Seed advantage in sport competitions: the case of professional judo




Martial arts, combat sports, judo, ranking, Monte-Carlo simulation, competition, seed


The author received no funding for this work.


The aim of this paper was to quantify the advantage granted to seeds in the case of professional judo knockout competitions. We used Monte-Carlo simulations to compute statistics including the probability of winning the competition, reaching the final or winning a medal in a standard draw compared to a random draw. We showed that the advantage given to seeds is often significant. As a result, misclassification in the ranking list is at a great disadvantage for top athletes that are not seeded. Interestingly, the advantage given to seeds appears robust as a function of parameters, such as sex or number of athletes, and modelling assumptions. Simulation is a flexible tool for athletes to take decisions in managing their position in the ranking list and to optimize their probability of success in major events.


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Author Biography

Vivien Brunel, Pôle Léonard de Vinci (France)

Professor of applied mathematics and finance at Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Léonard de Vinci (ESILV) a French “Grande Ecole” based in La Défense, the main business district in Paris. He also has position in the banking industry as the head of risk models of Société Générale. These two positions help him to bridge academics with the industry and he published regularly articles in academic peer reviewed journals in the field of risk management, scoring and statistical modelling. He is also a columnist in the magazine “the spirit of judo” in which he writes about science and judo; he has 40 years of experience in judo and aïkido. E-mail:


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How to Cite

Brunel, V. (2022). Seed advantage in sport competitions: the case of professional judo. Revista de Artes Marciales Asiáticas, 17(2), 108–118.