Shri. L.K. Daga, were outstanding and unforgettable. During the same year the International Judo Federation gave affiliation to this newly constituted body. The first National Judo Championship was held at Hyderabad in 1966, and since then almost every year National Judo Championships are being organized by the Judo Federation of India.

By the Seventies, the game of Judo had generated considerable interest among Indians Certainly, a need for professional Indian Judo Coaches was being felt, as it was not possible to call foreign experts all the time. To overcome this problem and to train more and more Coaches Mr. Takashi Ogata was invited to India in 1976, to start a Diploma course at NS NIS, Patiala. Mr. Morio Suganami, a Japanese Judo Coach, who visited India in 1979, helped a lot in organizing more Judo Competitions at State and National levels.


By now, Judo had got established almost every State. The competition at National level had become very tough. Maharshtra, which was hitherto retaining National Championship, faced though competitions and Judokas of Delhi and Haryana. Although Indian Judo players of this period were skilled and capable of winning the medals ot International level, they could not participate in International Championships due to non-payment of affiliation charges.

Indian Judo owes much to the efforts of Shri. L.K. Daga and Shri. Jagdish Tytler for giving tremendous boost to Judo by ensuring entry of Indian Team in International competitions. Judo was included in the Asian Games in 1986 at Seoul. This was the first International competition for Indian Judo Team and they got FOUR BRONZE Medals. Thereafter, India is continuously winning medals in the International arena.

Indian Judokas qualified in the following Olympic Games:
  • 1992 Barcelona Olympics:         

Mr. Sandeep Byala

Mr. CawasBillimoria      

Mr. Narender singh

Mr. Rajinder Singh

Ms. Sangita Mehta


  • 1996 Atlanta Olympics:             

Late Mr. Narender Singh

Mr. Najib Aga

Ms. Sunith Singh

Ms. Arti Kohli


  • 2000 Athens Olympics:              Late Ms. Brojeshwori Devi         


  • 2004 Sydney Olympics:             Mr. Akram Shah


  • 2008 Beijing Olympics:               Ms. Kh. Tombi Devi &Ms. Diviya


  • 2012 London Olympics               Ms. GarimaChoudhary


  • 2016 Rio Olympics                    Mr. Avtar Singh

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