Olympic Combat Sports (The Full List)

Combat sports are competitive contact sports with a long history with martial arts and many contests in the Olympics. They involve one-on-one combat, where a fighter wins by scoring more points or submitting/knocking out the opponent using effective striking or grappling techniques.

Popular combat sports include Boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Judo, Karate fencing, Muay Thai, Sambo, Sanda, Savate, Tae Kwon Do, and Vale Tudo. However, not all fighting sports compete in the Olympics; thus, keep reading to learn more about the official Olympic combat sports.

What Are the Olympic Combat Sports?

Wrestling, Boxing, pankration, and other combat sports have existed for thousands of years; some even contested in the ancient Greece Olympic Games. However, things have changed since the IOC recognizes only a few combat sports in the modern Summer Olympic Games.

The following are some of the most well-known combat sports in the modern Olympics.


is judo in the olympics

Judo is one of the world’s most famous combat sports, contested in the Olympics since 1964. In addition, it is a favorite grappling discipline with millions of practitioners and fanatics.

This gentle art was developed in Japan by Jigoro Kano in the 1880s combining several modified jujitsu martial art techniques. And nowadays, it is regulated by the International Judo Federation, which hosts several competitions, such as World Judo Championships and Judo World Masters, among other fantastic tournaments.

Aside from that, the IJF has significantly improved and regulated the Judo combat sport since its inception in 1951.

As a result, Judo was one of the first combat sports to appear in the Olympics, first appearing in the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 1964. Moreover, the art of Judo is still one of the official Olympic sports for Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028, and future events.

Aside from that, females’ judokas competed in the Olympics as a demonstration combat sport in 1988 before evolving as an official Olympic event in 1992. The Women’s Judo Olympic tournament has been a staple of the games ever since.

Related ArticleWhy is Judo an Olympic Combat sport?

Tae Kwon Do

is taekwondo in the olympics

Taekwondo is a traditional Korean combat sport emphasizing many kicking and punching techniques.

The TKD fighting sport started as an Olympic demonstration combat sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Then, it was a demonstration sport at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.

In 2000, Taekwondo became a medal event at Sydney Summer Olympics. And it has remained an Olympic combat sport since then.

Aside from that, Tae-kwon-do is a famous combat sport that has over 20 million practitioners in over 212 countries. And it is regulated by the World Taekwondo Federation (founded in 1973).

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olympic boxing weight classes

Boxing is a well-known combat sport with millions of fans and practitioners that first appeared in the Olympics in 1904. However, it is a famous striking fighting sport that has existed for thousands of years since it was contested in ancient Greek Boxing in 1500 BC.

It’s one-on-one fighting, with boxers fighting each other while standing and wearing gloves and mouthguards until the judge stops the fight.

Amateur Boxing has been an Olympic combat sport since the 1904 Summer Olympics‎. Also, Women’s Boxing has been an official combat Olympic sport since 2012 during London Summer Games.

At the Olympic Games, amateur Boxing matches last three rounds of three minutes each. The bout is then scored by five judges, who award points for successful hits. The fighter who scores the most points wins the match.

Aside from that, Olympic Boxing (Amateur boxing) is regulated by the International Boxing Association (founded in 1946 ), which hosts several competitions worldwide, such as World Boxing Tour, ASBC Boxing Championships, and European boxing championships, among other fantastic IBA tournaments.

Although, the IBA is not the only boxing body since several other federations govern professional Boxing, such as International Boxing Federation (founded in 1983 ) and World Boxing Council (founded in 1963 ).

Moreover, professional Boxing doesn’t contest in the Olympics but has several world-class tournaments in the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Related ArticleOlympic Boxing Weight Classes


are there any wrestling takedowns in jiu jitsu

Wrestling is one of the oldest combat sports in human history. Wrestlers contested at the ancient Olympic games in 708 BCE. Today, Wrestling has competed in the Olympics since 1896 and has millions of active practitioners.

Aside from that, there are three primary forms of Wrestling practiced worldwide Greco-Roman Wrestling, Freestyle wrestling, and Collegiate Wrestling. But, only freestyle (men and women) and Greco-Roman Wrestling (men only) are in the Olympics.

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olympic karate weight divisions

Karate originated in East Asia in the 17th century before its way to Japan in the 1920s. Then, using Karate, various Japanese martial arts schools developed distinct, successful kick and punch techniques and combinations.

Today, Karate is a popular fighting sport that is rehearsed worldwide. It is regulated by World Karate Federation (founded in 1970) and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Karate made its Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in two forms: Kumite and Kata Karate. However, this is only a temporary victory because Karate was excluded from the Paris Olympics in 2024 and may face the same fate in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Related Post: Why Karate was removed from the Paris Olympics in 2024


Fencing is another well-known combat sport that has been part of the Olympic Games since the 1896 Games in Athens. In addition, the Olympic competition for women’s fencing began in 1924 in Paris.

Fencing is divided into numerous styles, including foil, epée, and saber. In addition, fencing contests can be solo or team-based.


The Summer Olympics are one of the most renowned competitions in which nations compete for gold medals. It occurs every four years and features various combat sports disciplines, including combat sports.

Here’s a rundown of the Olympic combat sports:

  • Taekwondo
  • Judo
  • Boxing
  • Karate
  • Fencing
  • Wrestling

We hope this article has helped you learn the various Olympic combat sports.

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