SERIES CONSULTANT: Adam James 10th Level Instructor FOUNDER : Rainbow Warrior Martial Arts DIRECTOR: Natl. College of Exercise Professionals


Mastering the Martial Arts Series

Judo: Winning Ways Jujutsu: Winning Ways Karate: Winning Ways Kickboxing: Winning Ways Kung Fu: Winning Ways Martial Arts for Athletic Conditioning: Winning Ways

Martial Arts for Children: Winning Ways Martial Arts for Women: Winning Ways Ninjutsu: Winning Ways Taekwondo: Winning Ways





Series Consultant Editor Adam James 10th Level Instructor Founder: Rainbow Warrior Martial Arts Director: Natl. College of Exercise Professionals

MASON CREST PUBLISHERS www.masoncrest.com


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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file at the Library of Congress and with the publisher Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3235-4

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3236-1 EBook ISBN: 978-1-4222-8665-4

First Edition: September 2005 Produced in association with Shoreline Publishing Group LLC Printed and bound in the United States

IMPORTANT NOTICE The techniques and information described in this publication are for use in dire circumstances only where the safety of the individual is at risk. Accordingly, the publisher copyright owner cannot accept any responsibility for any prosecution or proceedings brought or instituted against any person or body as a result of the use or misuse of the techniques and information within.

Picture Credits Dreamstime.com: Iurii Osadchi 18; DavesFreelance 34 Sporting Pictures: 6. Bob Willingham: 8, 12, 14. 17, 18, 29, 31, 36,40,46, 51, 56,61,65,70, 75, 80,82, 88.

Front cover image: Dreamstime.com/Lucas Blazek





A Sport and an Art


The Basic Elements of Judo


Judo Techniques


Training for Judo




Clothing and Equipment


Further Reading


Useful Web Sites/About the Author




Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills.

Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowl- edge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives.


Judo is a Japanese martial art that has become one ot the leading fighting sports throughout the world. It has been an Olympic sport since 1964 and is practiced in more countries around the world than any other sport except soccer.


Introduction T he journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the journey of a martial artist begins with a single thought—the decision to learn and train. The martial arts involve mental and emo- tional development, not just physical training, and therefore you can start your journey by reading and studying books. At the very beginning, you must decide which martial art is right for you, and reading these books will give you a full perspective and open this world up to you. If you are already a martial artist, books can elevate your training to new levels by reveal- ing techniques and aspects of history and pioneers that you might not have known about. The Mastering the Martial Arts book series will provide you with in- sights into the world of the most well-known martial arts along with several unique training categories. It will introduce you to the key pioneers of the martial arts and the leaders of the next generation. Martial arts have been around for thousands of years in all of the cultures of the world. However, until recently, the techniques, philosophies, and training methods were con- sidered valuable secretes and seldom revealed. With the globalization of the world, we now openly share the information and we are achieving new levels of knowledge and wisdom. I highly recommend these books to begin your journey or to discover new aspects of your own training.

Be well. – Adam James



armlock Pressure applied to the elbow joint feudal Relating to a social system in which peasants work for a powerful landowner in exchange for food and protection judo-ka A person who practices judo sake A Japanese alcoholic drink


A Sport and an Art

Judo is more than just a martial art; it is one of the most dynamic and spectacular of all the Olympic sports. Fighters attack with speed, agili- ty, power, and timing, flipping their opponents high into the air and then bringing them crashing down onto the judo mat. From there, they might roll their opponent into a hold, or force sub- mission using an armlock or a strangle. That is judo at its very best. Fast, fluent, and devastating, a momentary loss of concentration can be punished in the blink of an eye. Very few will become Olympic or world champions, however. For most people, judo is not a way down the road to glory—it is a way of life. The journey may not end with a gold medal, but it does bring great rewards, friendship, and pleasure. Judo is not an easy sport. It offers many different challenges, and is extremely physically demanding. Students learn dozens of different throwing techniques: opponents may be thrown to the front, to the rear, to the side, and even over the head. Then there are armlocks or strangles, which students learn to apply effectively, but with control, Judo is an Olympic sport, the roots of which are steeped in the traditions and history of a martial art. As it is more than just a sport, there is a great amount of respect and camaraderie between fighters—even at the highest level.



