Title:
JUDO GAMES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A board game of Judo competition and strategy for two players comprising a field of play in the form of a rectangular grid of individually identified squares, preferably eleven squares along its length and preferably eight squares across its width, preferably divided into three zones. Gameplay is carried out by moving a plurality of playing pieces, preferably forty (40) in number for each player for placement on squares of said grid, said plurality of playing pieces being identified by color as belonging to one player or the other. The object of the game is to find Kodokan and to avoid Kano. The first player to discover her opponent' s Kodokan piece wins the game or the first player to discover her opponent's Kano piece loses the game.



Inventors:
Boom, Jacob Van Der (Erikslund, SE)
Boom, Cornelis Van Der (Stellendam, NL)
Application Number:
12/339865
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
12/19/2008
Assignee:
Boom, Jacob Van Der (Erikslund, SE)
Boom, Cornelis Van Der (Stellendam, NL)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jacob, Van Der Boom (Sillre Nora 350, Erikslund, omitted)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A board game of Judo competition and strategy for two players comprising; a game board having a field of play in the form of a rectangular grid of individually identified squares, preferably eleven squares along its length and preferably eight squares across its width, preferably divided into three zones; a plurality of playing pieces, preferably 40 in number, for each player for placement on squares of said grid, said plurality of playing pieces being identified by color as belonging to one player or the other and that the playing pieces are divided into two main groups or categories, preferably designated Judoka pieces and Judo Special pieces; playing pieces that have different symbols, text and numbers that designate ranks or values that distinguish the playing pieces from one another; a type of Judo Special playing piece, preferably designated Kodokan, that when discovered allows the discovering player to directly win the game and a type of Judo Special playing piece, preferably designated Kano, that when discovered allows the discovering player to directly loose the game.

2. A board game as in claim 1 wherein the respective playing pieces of each player may all have some type of marker attached to the piece on at least one of its sides that designates a change in the piece's rank, either a promotion or a demotion.

3. A board game as in claim 1 wherein the respective playing pieces of each player all have at least one groove, slot, notch, hole or other indentation on at least one of its sides that can temporarily hold at least one marker that designates a change in the piece's rank, either a promotion or a demotion.

4. A board game as in claim 1 wherein each respective set of playing pieces of each player has a type of Judo Special playing piece of at least one in number, preferably designated a Rule Violation piece that when discovered confers the discovering player with a penalty which forfeits the player at least three turns.

5. A board game as in claim 1 wherein each respective set of playing pieces of each player has a type of Judo Special playing piece of at least one in number, preferably designated a Referee piece, that when a player moves their piece onto a square occupied by one of the opponent's Referee pieces, the discovering or attacking piece must retreat to the square it attacked from and the Referee piece retains its position and that the Referee pieces are never removed from the board and furthermore that the attacking piece is demoted one level and also that the attacking player also receives a penalty and forfeits at least three turns.

6. A board game as in claim 1 wherein each respective set of playing pieces of each player has its Judoka pieces, divided into a first group preferably designated Mudansha (Disciple or Color belt level) pieces and a second group preferably designated Yudansha (Master or Black belt level) pieces.

7. A board game as in claim 6 where the first group of Judoka pieces, preferably designated Mudansha (Disciple or Color belt level) pieces are ranked as follows from lowest to highest rank: 6 Kyu or White belt, 5 Kyu or Yellow belt, 4 Kyu or Orange belt, 3 Kyu or Green belt, 2 Kyu or Blue belt, and 1 Kyu or Brown belt.

8. A board game as in claim 6 where the second group of Judoka pieces, preferably designated Yudansha (Master or Black belt level) pieces are ranked as follows from lowest to highest rank: 1 Dan, 2 Dan, 3 Dan, 4 Dan, 5 Dan, 6 Dan, 7 Dan, 8 Dan, 9 Dan, 10 Dan and World Champion.

