Geesink first participated in the European Championships in 1951
, and placed second in his category. The following year, he won his first European title. Until 1967
, 20 more European titles would follow.
At the 1961
World Championships, Geesink became World Champion in the open class, defeating the Japanese
, who had won all World Championship titles up to that point.
Judo debuted as an official sport at the 1964 Summer Olympics
, which were held in the sports home country, Japan
. Although Japan dominated 3 of the 4 weight divisions (light,middle and heavy), Anton Geesink won the final of the open weight division, defeating Akio Kaminaga
in front of his home crowd.
After winning the 1965 World Championships and a last European title in 1967, Geesink quit competitive judo.
Anton Geesink is the only living 10th dan grade kodansha recognized by the IJF
but not by Kodokan
. There are three living 10th dan kodanshas recognized by Kodokan: Toshiro Daigo
, Ichiro Abe
and Yoshimi Osawa