so they do not injure an opponent. Last, there are those holds that, when perfectly applied, offer no escape. Judo students learn to link all of these techniques together to produce breathtaking moves that work both on the judo mat and in the real world. Judo is an unarmed, close-contact martial art. It can be practiced as a means to fulfill your competitive needs, a way to get fit, or a high- ly effective method of self-defense. The throws, holds, strangles, and armlocks of judo offer its students a wide variety of skills. Contrary to what most people believe, each type of martial art is quite different, and each has its own unique brand of techniques. For instance, judo is absolutely nothing like karate. You cannot punch, kick, or chop in



judo, but the skills you learn are just as effective and spectacular. As an art form, judo can enrich the lives of those who practice it through self- fulfillment, achievement, and the friendships gained throughout the worldwide judo family. As a sport, only soccer is practiced in a greater number of countries. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, 135 countries fielded an athlete in judo, third most of any other sport. All over the world, in countries as diverse as Estonia in Northern Europe and Cuba in the Caribbean, judo champions are some of the national favorite sporting heroes. What makes judo truly special, however, is that it can fulfill a wide variety of needs. Whatever your age and whatever your level, there is always a place for you on the judo mat. And for the elite athletes, there is always the ultimate aim of Olympic glory. A BIT OF HISTORY Before you begin to study judo, it is useful to have an appreciation of its history and roots. Although judo literally means “the gentle way,” its techniques are derived from the battlefields of feudal Japan. Indeed, the term “martial art” really refers to skills used on the battlefield. The martial arts were developed from close-quarter fighting methods used during wartime. The Japanese martial arts were mostly developed during the feudal period (in the 17th century) by the samurai and warrior classes. One such art was jujutsu, one of the deadliest forms of open-handed com- bat. It was from this art that judo was born. Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, began as a student of jujutsu. He was born on October 28, 1860, in a small village in Japan called Mi-



Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, was an incredible man who not only spread judo throughout the world, but also pushed Japan onto the international sporting arena.



kage, which is now in the East Nada district of the city of Kobe. His family consisted of wealthy brewers who made sake , a traditional type of distilled wine. Kano was a frail boy with a quick temper. He grew up eager to learn about how the weak could overcome the strong. It was this interest that formed the basis for his development of judo. He defined judo as having two mottos: “seirvoku zenyo,” which means “make the most efficient and positive use of your physical and spiritual energies”; and “jita kyoei” which means “live in harmony and prosper- ity with others”. The first motto essentially means that judo is about getting the max- imum amount of efficiency from the minimum amount of effort. That is why Kano called it “the gentle way”; it is about giving in to an oppo- nent’s force, rather than struggling against him or her in order to win the fight. A simple way of looking at the principle of “giving in” to your opponent is to imagine that someone is pushing you. You do not push back; instead, you use his or her force against him or her by moving yourself out of the pushing line. Without the resistance of your body to push against, your opponent will become unbalanced, making it easy to guide him or her down to the floor. For example, if you were to push as hard as you could against a wall, and then suddenly someone took the wall away, you would, of course, fall over. This is how Kano envisaged the weak overcoming the strong. The second of Kano’s mottos relates to the fulfillment and spiritual sides of judo. Those who practice judo often become more confident and self-assured, which can help them in their daily lives. Even though judo is a competitive fighting art, when you join a judo club, you will proba- bly make friends with the other students there. During the practice sessions,



you will fight against each other within the sporting rules of judo. Although competitive judo involves a “fight,” the competition actually brings the op- ponents closer together and helps them to develop mutual respect. Indeed, judo opponents practicing their art learn to help one another so that both of them make progress. Judo formally began in 1882, when Kano opened the Kodokan Judo Academy. The Academy was housed in a space rented from a Buddhist monastery in Tokyo. Although the Kodokan has since moved, today it remains the original home of judo, and a place that all judo students should attempt to visit—and train at, if possible. Kano always believed that there was more to a martial art than just Judo is about timing and technique rather than strength and aggression. This picture captures the essence of the free-flowing movement of a judo throw through its various stages to its conclusion.


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