9. A board game as in claim 3 wherein the respective playing pieces of each player all consist of an elastic material partially or completely surrounding the groove, slot, notch, or other indentation on at least one of its sides that can temporarily hold at least one marker that designates a change in the piece's rank, either a promotion or a demotion.

10. A board game as in claim 3 wherein the respective playing pieces of each player all consist of an elastic material partially or completely surrounding the groove, slot, notch, or other indentation, preferably of a plastic material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a strategy-type board game and more specifically to a strategy-game that simulates the martial art of Judo in practice and competition. The art of Judo is simulated by two opposing players on the end sides of a game board moving pieces that represent Judo entities by a set of rules in order to win the game.

Technical Background

Judo means “gentle way” and is a modern Japanese martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is either to throw one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an opponent to submit by joint locking the elbow or by applying a choke. Judo is viewed as a means for governing and improving oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally and is in this respect seen as having a holistic approach to life. Judo has been practiced for over a century by millions of people worldwide and is especially popular in Japan where several million enjoy the sport. Judo became an Olympic sport for men in 1964 and for women in 1988, which further underlines its international appeal and practice. Professor Jigoro Kano is credited with creating modern Judo and in 1882 he founded what is called the Kodokan, the head Dojo (“place for teaching the way”) which is still the world's foremost Judo institution.

Many participants at Judo tournaments and competitions have traveled great distances to participate. It is not uncommon, especially for children and youths, to only participate in a few matches with long periods of time between matches. This is especially problematic for younger participants who have the need to occupy their time so as not to become bored. The stress and nervousness of competition before and after matches is also a problem. In addition, participants eliminated from competition often feel upset over losing which is also a problem. There is a clear need for mind stimulating activity before, between and after matches, preferably connected to the sport. There are also problems, especially for younger participants of the sport, to easily understand the different aspects (Judo ranks, rules, philosophy etcetera) of the art of Judo. There is a need for an effortless and unproblematic way to interest, educate and even develop the skills necessary to participate in the sport.

There are many situations besides sports tournaments were lack of meaningful activities, especially for children and youths, may cause problems such as boredom, restlessness, mischievous behavior and even a reduction in mental capacity. Such situations may arise during travel, adverse weather conditions (snow, rain, etcetera), periods of waiting due to power black outs, visiting relatives and the like, sickness and/or the lack of other stimulating activities to pass time. There is a clear need to provide solutions to these problems that are stimulating, fun and challenging as well as educational.

Board games are often used to stimulate learning and social activity and as a fun way to pass time. Different types of board games that simulate sports have existed for many years, but none of them are specifically designed to simulate Judo. Thereby these games differ greatly from the present invention.

Prior Art

The French patent FR396795 describes a method of playing a strategic war game with a game board divided into squares and game pieces of different ranks that are similar to the board and pieces of the present invention. However the game concept is of a completely different type than the present invention because it is designed after the art of Judo. Furthermore the rules, the number and function of playing pieces, the board zones, etcetera all differ from the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,715,758 describes a method of playing a football-type game and is a succession of actions characterized by the following description: Two players take turns rolling dice and moving by one move one of their player pieces across the squares of the game board, which are not occupied by other pieces or a ball player piece to the number of squares up to the number appearing on the roll of the said dice in the direction which the players chooses. If the player piece or the goal keeper player piece reaches the square which is occupied by a ball player piece, the said player pieces catch the ball player piece and after the repeated throw of dice (out of turn in this case) the player moves the ball player piece upon the said game board until the moment when the ball player piece crosses her opponent's goal line. This patent is of a completely different type compared with the present invention in regards to design, rules, movement, number and function of playing pieces, the board zones, etcetera and because it is not fashioned after a martial art, specifically the art of Judo.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,476,263 with the title, Sports Championship Table Game, has a board with a path of travel defined on it with zones to which pieces are positioned and drawing member determine their positions and half-paths. This patent is of a completely different type compared with the present invention in regards to design, rules, movement, number and function of playing pieces, the board zones, etcetera and because it is not fashioned after a martial art, specifically the art of Judo.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a game designed to resemble team competition in Judo. The game simulates two teams of Judo participants that travel to Tokyo for a tournament. Two teams compete against each other to find Kodokan (International Judo Institute) and by doing so win the game. Each team consists of several Judo competitors and other Judo entities.

