Fans watching the Tokyo Olympic Games were left speechless after witnessing a Judo coach slap his athlete.

Now surprisingly, Judo was listed as a male-only sport right up until the 1988 Summer Olympics when women participated in Judo as a demonstration sport, after which women were then allowed to compete. Women Judoka then went on to be awarded medals at the 1992 Olympics, which is surprisingly late in the Olympics history.

Judo has increased in popularity ever since and it is now a full-on combat sport, meaning that a slight inaccuracy or even a lapse in focus can lead to defeat.

The objective of judo is to force an opponent to the ground, hold them there, or make them submit with a joint lock or a choke. That might sound shocking to some, but not quite as crazy as what was recently captured live at one of the events...

Judo star Martyna Trajdos was about to take on Hungarian rival Szofi Ozbas in the women's 63 KG category when she received a quick pep-talk from her instructor.

And what he did to pump her up for the competition has left viewers stunned...

The coach shook Trafjos to kick-start her adrenaline, before slapping her on either side of the face.

The thirty-two-year-old, who was European champion in 2015 and bronze world medalist, was later beaten - despite the harsh preparation for the fight.

Her result meant Trajdos was eliminated from the competition but it's the video of her pre-fight ritual that was captured on camera that got people talking on social media.

The damning footage clearly left people wondering what was actually going on, and why he would ever do that to the athlete.

Fans were quick to jump on the coach's back and demand answers for his seemingly dodgy motivational methods...

One social media user tweeted: "There is context. There must be context. *whispers: what is the context?*"

While another simply said: "What the..."

However, German star Trajdos was quick to defend her coach...

"Looks like this was not hard enough," Trajdos joked in her post on Instagram referencing the slaps.

She then added: "I wish I could have made a different headline today. As I already said, that's the ritual which I chose pre-competition! My coach is just doing what I want him to do to fire me up."

Some commenters responded to the post saying that they understood the pre-competition ritual.

"Judokas understand this," a commenter wrote.

Several commenters also wrote that they were proud of the Olympian, who managed to make it to round sixteen but was then beaten by Italian Maria Centracchio, who later won bronze.

French athlete Clarisse Agbegnenou won the gold medal while Slovenia's Tina Trstenjak took home silver.

So, it turns out that the occasional slap is considered rather encouraging in the world of Judo! What do you think about the coach's unorthodox methods?