Judo—invented in Japan in the 1880s—became an Olympic sport for men in 1964; women competed in the Games starting in 1988. The martial art involves two athletes grappling in an attempt to take down (or throw) the opponent to the ground—and keep 'em there. And as these photos of the men and women competing today prove, the faces of judo are intense.
As her hair flows and their feet fly, Kelita Zupancic of Canada gets a good grip on Haruka Tachimoto of Japan.
Haruka Tachimoto of Japan asks Kim Polling of the Netherlands if her breath smells okay.
Ashley McKenzie of Great Britain vs. Bekir Ozlu of Turkey = OMFG.
Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh of Kazakhstan getting squished by Ami Kondo of Japan.
Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan putting a knees squeeze (official term) on Jake Bensted of Australia.
Shohei Ono of Japan (white uniform) seems almost relaxed as he efficiently strangles Victor Scvortov of United Arab Emirates.
Here's Takanori Nagase of Japan contorting himself around Laszlo Csoknyai of Hungary.
The worlds of Uuganbaatar Otgonbaatar of Mongolia (L) and Mohamed Abdelaal of Egypt, turned upside down.
Feeling worried about the neck vertebrae of Sven Maresch of Germany (L) and Sergiu Toma of United Arab Emirates.
Travis Stevens of the United States (R), um, embraces Avtandili Tchrikishvili of Georgia.
Yarden Gerbi of Israel entangled with Miku Tashiro of Japan.
Netherlands' Daxenos Elmont (white uniform) has a face-to-rump with Hungary's Miklos Ungvari.
And the best face of all: Popole Misenga of the Refugee Olympic Team, celebrating after a win during the preliminary rounds. Though he lost his next bout and will not continue on, according to the AP, the athlete from the Democratic Republic of the Congo told reporters that it was an honor to fight a world champion and "one win was enough."