One advantage of the present invention is that it provides a strategy-type board game with a plurality of moveable pieces which stimulates memory and the development of strategic thinking. Another advantage is that the game provides for stimulating amusement during periods of inactivity in conjunction with tournaments and competition, especially Judo tournaments and competitions. The present invention is also an educational tool for understanding and learning different aspects of Judo such as rank and philosophy. Furthermore the present invention can also be utilized in other situations where both adults and/or children require some sort of recreation, for example during rainy days, travel, social gatherings or the like. The present invention is also advantageous during periods of sickness or diminished physical capacity due to accidents or the like. This is especially advantageous for practitioners of Judo who for some reason (broken bones, newly operated, etcetera) can not physically participate in the sport either temporarily or permanently.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A better understanding of the present invention will be provided by consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts and in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of the game board;

FIGS. 2 and 3 show a playing piece according to the invention;

FIG. 4 shows the start position for the playing pieces before the game starts;

FIG. 5 shows the possible movements of the playing pieces upon the board game in the first phase of the game;

FIG. 6 shows the possible movements of the playing pieces upon the board game in the second phase of the game;

FIG. 7 shows an example of the position that five of the playing pieces need to achieve, according to the rules of play, before further forward movement is allowed in the first phase of the game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As it is illustrated in FIG. 1, the game board utilized in accordance with the invention has a rectangular shape and the playing field 1 is divided into preferably eleven squares along its length and eight squares across its width. The playing field 1 is divided into three zones by lines 2. The two end zones 3 are called the Tokyo zones and the intermediate zone is called the Randori zone 4.

The playing pieces shown in the figures consist of a character with a flat base which fits within one of the squares of the playing board. Each player has forty (40) playing pieces which are preferably of a distinctive color so that each player's playing pieces can be identified and distinguished from the other player's playing pieces. Furthermore each piece has a symbol, number and/or text that designates the rank or value that distinguishes it from other pieces. This rank or value of each player's pieces is only visible to the respective player and not to their opponent.

The Judo Game Rules of Play

The following text describes the current preferred embodiment of the present invention regarding the general rules that govern the board game play.

Basic Game Concept

The present invention is a strategic-type board game featuring an eleven by eight (11×8) rectangular board as shown in FIG. 1 and two players with forty (40) pieces 5 each as shown in FIG. 4. Pieces represent individual Judo officials and competitors in a match-type setting. The game is essentially an abstract-type strategy game. The object of the game is to find the opponent's Kodokan playing piece and to avoid uncovering the opponent's Kano playing piece. The first to discover her opponent's Kodokan piece wins the match or the first to discover her opponent's Kano piece loses the match. Players cannot see the ranks of each others' pieces, so discovery and memory are important elements of the game.

Each of the two players uses pieces 5 of an exact same shape as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 but of different colors, for example all of player one's pieces may for example be green and all of player two's pieces may for example be blue. Pieces are colored on at least one side 6 preferably on both sides, so players can easily distinguish between their own pieces and their opponent's pieces. Symbols, ranks and/or names 7 are only printed on one side and placed so that players cannot identify specific opponent's pieces. Pieces may for example be decorated with illustrative Judo-type stances or figures 8 that symbolize the respective rank and specific type of game piece. For example a representation of Professor Kano may be placed on the Kano piece. Each player moves one piece per turn except during penalties. If a piece is moved onto a square occupied by an opposing piece, their respective identities are revealed, the weaker piece is then removed from the board, and the stronger piece either holds its position or occupies the position of the weaker piece. If the engaging pieces are of equal rank, both are removed. Pieces may not move onto a square already occupied by the same team.

