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Step off the mat and into the wisdom where the spirit of Judo is bound.

From the founder’s philosophies to advanced combat techniques, this collection of essential reads is your guide to mastering the principles and practices of the gentle way.

Eager to grapple with the finest Judo knowledge out there?

Best Judo Books:

  1. Kodokan Judo: The Essential Guide to Judo by Its Founder Jigoro Kano
  2. Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo
  3. Best Judo
  4. Judo Unleashed: Essential Throwing & Grappling Techniques for Intermediate to Advanced Martial Artists
  5. Judo Formal Techniques: A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata
  6. The Canon of Judo: Classic Teachings on Principles and Techniques
  7. Judo Training Methods: A Sourcebook
  8. Judo Foundation Skills: A Guide for Beginners and Parents
  9. The Pyjama Game: A Journey into Judo
  10. Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques

#1 Kodokan Judo: The Essential Guide to Judo by Its Founder Jigoro Kano

  • ✍️ Author: Jigoro Kano
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1986
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Strategy, and Coaching

Explore the foundations of Judo with “Kodokan Judo,” penned by the art’s founder, Jigoro Kano. This comprehensive guide covers not just techniques but also the philosophy behind the martial art. The book serves as an authoritative resource for practitioners aiming to understand the core principles and applications of Judo.

Through detailed explanations and illustrations, readers gain insights into the intricacies of throws, holds, and the balance between mental and physical discipline, rendering this work an essential tome for both students and instructors of the discipline.

#2 Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo

  • ✍️ Author: Jigoro Kano
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2005
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Biographies and Autobiographies, History

Delve into the philosophical underpinnings of Judo in “Mind Over Muscle.” This compilation of Jigoro Kano’s writings presents the visionary ideals behind the sport, emphasizing the importance of mental discipline alongside physical training.

Readers will uncover the essence of Judo in Kano’s own words, as he elucidates on education, competition, and how Judo can enrich one’s life beyond the dojo. This book offers profound insights for those who seek a deeper understanding of Judo’s transformative potential.

#3 Best Judo

  • ✍️ Author: Isao Inokuma and Nobuyuki Sato
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1979
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching, Youth and High School Judo

“Best Judo” is a classic text revered by judokas worldwide. Co-authored by two of the sport’s most accomplished masters, the book provides a rich resource for students of all levels.

It offers a detailed overview of Judo techniques, thorough instruction on form and execution, and valuable advice on training and competition. This book stands out for its clear explanations and sequential photographs, making it a staple in any Judoka’s library and an essential guide for practitioners looking to refine their skills and understanding of Judo.

#4 Judo Unleashed: Essential Throwing & Grappling Techniques for Intermediate to Advanced Martial Artists

  • ✍️ Author: Neil Ohlenkamp
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2006
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Judo Unleashed” is a dynamic resource crafted by Neil Ohlenkamp for those seeking to elevate their martial arts prowess. Designed for intermediate to advanced Judoka, this guide dives into the essentials of both throwing and grappling techniques that define competitive Judo.

It provides step-by-step instruction enriched with detailed photographs, enabling readers to learn the subtleties of each move. This book is an excellent tool for mastering the more sophisticated aspects of Judo’s diverse and powerful repertoire.

#5 Judo Formal Techniques: A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata

  • ✍️ Author: Tadao Otaki and Donn F. Draeger
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1983
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Judo Formal Techniques” offers a meticulous breakdown of Kodokan Randori no Kata, providing Judokas with an invaluable reference for formal Judo patterns. Co-authored by Tadao Otaki and Donn F. Draeger, this work lays out a precise framework for both Nage-no-Kata (forms of throwing) and Katame-no-Kata (forms of grappling).

With illustrated throws and holds, the book systematically guides readers through the ceremonial aspects of Judo. Renowned for its clarity and depth, it is a treasured guide for those looking to deepen their grasp of Judo’s formal elements.

