World Judo Championships: An introduction to the 'gentle way'

Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT) January 24, 2018
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The first judo school dates back to 1882 in Tokyo. Traditionally a Japanese practice, it has gradually spread across the planet and established itself as one of the world's most popular combat sports. Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Literally meaning "gentle way," judo techniques harness an opponent's force to your own advantage by throwing and pinning them to the ground. Ken Ishii/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Judo was first seen at the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, and a women's competition was added at the Barcelona Games in 1992. Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
No judoka has more world championships gold medals than Teddy Riner. In September 2017, the legendary Frenchman won his ninth title, before hitting double figures at an open weight competition in Marrakech. ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
"It is a sport that demands an irreproachable lifestyle," Riner tells CNN, "a sport that demands rigor." David Ramos/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
On the women's side, Ryoko Tani's record stands out. The Japanese Judoka has seven world titles, and upon her retirement was hailed as the "best female judoka ever." OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Majlinda Kelmendi tears up after being crowned Kosovo's first ever gold medalist at the Rio Olympics in the women's 52 kg weight category. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images South America/Getty Images
At 218 kilos, judoka Ricardo Blas Jr. (seen here on the right competing at London 2012) is the world's heaviest Olympian. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin is a judo master, denoted by wearing a black belt. ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/AFP/Getty Images