Game Setup

Players may arrange their forty (40) pieces in any internal relationship desired (except for the Kodokan and Kano Pieces described below) on a designated five by eight (5×8) section on each end of the playing board as shown in FIG. 4. The pre-play arrangement distinguishes the fundamental strategy of a particular player, and to an extent influences play and even the final outcome of the game.

By placing, for example too many weak pieces on the forward rows, a player may find it difficult to advance. If for example a player moves too many strong pieces deep into their opponents Tokyo zone, this may leave the player unable to defend her own Kodokan from being discovered by her opponent.

Games Pieces

The forty (40) game pieces for each player are divided into two main categories, preferably designated Judoka pieces, divided into Mudansha (Disciple or Color level) pieces and Yudansha (Master or Black belt level) pieces and the Judo Special pieces. The Judoka pieces are ranked. A higher ranked piece wins over a lower ranked piece with exceptions for promotions and demotions (see below) and Special pieces. Judoka pieces are ranked as follows from lowest to highest rank: Mudansha (Disciple or Color belt pieces); 6 Kyu or White belt, 5 Kyu or Yellow belt, 4 Kyu or Orange belt, 3 Kyu or Green belt, 2 Kyu or Blue belt, and 1 Kyu or Brown belt. Yudansha (Master or Black belt) pieces are ranked as follows from lowest to highest rank: 1 Dan, 2 Dan, 3 Dan, 4 Dan, 5 Dan, 6 Dan, 7 Dan, 8 Dan, 9 Dan, 10 Dan and World Champion. There are four types of Special pieces for each player, two Rule Violation pieces, two Referee pieces, the Professor Kano piece and the Kodokan piece. Playing pieces may be made of any material suitable for the purpose such as plastic, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, stone and the like. Playing pieces may contain for example some form of groove, slot, notch, hole or other indentation, preferably surrounded (partially or completely) by an elastic material for holding a marker in place (see text regarding promotion and demotion below).

Gameplay

The starting player is determined either by agreement or for example by a toss of a coin or the like. The game board is divided into three zones as shown in FIG. 1 that govern play and set boundaries for the movement of certain pieces (see text below).

Movement: The general rules of movement are that all pieces (some restrictions apply, see text below) may move forward, to the right and left but not backward or diagonally as shown in FIG. 5. There is an exception to the general rules in regards to backward movement when a playing piece has been promoted. All pieces that have earned a promotion may move backward in any zone on the game board as shown in FIG. 6. See text below for rules on how promotion and demotion occur.

When a player moves one of her Judoka pieces onto a square occupied by the opponent, the ranks of both pieces are revealed. The weaker piece is then removed from the board, and the stronger piece either holds its position, if defending, or occupies, if attacking, the position of the weaker piece. If the engaging pieces are of equal rank, both are removed. Pieces may not move onto a square already occupied by the same team.

In order to move a player's piece beyond her foremost line she must have at least five Judoka pieces on the same row (Line of Five) across the board as exemplified in FIG. 7. At the start of the game a player always has a full row (eight pieces) across the board on her foremost line as shown in FIG. 4. A player may always move pieces as far forward as her foremost line permits. Once a player manages to place five Jodoka pieces on the same row across the board the player is allowed to move as many pieces as possible forward to the next row. Once a player manages to place five Judoka pieces on that row, it is possible to once again move forward as many pieces as possible to the next row and so on. Once a player manages to move forward from the Line of Five, she no longer needs to keep five pieces on said row to move forward one row from the original Line of Five. The Line of Five must consist of Judoka pieces in order for further forward movement. For example a row consisting of four Judoka pieces and one Special piece must wait until one more Judoka piece reaches the row before any of the pieces can move forward. Once a player crosses into the opponent's Tokyo zone, a Line of Five Judoka pieces is no longer required for forward movement. A player who for example has crossed into the opponent's Tokyo Zone may proceed all the way to the last row of the board with a single piece if not stopped by the opponent.

When a player moves her piece onto a square occupied by one of the opponent's Referees, the attacking piece must retreat to the square it attacked from. The Referee retains its position. Referees are never removed from the board. Furthermore the attacking piece is demoted one level. For example a Dan 10 piece becomes a Dan 9 and so on (see Demotion rules below). The attacking player also receives a penalty and forfeits three turns.

