July 2022 Book Survey Part 2


 Welcome to the July 2022 book survey, part two. I decided to break this month's survey into two posts, as I did last month. This edition is also all about judo.


In July 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan. This post describes 10 books that I surveyed in July. If you missed part one, here it is. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

What Is Judo?, Risei Kano [attributed], 1947/1960

My copy of What is Judo? is a 1960 reprint of the May 1947 original. This is a tiny Kodokan hardcover measuring 7 1/4 inches by 5 1/4 inches. Page 13 translates jujitsu as "empty-handed-trick." 

This book features tiny photos that show progression in techniques:

The content includes 17 throws and 11 grappling techniques, plus 2 pages on striking.

I bought this book strictly for my collection, but recommend it for others seeking early judo texts.

Judo: Appendix: Aikido, Kenji Tomiki, 1956/1959

I bought a copy of Judo: Appendix: Aikido by Kenji Tomiki (1900-1979) because the author was an 8th dan in judo and aikido. This title is another edition from the Japan Tourist Library collection (volume 22), published by the Japan Travel Bureau. My copy is a 3rd printing from 1959, measuring 5 1/4 inches by 7 1/8 inches, in hardcover format. 

This 176 page book is mostly black and white, but it has one color plate. The clear photos make good use of the small format. Pages 153-171 are "applications of aikido techniques" for self defense, including knife and gun, where uke and tori wear business clothes, including ties! 

The judo material occupies the first 100 or so pages, with 23 throws and 9 ground techniques. Aikido occupies pages 101 to 171, and includes striking or atemi waza. 

A version of this book titled Judo and Aikido featured 7 extra pages. A colleague was able to share these with me digitally, so I'm reproducing them below.

This is another collector's item, especially for anyone looking for links between judo and aikido.

Judo [Kyohan], Sakujiro Yokoyama and Eisuke Oshima, translated by Yamakichi Horiguchi, 1915/2006

My copy of Judo [Kyohan] is a 2006 print on demand reprint of the 1915 text. It reformats the original. I would have preferred a straight reproduction of the 1915 version. Here are a few screenshots of what that looked like:

This book includes a picture of "Mr. Kosei Maeda (Fourth Grade)," the judoka who taught judo in Brazil, helping to launch Brazilian jiu-jitsu. 

This 2006 copy contains errors made when the text was reformatted. It is acceptable as being a source for investigative leads. If anyone has found an original edition in digital format, please contact Martial History Team using any of the methods listed at the top of the blog.

Modern Judo: The Complete Ju-Jutsu Library, Charles Yerkow and Edward Beck, 1942/2010

My copy of Modern Judo is a 2010 paperback print on demand duplicate of the 1942 original, published by Military Service Publishing Co. This book critiques earlier judo books, but likes E. J. Harrison's The Fighting Spirit of Japan and the 1937 booklet by professor Kano.

Modern Judo offers chapters on break falls, throws, "mat fighting," attacks and "nerve centers," self defense, and "body-development exercises." There are 391 black and white photos that are at times a bit fuzzy, but they do the job. 

This is a practical and fairly thorough book that doesn't show every throw but integrates a variety of practices.

Judo, Risei Kano [attributed], translated by Geoffrey Hamilton, 1961/2016

Judo is a 2016 printing of a 1961 book celebrating 100 years since the 1860 birth of Jigoro Kano. It is a large black and white paperback measuring 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. It offers an innovative layout for 1961, preserved in this print on demand offering. 

The book includes a ton of pictures in its 152 pages. These range from the springs under a judo dojo floor to others one might see in a table top book. This tome is about culture and history, not technique. I would love to see a modern edition of similar size.

Kodokan Judo: A Guide to Proficiency, Yoshizo Matsumoto, et al, translated by Yukio Oku, 1963

My copy of Kodokan Judo: A Guide to Proficiency is a Kodansha hardcover measuring 6 inches by 8 1/2 inches. The front matter lists a January 1963 publication date but the preface by Risei Kano, son of judo founder Jigoro Kano, is dated February 1963.

Some of the content in this 150 page book appears in the 1955 title Illustrated Kodokan Judo, mentioned last month. I bought this strictly as a collector's item from the early days of judo books in English.

Higher Judo: Groundwork, Moshe Feldenkrais, 1952/2010

Higher Judo: Groundwork is an updated and contextualized edition of a book first published in 1952 by an underrated martial arts pioneer. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) is better known for his physical therapy prowess, but he was a major player in bringing judo to France and is one of the forgotten fathers of Krav Maga. 

The core of this 2010 edition is a complete original reprint of the 1952 book, including a foreword by British judo pioneer Gunji Koizumi(1885-1965). The book offers several other new forewords, and an appendix featuring many photos from which the book's line drawings were derived:

The original text contains 224 pages. With the new material, the total is now 290 pages. 

Originally this book appeared in French as Judo pour Ceintures Noires, i.e., Judo for Black Belts. The book notes that Feldenkrais joined the Israeli Haganah organization in Palestine and learned jujutsu there in the late 1920s from German immigrants. Feldenkrais studied physics and taught judo in Paris from 1930 to 1940, then left for the UK as World War II loomed. He moved to Israel in the 1950s and reduced his martial arts training at age 47 due to a knee injury.

Feldenkrais mentioned five striking features of judo:

  1. Bare feet
  2. The art of falling
  3. Using the body in a fundamentally different way, encouraging "dynamic stability"
  4. Space adjustment
  5. Coordination

The technique material starts on page 56 in chapter 5. The book is mostly principles prior to that.

This book is my recommended title for the month.

Judo Principles: Ne-Waza, Anton Geesink, 1969

I sought a copy of Anton Geesink's Judo Principles: Ne-Waza because I respect the accomplishments of this literal judo giant. My copy is a 1969 edition in English. The original appeared in Dutch in 1967. My copy is a thin hardcover measuring 10 inches by 7 1/4 inches, with only 95 pages.

Practically all of the book contains techniques. The photos are clear with a lot of text details. Unusually, each photo provides the name of the uke. I have not seen this in any other book. It shows class and respect in my opinion.

Newaza of Judo, Sumiyuki Kotani, Yoshimi Osawa, and Yuichi Hirose, 1973

I bought a copy of Newaza of Judo to continue adding to my judo collection. My edition is a paperback measuring 6 inches by 8 3/8 inches. This unusually artsy cover may be a product of its 1973 publication date. 

The book offers 9 chapters and 153 pages, including a section on resuscitation/kappo. The photos are tiny and the English is a bit rough. I only recommend it for historical interest.

Ne-Waza: Revealing the Secrets of Kosen Judo Grappling Techniques, Kimura Masahiko, Yoshio Nakamira, et al, 2014

I'm shocked by the good ratings for Ne-Waza: Revealing the Secrets of Kosen Judo Grappling Techniques found on Amazon, where I bought my copy. This is a black and white paperback measuring 7 1/4 inches by 10 1/8 inches. Kosen Judo allows hikikomi or "pulling down the opponent into newaza," unlike Kodokan judo.

The poor layout of this book leaves too much white space on the sides of the page, resulting in tiny photos. The text is also too large, and the authors used five different fonts! 

Incidentally, the Kimura Masahiko listed as an author is not the famous judoka Kimura Masahiko, known for fighting Helio Gracie.

I do not recommend this book.


Overall, this post has a lot of titles for judo aficionados. I recommend the Higher Judo: Groundwork book as it is innovative and still in print at a reasonable price.

Stay tuned for more next month!

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