Physical Training Oct 2005
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Kodokan Judo Throwing Techniques

kodokan judo throwing techniquesToshiro Daigo
Hardcover  288 pages
190 x 260mm  1020g
ISBN : 4-7700-2330-8
Publish : Aug, 2005
Price : $40.00

Review Copyright © Al Robinson 2005. All rights reserved.

When I first picked up this book I was stuck by the similarity in style and structure to the Kodokan inspired books of the 6o’s, notably The Techniques of  Judo by Shinzo Takagaki and Harold E. Sharp, first published in 1957.  This was the reference text of choice for junior students in Canadian Judo, back when I wore a white belt.

Then I began to read the modern text and the differences quickly became apparent.  It assumes a knowledge of  some basic terms, uke and tori being obvious examples. There is also no attempt to give English meanings for the Japanese names of the techniques. This book offers a much larger number of variations on each throw, with four variants each of  ippon-seoi-nage and seoi-nage.   This is more than an average student can hope to master.  The older book teaches just one method of doing each of these two techniques. 

While the descriptions of the various techniques were generally clear, I found them difficult to visualize.  Even relating the steps in the description to the appropriate picture was a challenge. I am convinced that the best way to use this book is to have one person reading to walk two others through the steps in each variation.  This would require a huge investment of time. It would be very difficult to become expert enough in all the variations to use them in competition.

In conclusion: This is not a book for students.  This book is intended for the sensei who wants to arm their competitors with an unexpected variation in the next tournament and for judges who must evaluate those techniques and award an ippon, waza-ari or something less.  Given the world-wide popularity of Judo,  the emergence of local variations and the Olympic level of competition; it has become a challenge to ensure consistent scoring.  This book is the Judo equivalent of a Papal Bull, establishing what is orthodox within the sport.  

Our Sponsor, SDKsupplies
Physical Training Oct 2005