September 2022 Book Survey Part 2


 Welcome to the September 2022 book survey, part two. I decided to break this month's survey into three posts.


In September 2022, I (Richard) continued my reading plan. This post describes 8 more books that I surveyed in September. A previous post described the first batch of 8 from September. A subsequent post will address the final 8 that I surveyed. Read on to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Kodokan Judo, Hikoichi Aida and E. J. Harrison, 1957

I bought a used copy of this book without a dust cover, so the image shows what that cover looks like. This is another title from the catalog of E. J. Harrison and features the instruction of then-8th dan Hikoichi Aida (1893-1973), later promoted to 9th dan, according to this review by Hal Sharp

My copy is 282 pages, with 290 line-drawn figures. Mr. Harrison notes that this book is "the most valuable printed exposition of the art hitherto made available to Japanese readers," referring to the original 1951 Japanese edition Zukai Judo or Illustrated Judo. In his preface, Mr. Harrison explains that he did not include 40 pages on Ju-no-Kata in his translation.

The book consists of an introduction on pages 11-22, and then techniques with figures on pages 23-256. Chapter 10 covers Nage-no-Kata.

I would love to see this book get the same reformatting and republication treatment as several books mentioned in the last post.

Judo for Girls, E. J. Harrison, 1957/1962/2011

Judo for Girls is another E. J. Harrison text, dating from 1957 in the UK and 1962 in the US. My copy is a 2011 reprint. The book is a faithful reproduction of the original, featuring 57 line figures which resemble the "JAK" style of other Harrison works.

The book is short, with 110 pages in 6 chapters. "Selected" nagewaza appear in chapter 5, and some katamewaza appear in chapter 6. This book is clearly a product of its time, but I was glad to be able to buy a cheap copy via print-on-demand.

Judo for the Gentle Woman, Ruth B. Gardner, 1971

I bought Judo for the Gentle Woman (along with the previous title) to continue to discover what female judoka were expected to learn. My copy is a 1971 first printing and is a small black and white hardcover measuring 7 3/8 inches by 5 1/8 inches. The interior notes that this was one of four judo titles at the time published by Tuttle, a famous producer of books on Asian topics.

At the time of writing, the author was a 2nd dan. She began training in Chicago in 1942 with then-5th dan T. Shozo Kuwashima. (Researcher Joseph Svinth reported that Kuwashima was born in 1892.) 

The historical material in the book is problematic, claiming that professor Kano weighed "105 lbs." Of course he did, at some point, but he weighed between 132 and 165 lbs in his prime, as noted in the MHT post Was Professor Kano Sickly, Small, and Bullied? The book also repeats the false claim that Kano wore "12th dan" rank. 

The book offers standing self-defense escapes, 8 throws, and techniques like come-alongs via joint manipulation. The photographs are clear and composed well.

I do not recommend trying to buy a used copy. Interested readers can borrow this book via the Internet Archive for free.

Teach Yourself Judo, Syd Hoare, 1987

I bought a used copy of Teach Yourself Judo because I am a fan of Syd Hoare's work. My copy is a 1987 printing of the 1980 original, measuring 5 inches by 7 3/4 inches. The book contains 177 pages and 90 figures, all of which are line drawings.

Like most of Mr. Hoare's books that I've seen, this title features extensive use of Japanese. It offers an overview of most aspects of judo found in 1980, with a lot packed into a small format. In 2022 this book is mainly useful for historical research. This book is also available to borrow at the Internet Archive.

Judo: Beginner to Black Belt, Bruce Tegner, 1967

I purchased a copy of Bruce Tegner's Judo: Beginner to Black Belt because I owned some of his other martial arts books. The copy I received was a paperback 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches with 208 pages. The text and pictures are delivered in an odd brown color. There are over 500 pictures in this short book, which is remarkable.

Mr. Tegner lived from 1929 to 1985. The introduction notes that Mr. Tegner's parents were judo and jujitsu teachers, and his mother June studied with T. Shozo Kuwashima, as did Ruth B. Gardner. Mr. Tegner earned his shodan rank at age 17 and was a California judo champion in 1949.

While the techniques are fine, the history is skewed, as was the case with Ms. Gardner's book. Mr. Tegner writes on p 14 that "professor Kano's own writings and teachings made it clear that the sport of judo was not intended for self-defense and his fervent hope was to have judo recognised [sic] as a pure sport form... [Kano's] fondest wish was realized when judo became an official Olympic Games event." This is exactly the opposite of what Kano thought. Self-defense was definitely part of judo and a main reason Kano learned jujutsu. Kano was not a "fervent" supporter of Olympic sport status and actually expressed reservations about such an event transpiring.

If you'd like to see this book yourself, it is also available to borrow for free via the Internet Archive.

Judo: Starbrook Style, Dave Starbrook and Neil Wilson, 1978

I bought a copy of Judo: Starbrook Style to add to my collection of judo biographies and personalized style manuals. My copy is a 1978 black and white hardcover measuring 6 inches by 8 1/2 inches. The book is rather short at 128 pages, and it offers 8 chapters mixing biography and technique. The photos are an assortment of staged technique shots and competition photography, supplemented by line drawings.

This book offers a useful snapshot of judo competition in the 1970s.

Judo Techniques and Tactics, Jimmy Pedro and Will Durbin, 2001

I bought a used copy of Judo Techniques and Tactics because I'm a fan of what Jimmy Pedro has done for American judo. My copy is a 178 page black and white paperback measuring 6 inches by 9 inches. The photographs are clear and varied, and it provides a good overview of judo as it entered the 21st century. It contains more groundwork than other books of the time. Frustratingly, it also mentions "12 degrees" for dan ranks, repeating the myth mentioned earlier.

Again thanks to the Internet Archive, you can borrow this book for free online.

The A-Z of Judo, Syd Hoare, 1994

The A-Z of Judo by Syd Hoare is my must-buy of this group. It's one of my favorite martial arts books. My copy is a 1994 black and white paperback measuring 6 3/4 inches by 9 5/8 inches, published by Ippon/Fighting Films. 

This book is gold for judo researchers. It features over 100 throws, 20 holds, 30 armlocks, 40 strangles, and 20 forbidden techniques (from jujutsu). Each technique shows one or more clear pictures, with the Japanese name, and English translation, and crucially, a source for the technique. See the example below:

The end of the book lists the 14 sources for the techniques inside.

This is a great resource for researchers because of this sourcing feature. If you don't want to buy a used copy, it looks like the publisher Fighting Films still keeps it in stock.


Syd Hoare's The A-Z of Judo is my clear favorite in this post. The others aren't that compelling, although several are available online to borrow if you'd like to check them out.

Stay tuned for part three, later this month!

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  1. Thanks for this detailed piece of information! I like this post.


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