Two of each player's pieces are designated Rule Violation pieces. When an opposing piece attacks a Violation piece, the Violation piece is removed and the attacking piece takes its place, but the attacking player receives a penalty and must forfeit three turns.

Special Piece Movement: The Professor Kano piece may only move within the respective player's Tokyo zone and cannot attack. The Kano piece may move backward but this should be done sparingly so as not to tip off the opponent more than necessary. The Kodokan piece may also only move within the respective player's Tokyo zone and cannot attack. The Kodokan piece may move backward but this should also be done sparingly so as not to tip off the opponent more than necessary. The Referee pieces and the Rule Violation Pieces move as Judoka pieces except that they cannot attack. These pieces may also move backward even though they cannot be promoted (see text below) once they cross into an opponents Tokyo zone.

Promotion and demotion: A piece's rank during play may change over the course of the game. Promotions and demotions are an important aspect of the game and change the way pieces may move on the board (see the above text for rules of movement).

A piece that crosses the opponents Tokyo Zone line, preferably red in color, and enters the opponents Tokyo Zone earns an automatic promotion that will designate a new rank. A Promotion marker (P-marker), preferably green in color, is attached or placed on the piece to signify this. It is only possible for a piece to be promoted once during a game, for example moving out of an opponent's Tokyo zone and then moving in again does not earn another promotion. The Professor Kano piece and the Kodokan piece may not be promoted or demoted. The World Champion piece may not be promoted or demoted regardless of movement into the opponent's Tokyo zone or by attacking a Referee. A Dan b 10 piece may be promoted to a Dan 11 rank and a White Belt piece may not be demoted. No piece can be demoted more than once during a game. Referee pieces cannot be promoted or demoted. Rule Violation pieces cannot be promoted or demoted. Demotions only occur when a Referee piece is attacked. A Demotion marker (D-marker), preferably red in color, is attached or placed on the piece to signify this. A piece that has been demoted before reaching the opponent's Tokyo zone has its former rank returned once it has entered the opponent's Tokyo zone because it then receives a promotion. There are preferably twenty (20) P-markers and twenty (20) D-markers for each player. P-markers and D-markers may be of any size, shape or material suitable for the purpose. Attachment or placement of a marker may be accomplished by any number of know means suitable for the purpose, for example magnets if the playing pieces are made of magnetic material, non-permanent stickers, by Velcro or by insertion of the marker into the playing piece either vertically or horizontally. Insertion of a marker may for example be accomplished by the playing piece having a groove along one of its sides, preferably at its base in an essentially horizontal direction. A marker can thus be easily slipped into or pressed into said groove and be held in place as long as necessary. A marker may for example be placed on any side of the playing piece, but preferably on the side facing the player.

Zones: The game board is preferably divided into three zones by lines as shown in FIG. 1. The two end zones are preferably called the Tokyo zones and the intermediate zone is preferably called the Randori zone. The Kodokan and the Kano pieces may not move out of their respective Tokyo zones. Players start the game by moving onto the only row in the Randori zone that is empty at the start of the game one piece per turn. Further forward movement of a player's pieces in the Randori zone is only allowed when five of the player's Judoka pieces are on the same row of squares as shown in FIG. 7. When a player has five Judoka pieces on the same row of squares, advancement to the next row is allowed. This procedure is repeated until the player reaches her opponent's Tokyo zone. When a player has reached her opponents Tokyo zone, movement is not longer restricted to the Line of Five pieces. Individual pieces may now move forward regardless of how many of the player's pieces are on the row of squares behind the piece being moved (see the section on Movement above for further instructions).

ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Pieces demoted under their original rank may never move backward even though they have received a promotion. A piece with for example two demotions below its original rank may still move backward if promoted one rank. Referee pieces move just as any other Judoka piece and may even receive a promotion but Referee pieces may not attack and cannot be demoted. A piece that attacks a promoted Referee is demoted two ranks but forfeits only one turn.

