List of judoka
This is a list of highly notable judoka (judo practitioners).
- Kano Jigoro (Japan, 1860–1938) founded judo, and established the Kodokan in 1882. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Kano was also a pioneer of international sports. Accomplishments included being the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). His official honours and decorations included the First Order of Merit and Grand Order of the Rising Sun and the Third Imperial Degree. He was inducted to the IJF Hall of Fame on 14 May 1999.
Highest grades 
Only fifteen people have been promoted to 10th dan by the Kodokan. Twelve were promoted between 1935 and 1984. The other three were promoted together on 8 January 2006, and they are the only living 10th dans recognized by the Kodokan.
Three judoka have been promoted to 10th dan by the IJF, though not recognised by the Kodokan. Some national (country) associations and continental unions have also promoted judoka to 10th dan.
Male – Kodokan 10th dan 
- Yamashita Yoshiaki (Japan, 1865–1935) (aka Yamashita Yoshitugu) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1935, the first person ever awarded 10th dan by the Kodokan. He was also a pioneer of judo in the United States, where he taught judo to President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Hajime Isogai (Japan, 1871–1947) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1937.
- Hidekazu Nagaoka (Japan, 1876–1952) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1937.
- Kyuzo Mifune (Japan, 1883–1965) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1945. Considered to be the greatest judo technician ever after Kano Jigoro.
- Kunisaburo Iizuka (Japan, 1875–1958) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1946.
- Kaichiro Samura (Japan, 1880–1964) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1948.
- Shotaro Tabata (Japan, 1884–1950) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1948.
- Kotaro Okano (Japan, 1885–1967) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1967.
- Matsutaro Shoriki (Japan, 1885–1969) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1969. He was also known as the father of Japanese professional baseball.
- Shozo Nakano (Japan, 1888–1977) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1977.
- Tamio Kurihara (Japan, 1896–1979) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1979.
- Sumiyuki Kotani (Japan, 1903–1991) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan in 1984.
- Ichiro Abe (Japan, c1923–) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan on 8 January 2006, at age 83. Abe was international chairperson of the All Nippon Judo Federation and has strong links internationally through the coaching he has done in Europe.
- Toshiro Daigo (Japan, 1926–) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan on 8 January 2006, at age 80. Daigo is a two-time winner of the All Nippon Judo Tournament (1951 and 1954), and a former manager of the Japanese national team, and is currently Chief Instructor at the Kodokan. Daigo is known by the nickname Mr Kodokan.
- Yoshimi Osawa (Japan, c1927–) promoted to Kodokan 10th dan on 8 January 2006, at age 79. Osawa is also still coaching at the Kodokan, and is recognised for his support of women’s judo. Osawa was known by the nickname Current Ushiwakamaru (Ushiwakamaru was the childhood name of a legendary twelfth-century samurai who was small but quick.)
Male – International Judo Federation 10th dan 
- Charlie Palmer (United Kingdom, 1930–2001), IJF 10th Dan (promoted in 1996), was the first non-Japanese to be the President of the IJF. He was inducted to the IJF Hall of Fame on 8 September 2003.
- Anton Geesink (Netherlands, 1934–2010), IJF 10th Dan (promoted in 1997), was the first non-Japanese ever to have won a World Championship. He was inducted to the IJF Hall of Fame on 8 September 2003.
- George Kerr (United Kingdom, 1937–) IJF 10th dan (promoted in 2010).
Male – 10th dan, not recognised by the Kodokan or the International Judo Federation 
- Mikonosuke Kawaishi (Japan/France, 1899–1969) FFJDA (French Judo Federation) 10th dan
- Philip S. Porter (United States, 1925–2011), USMA 10th dan Judan, January 1, 2005.
- Henri Courtine (France, 1930–), FFJDA 10th dan (promoted in 2007).
- Jeremy Glick (United States, 1970–2001), USJA 10th dan Judan, September 17 , 2008.
Female – 10th dan, not recognised by the Kodokan 
- Keiko Fukuda (Japan/United States, 1913–2013), USJA 10th dan (promoted in 2011), Kodokan 9th dan. The first woman to be promoted past 6th dan following the repeal of the rule banning woman from being awarded higher than 5th dan. The first woman to be promoted to 9th dan by the Kodokan.
- Kenshiro Abbe (Japan, 1915–1985), Kodokan 8th dan, was the youngest student to gain his 4th Dan in Judo. Founded the British Judo Council. He also founded the British Kendo Council, the British Karate Council, and the International Budo Council, and is credited with the introduction of aikido to the UK and Europe.
- Masahiko Kimura (Japan, 1917–1993), defeated Helio Gracie, founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and only lost four times in his entire career.
- Gunji Koizumi (Japan, 1885–1965), Kodokan 8th dan, introduced judo to England. President and founder of the Budokwai. He spent over sixty-four years in judo, teaching it until the day before he died in April 1965.
- Tsunejiro Tomita (Japan, 1865–1937), Kodokan 7th dan, teacher of Mitsuyo Maeda. One of the first two students to be awarded Kōdōkan first grade (shodan). One of the four Guardians of the Kōdōkan.
- Saigō Shirō (Japan, 1886–1922), Kodokan 5th dan. One of the first two students to be awarded Kōdōkan first grade (shodan). One of the four Guardians of the Kōdōkan. Inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's 1943 directorial debut, Sugata Sanshirō.
