Judo tests strength, touch, balance and sensitivity and demands a physical and strategic performance. It initially developed as a martial arts activity to practice mobility skills, self-confidence, self-discipline and independence, but eventually it was established as a competitive sport in its own right. It was first included as a Paralympic sport at Seoul in 1988 for men. Female categories were introduced at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.
Competitors use different techniques to overcome or immobilise their opponent. As a Paralympic sport, it is open to visually impaired athletes in several weight categories. Each bout lasts five minutes and the winner is the competitor who scores an ippon or the greater number of points.
The sport is governed by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and follows the International Judo Federation (IJF) rules with slight modifications for athletes with a visual impairment, which allows them contact with their opponent before the start of the match.
There are three classifications based on visual acuity. All classifications must be made by measuring the best eye and to the highest possible correction, so all athletes who wear contact lenses or glasses normally must wear them during classification, whether or not they intend to use them during competition.