When a player enters their opponent's Tokyo zone, the opponent may now only move their pieces forward in their Tokyo zone, attacking sideways is however allowed. All other sideways and backward movement must cease until all intruders in the Tokyo zone have been defeated. This rule prevents for example endless shuffling movements by players.

Referee pieces receive a promotion upon entering an opponent's Tokyo zone. Rule Violation pieces also receive a promotion upon entering an opponent's Tokyo zone but they cannot be demoted. A Judoka piece receives one demotion each time it attacks an unpromoted Referee. A Judoka piece receives two demotions each time it attacks a promoted Referee and two D-markers are placed on the piece to signify each time this happens. No piece may be demoted below the White belt rank.

When a player's piece has entered their opponent's Tokyo zone and received a promotion, that piece is now allowed to move more than one square per turn. A promoted piece may move forward, backward or sideways as many squares as desired, in any zone, as long as those squares are unoccupied.

The Professor Kano piece may only move within the respective player's Tokyo zone and cannot attack. The Professor Kano piece may not move backward. The Kodokan piece may also only move within the respective player's Tokyo zone and cannot attack. The Kodokan piece may not move backward.

The World Champion is the highest ranked playing piece. Upon entering their opponent's Tokyo zone the World Champion does receive a green marker and can now move more than one square at a time. When the World Champion attacks an opponent's Referee, a red marker is added to the piece which signifies revoking the privilege of being able to move more than one square at a time. Furthermore the World Champion has to retreat to the nearest unoccupied square of their own Tokyo zone.

The judo board game which is described in this text may be realized with the aid of a computer. In this case, the game board and the playing pieces are displayed on a computer screen or the like.

In the regular variant (without the computer), it is possible to make a folding game board, with folding halves or quarters or other suitable folding divisions.

All pieces receive a promotion (P-marker) after entering their opponent's Tokyo zone including Referee pieces, Rule Violation pieces and World Champion pieces. All Judoka pieces are demoted (D-marker) after attacking a Referee Piece and have to return to the nearest unoccupied square of their own Tokyo zone. A player's piece that has been demoted (D-marker) before reaching their opponent's Tokyo zone is promoted (P-marker) once it has entered their opponent's Tokyo zone. This is signified by removing the D-marker and inserting a P-marker. A demoted piece (D-marker) that attacks a Referee a second time while still demoted will not be demoted further.

If a World Champion piece attacks a Violation piece in their opponent's Tokyo zone, the Professor Kano piece of the attacking player has to retreat to the second line of their own Tokyo zone (the third line of the Tokyo zone is the line nearest the Randori zone and the first line is the line farthest from the Randori zone). If the Professor Kano piece is already standing on the second line no action is taken. If a Violation piece is once again attacked by a World Champion piece, the Professor Kano piece must retreat to the first line of the attacking player's Tokyo zone. If the Professor Kano piece is already standing on the first line no action is taken. This makes it easier for a player to enter their opponent's Tokyo zone and not immediately meet the Professor Kano piece and lose the game.

It will be evident that there are additional embodiments which are not described in the above or illustrated in the drawings but which are clearly within the scope and spirit of the present invention. For example several different combinations of the above rules are possible as well as variations on the above rules. The description above and the drawings are therefore intended only to be exemplary and the scope of the invention is not to be limited by the description or drawings.

ADVANTAGEOUS OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a stimulating, fun and challenging as well as educational recreational activity for practically all ages. The game allows for a meaningful activity, especially for children and youths and relieves problems such as boredom, restlessness, mischievous behavior and even a reduction in mental capacity. Another advantage of the present invention is that it relieves the stress and nervousness of Judo competition before and after matches especially during tournament play. Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it fosters understanding and interest in the art and sport of Judo. A further advantage is that Judo participants eliminated from competition can be cheered up by playing the game. A still further advantage is that the present invention is a fun way to pass time.





 
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