#6 The Canon of Judo: Classic Teachings on Principles and Techniques

  • ✍️ Author: Kyuzo Mifune
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1956
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Strategy and Coaching

“The Canon of Judo” is deemed a foundational text, crafted by Kyuzo Mifune, a figure often regarded as one of the greatest judo practitioners of all time. In his work, Mifune distills a lifetime of knowledge, highlighting the principles and techniques that shape the art form.

The book captures the essence of Judo practice and philosophy, offering readers a timeless view into the martial art’s true spirit. It remains a testament to the enduring legacy of Judo and a must-have for both historians and practitioners alike.

#7 Judo Training Methods: A Sourcebook

  • ✍️ Author: Takahiko Ishikawa and Donn F. Draeger
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 1961
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Judo Training Methods” is a seminal work co-authored by Takahiko Ishikawa and Donn F. Draeger, providing a comprehensive look at the physical preparation necessary for effective Judo training.

This text delves into the various building blocks of training, such as conditioning, techniques, and the application of both in judo practice. Detailed illustrations accompany the thorough descriptions, ensuring that practitioners of all levels can enhance their strength, agility, and technique. A go-to guide for coaches and athletes, it continues to be revered for its practical approach to improving Judo performance.

#8 Judo Foundation Skills: A Guide for Beginners and Parents

  • ✍️ Author: John HarrisonΒ 
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2014
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching, Youth and High School Judo

“Judo Foundation Skills” serves as an introductory guide for newcomers to Judo and their parents, aiming to lay the groundwork for a solid start in the discipline. With an emphasis on fundamental skills and etiquette, the book fosters an understanding of the core values and techniques of Judo.

Its accessible approach demystifies the sport for families and provides a supportive blueprint for children beginning their martial arts journey. This book is an excellent resource for fostering a positive and informed entry into the world of Judo.

#9 The Pyjama Game: A Journey into Judo

  • ✍️ Author: Mark Law
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2007
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: History, Biographies and Autobiographies

“The Pyjama Game” is an engaging narrative that takes readers on an author’s voyage through the captivating world of Judo. Mark Law intertwines historical perspective, vivid biographical sketches, and his own experiences on the mat to craft a compelling account of the sport.

This book paints an intimate and often humorous picture of Judo’s global impact and the rich tapestry of characters who have shaped its course. Perfect for enthusiasts and novices alike, it offers an affectionate portrayal of Judo and the life lessons it imparts.

#10 Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques

  • ✍️ Author: Karo Parisyan, Erich Krauss, and Glen CordozaΒ 
  • πŸ“† Year Published: 2008
  • πŸ“˜ Genre: Strategy and Coaching

“Judo for Mixed Martial Arts” addresses the application of Judo techniques in the increasingly popular realm of MMA. It showcases how the throws, takedowns, and ground fighting moves of Judo can be effectively integrated into a mixed martial arts fighting style.

Tailored for competitors who wish to enhance their arsenal with Judo’s dynamic maneuvers, this book provides insights into adapting the traditional methods for the MMA context. A valuable tool for fighters looking to gain an edge in versatility and technique, it bridges the gap between classical Judo and the demands of modern combat sports.

FAQ

What are the best Judo books of all time?

“Kodokan Judo: The Essential Guide to Judo by Its Founder Jigoro Kano,” “Judo Formal Techniques: A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata,” “Best Judo,” “Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo,” and “The Canon of Judo: Classic Teachings on Principles and Techniques,” are the best Judo books of all time. These texts are renowned for their comprehensive coverage of Judo techniques, philosophy, and the sport’s history.

What is the best Judo book for adults?

“Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo” by Jigoro Kano is the best Judo book for adults. It offers profound insights into the philosophy behind Judo and its application in personal development and everyday life.

What are the best books for Judo fundamentals and strategy?

“Best Judo” and “Kodokan Judo: The Essential Guide to Judo by Its Founder Jigoro Kano” are the best books for Judo fundamentals and strategy. These foundational texts provide clear instruction on techniques and the strategic thinking underlying effective Judo practice.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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