29 Weeks of British Olympic and Paralympic sports – Week 18: Judo

The Judo 50p coin was designed by David Cornell.

A fascinating fact about this coin…David did contest Judo as a young man for many years and was forced to stop after injuring his shoulder badly doing the throw that is displayed on this coin!


Here are our usual three questions:

1) Have you seen your coin ‘in the wild’ yet?

I have not seen mine in the wild yet, nor has anyone I know, although I have seen most of the others.

2) Have you heard what the British team think about it?

I have not heard about what the British Team think about it.

3) What are you looking forward to in 2012?

I am looking forward to seeing the Judo at the Games as I have tickets.

We’ve got a video interview with David for you too…enjoy!

About British judo

The following information is taken from the British Judo website which has a wealth of information on the sport’s history as well as news and events.

“Judo is a fascinating Olympic sport. More than that, it is an art form. It is now practised in almost every country of the world

Judo in Britain

With the intention of establishing a ju-jutsu school in England, Mr E W Barton Wright sponsored a visit in 1899 of a team of Japanese judo experts. The project failed but those who stayed took to the stage to earn a living.  Best known among them was Yukio Tani, who toured music halls offering challengers £1 per minute for every minute they lasted beyond five and £50 if they defeated him. The prize money was rarely (if ever) paid. Over the following decade or so many Japanese “showmen” performed on stages around the country performing frivolous tricks linked with ju-jutsu. For all their showmanship, these men were very capable ju-jutsu players. Their real contribution to the growth of judo outside Japan was made in the books they published and the instruction they gave.

Tani remained in England after his compatriots had returned home and in 1920 was formally appointed chief instructor to a new club for “the study of systems developed by the samurai”: the Budokwai.  Neither he nor the club’s founder Gunji Koizumi, could have foreseen that they were creating an institution soon to become the most famous judo school outside Japan.”

Find out more about judo

British judo website

British judo on Twitter

British Judo Association on Facebook

Get the judo 50p

We featured judo as one of the UK’s 29 official London 2012 50p designs!

You can buy the judo 50p from The Royal Mint website.