Recomended Bibliography

A selection of recomended books

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The Pyjama Game

A Journey Into Judo


Mark Law

Aurum Press
ISBN: 9781845133498
The author caught the 'Judo bug' rather late in his life.  Very few start at the age of fifty.  But with unbridled enthusiasm he has thrown himself into the sport not only physically, but intellectually by writing this interesting and amusing book.

Covering both the history of Judo from Ju Jitsu through Kano to the modern day with his own personal quest towards a Black Belt.  He intersperses these two themes with wit and great insight to make the most readable and enjoyable book on this subject.  You can find out more here.

The fight for Judo's soul


Dave Hammond

London League Publications
ISBN:  978-1903659-38-0
A rather more sequential history of Judo from 'Kano's bright idea' to the present day as an Olympic sport.  What it lacks in humour is made up in a clearly written style that covers the whole story in a balanced manner.

The writer goes into his tale in a level of depth that would meet the needs of all but a historian but successfully avoids getting bogged down.  

Without doubt, this is worth reading.
Kodokan Judo


Jigoro Kano

Kodansha International
ISBN:  4-7700-1799-5
From the man who started it all, this authorative and complete volume is the one book that every Judoka must have.

The book starts with the history of the sport and the philosophy behind Kano's vision before delving into all aspects of Judo from breakfalls through to all of the standard Kodokan recognised techniques, there is even a section on Kata and First Aid.

The book has been substantially updated with modern photographs and so is quite easy to follow.
The Canon of Judo

Classic Teachings on Principles and Techniques


Kyuzo Mifune

Kodansha International
ISBN:  4-7700-2979-9
If anything, this book is more complete and in greater detail than Kodokan Judo above.  The major problem that prevents this from being a first choice however revolves around the use of the original pictures which are somewhat hard to follow.

Written by Mifune, the god of Judo, the amount of wisdom contained within it is considerable.  There is even a detailed section on etiquette and probably the only explanation of Nage Waza-Ura no Kata in existence.
Black Belt

Judo Skills and Techniques


Neil Ohlenhamp

New Holland Publishers (UK)
ISBN:  9 781845 371098
The great thing about this volume is the remarkably clear way in which it is  laid out.  Each technique is shown with excellent colour photographs with their background removed.  This way it is easier to follow without any confusion in the photograph.  Also the use of a blue Judogi for Uki aides clarity.  There are even little 'feet' diagrams which help to explain their correct position during the technique.  This is critical in the proper execution of a throw.

This book moves the printed description of Judo into the modern era.
Attacking Judo

A Guide to Combinations and Counters


Katsuhiko Kashhiwazaki &
Hidetoshi Nakanishi

Ippon Books
ISBN:  09518455 9 4
Does exactly what it says on the tin.  Providing numerous counters and combinations to every common attack, even the experienced will be hard put not to find something to learn from this clearly laid out tome.

This book is so invaluable that it should be carried around in your kit bag to all club nights for easy reference.  If used properly, your randori and shiai must improve.
Formal Techniques

A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata


Tadao Otaki &
Donn F. Draeger

Tuttle Publishing
ISBN:  0-8048-1676-X
This book is dry.  Do not expect an interesting, gripping read.  However, if you have a serious interest in Kata then you need this book.

Working through both Nage no Kata and Katame no Kata, every single point from the exact correct way to bow to the precise positioning of feet, body and hands is covered in great detail.

As a textbook on how these Kata are performed, it is impossible to think of any area that has been missed.


Masterclass Techniques

These are a series of books from Ippon Books, part of Fighting Films who specialise in martial arts media and equipment.

There are a series of books covering a variety of subjects including (but not limited to) Ashiwaza, Osoto Gari, Uchi Mata, Strangles and of course Armlocks. Each book takes its specific subject through the basic technique, to the numerous variations and then inludes combinations from and to the technique and of course counters to the technique and utilising the technique.

These books cover their subject in great depth and may well be more detailed than the average club Judoka needs. But if you are going to take this sport to a higher level, they will prove indispensable.

Ippon Books