- Yokoyama Sakujiro (Japan, 1864–1912), Kodokan 7th dan, one of the earliest disciples of Kanō Jigorō, considered the most formidable of all judo experts of his time. One of the four Guardians of the Kōdōkan.
- Mitsuyo Maeda (Japan, 1878–1941), Kodokan 7th dan, pioneer of judo in Brazil, the UK, and other countries, teacher of the Gracie family, fundamental to the creation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was also a prize-fighter in no holds barred competitions.
- Kenji Tomiki (Japan, 1900–1979), Kodokan 8th dan and Aikido 8th dan. Tomiki is perhaps best known in the judo world for development of the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata. His work Judo, published in 1956, is considered a classic.
- Minoru Mochizuki (Japan, 1907–2003), Kodokan 8th dan and Aikido 10th dan. Under the tutelage of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, Mochizuki became the youngest member of the Kobudo Kenkyukai – an organization for the study, preservation and development of classical martial arts – established within the Kodokan. In 1930, he was sent by Jigoro Kano to study aikijujutsu with Morihei Ueshiba. He was the uchideschi of Morihei Ueshiba at the Kobukan dojo for one year before opening his own dojo in Shizuoka City in 1931.
Notable competitors 
- David Douillet (France, 1969–), two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion.
- Kosei Inoue (Japan, 1978–), Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion.
- Jeon Ki-Young (South Korea, 1973–), Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion.
- Toshihiko Koga (Japan, 1967–), Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion.
- Wim Ruska (Netherlands, 1940–), two-time World Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
- Hitoshi Saito (Japan, 1961–), two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Champion. Coached 2004 Japanese Olympic judo team.
- Peter Seisenbacher (Austria, 1960–), two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Champion.
- Yasuhiro Yamashita (Japan, 1957–), the most successful competitive male judoka of all time; four-time World Champion and Olympic gold medalist. Compiled a streak of 203 victories (with 7 draws) up until his retirement.
- Hidehiko Yoshida (Japan, 1969–), World Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and MMA fighter.
Tadahiro Nomura 3-times olympic champion under 60 kg Rishod Sobirov 2 times world champion 2 times asian champion olympic bronze medallist and undefeated throughout 39 professional fights.
- Noriko Anno (Japan, 1976–), Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion.
- Ingrid Berghmans (Belgium, 1961–), six-time World Champion.
- Karen Briggs (England), four-time World Champion. Widely regarded as the most successful British woman in the sport.
- Driulis González (Cuba, 1973–), Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion.
- Kye Sun-Hui (North Korea, 1979–), Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion.
- Ryoko Tani (Japan, 1976–), two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time World Champion. Youngest ever female World Champion in 2011.
- Masae Ueno (Japan, 1979–), two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Champion.
- Ayumi Tanimoto (Japan, 1981–), two-time Olympic gold medalist
- Xian Dongmei (China, 1975–), two-time Olympic gold medalist
- Tong Wen (China, 1983–), Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion.
- Ulla Werbrouck (Belgium, 1972–), Olympic gold medalist and six-time European champion.
- Anthony Clarke (Australia, 1961–), two-time World blind judo champion and gold medalist in the paralympics. Two-time Australian champion against sighted opponents.
- Gene LeBell (USA, 1932–), two time AAU Judo Champion. Later turned to wrestling, stunt work, and refereeing matches including Mohammed Ali v.s. Inoki. Prolific author.
- Gokor Chivichyan (Armenia, 1963–), 9th dan, studied under Gene Lebell.
- Jason Morris (USA, 1967–), 7th dan with 20 gold medals in international competition, 2008 Olympic coach.
- Jan Snijders (Netherlands, 1943–), instructor and referee at the World Championships and Olympic games. Awarded a silver medal by the International Judo Federation in 2003 for his contributions to judo. 8th dan grade holder.
- Ron Tripp (USA, 1953–), 6th dan. Competed in over 2,000 Judo, Sambo, and Wrestling matches. The only person ever to defeat the BJJ champion Rickson Gracie.
- Yosh Uchida (USA, 1920–), head judo coach at San Jose State University for over 60 years. Instrumental in the development of judo into a competitive sport.
- Hank Kraft – trained over 55 national and international competitors who have ranked 1, 2, or 3 in their division 
- Rena Kanokogi (USA, 1935–2009), 7th dan,dubbed "founding mother" of Judo for fighting for equal women's rights and competitions in the sport.
- Murata Naoki, (Japan, 1949–), 7th dan. Authored many books on judo, curator of the Kodokan Judo Museum.
See also 
- List of celebrity judoka
- List of Olympic medalists in judo
- Records related to the World Judo Championships
- List of Canadian judoka
- Judo founder named 1st member of IJF Hall of Fame – Kyodo World News Service.
- The IJF Hall of Fame was established in 1999. Only three people have ever been inducted into it. See IJF Hall of Fame
- American Judo – a Journal of the United States Judo Association – article IJF Hall of Fame in Paris, pages 11–12, Fall/Winter 2005
- Profiles of Kodokan 10th Dan Holders
- Kodokan 10th Dan Promotions – by Llyr Jones, PhD
- "いわてゆかりの人々". Iwate Prefecture.
- Michel Brousse, Le Judo, son histoire, ses succès, Paris, Minerva, 2002
- Judo Heroes – 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games website