Jigoro Kano book: Kodokan Judo
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The necessary foundation of a judo library
I have used this book often during my studies of the "Gentle Way." A general survey of all the basics of judo, originally written by the founder, Jigoro Kano, this tome contains descriptions and photographs of all the basic techniques and every kata. Besides this, you will find a history of judo, Kano-sensei's philosophy of how judo is a way of life and not just a sport or martial art, brief material on combination techniques, and some first aid. it is the foundation of all that is judo, but you can't learn judo solely from the book. Proper instruction is necessary first. The only flaw I can detect is that some of the photos are old, but the book doesn't suffer much from this. Note that the book does not have much on physical training, new techniques, or extra detail on some techniques, but these can be found in other books to add to a collection. Start with this one first.
More important than ever before!
With the contemporary emphasis of using unorthodox methods for the mere winning of medals in koka Judo tournaments by both the Europeans and Americans, and with their concurrent introduction of non-Judo technique into the international arena in a 'win-at-all-costs' attitude, the book KODOKAN JUDO by the founding genius Dr. Jigoro Kano has become more important than ever as a baseline and standard for which 'Modern' Judo is to be gauged and, hopefully, corrected.
KODOKAN JUDO covers every aspect of Judo from its inception through 10th dan with an explanation for each progression: the reason for etiquette; an explanation of ukemi; the purpose of uchi komi; the need for randori; the absolute necessity of kata; Judo self defense methods; and basic first aid - all in terms to promote maximum efficiency.
KODOKAN JUDO also contains historical photographs of advanced Judo players and past masters, including Dr. Jigoro Kano himself, demonstrating all the nage waza found in the Gokyo No Waza; all the hold downs in Katame-Waza; and all of Judo's Atemi-Waza (striking & kicking techniques). Judo contains a number of self defense methods against the knife, sword, kicks, and punches, contained in detailed photographs in KODOKAN JUDO which are totally over-looked in today's Judo books emphasizing mere tournament play.
KODOKAN JUDO is the essential book for the dedicated Judoka to study for dan advancement; to answer questions on why one should learn a particular technique or a kata; and to clear up any misconceptions which might develop because of tournament. Within its tenets are the standards established by the founder for which Judo is meant to be practised; the ratio is - Randori: 80%; Kata: 17%; and Shiai: 3%. The reduction of contest to 3% of the Judo repetoire was intentional, since Judo was invented by Dr. Kano as a lifelong methodology to improve the human character and not just a sport for the petty pursuit of trophies.
There is a ... to change Judo under the euphemism of 'Evolution'; but evolution is a process which also leads to extinction. To overemphasize one aspect of Judo (such as tournament play) diminishes Judo in it entirety, and the founder makes this perfectly clear this was not his intent in his tome.
Judo is in danger of possibly becoming extinct by the Europeans and Americans!
KODOKAN JUDO by Dr. Jigoro Kano has been elevated to the most important book on the subject as the unimpeachable standard in today's climate of the manipulation of Judo for Olympic political leverage against the Japanese custodianship of Dr. Kano's legacy.
The Official Bible of Kodokan Judo...but not the Last Word
This is a great book, showing many,many techniques, including quite a few that most judo players never get around to learning. The photos for many techniques show masters demonstrating, even Dr. Kano. However, the clarity of the images is not as good as in earlier editions. While many techniques and forms are shown, it does not go deeply into any of them, or into methods of training. For in-depth explanation of formal technique, see "Judo Formal Techniques" by Otaki and Donn Draeger, "Judo in Action (vol. 1 throwing techniques, vol.2 grappling techniques)" by Kazuo Kudo, or for training methods/technique application see "Judo Training Methods" by Donn Draeger, "Attacking Judo" by Ken Maynard and Alan Menzies, "Modern Judo" or "Contest Judo" by Charles Yerkow, or ANY book from Ippon Classics. For historical purposes, consider "The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu" by Hancock and Higashi, "Japan's Ultimate Martial Art" by Darrell Craig, or "Asian Fighting Arts" by Donn Draeger. Enjoy!
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