Audience: Judo Unleashed is a complete manual for beginning to intermediate students up to black belt, and a quick reference for advanced practitioners. It is a great addition to any martial arts library, and will be used over and over to learn the names and basics of each technique, better understand Judo theories and principles, spark ideas for practice in class, and supplement training with counters, combinations, and variations not often shown in class.
For newcomers and other martial artists, Judo Unleashed will provide an introduction to Judo training methods and a resource for learning grappling techniques for self defense. Grappling arts like Judo have proven themselves in mixed martial arts matches around the world, and no martial artist can afford to be ignorant of the moves and ideas shown in this book. This beautifully photograhed manual will gain the attention of a whole new generation of potential Judo students who will learn enough about Judo to seek further instruction in classes.
There is no other Judo book like this, but of course, Judo Unleashed will not be everything for everyone. Although it is an excellent choice for beginners since it will guide them for several years, it does not demonstrate how to do falls, explain class safety rules, or other basics usually learned in the first few months of Judo training. It is not full of new ideas for high ranking black belts or advanced competitors, focusing more on the basics needed to earn a black belt, although it does have plenty of useful information for anyone.
Judo Unleashed is available as a very affordable paperback recommended for all martial arts students. For serious Judoka and book collectors it is also available as a hardback edition under the title Black Belt: Judo Skills and Techniques.
Content: Judo Unleashed is divided into three sections:
- JUDO FUNDAMENTALS (JUDO KIHON)
- THROWING TECHNIQUES (NAGE WAZA)
- GRAPPLING TECHNIQUES (KATAME WAZA)
In the first part the reader comes to better understand what Judo is, how to go about learning it, how it works in self defense and as an Olympic sport, and how Judo develops character. The challenge of Judo, and the meaning of Judo's highest principles are examined and clearly explained.
In part two and three, key points, footwork diagrams, and step-by-step photos accompany each of the basic techniques and variations that are included for all of the techniques of Kodokan Judo. The principles of throwing are thoroughly explored, including demonstrations of all 67 throws recognized by the Kodokan, and more than 50 grappling techniques are shown on the ground with pins, chokes, and arm locks.
Each chapter provides the details that will help the serious student understand Judo better. For example, a special chapter describes the principles of fighting in a standing position with a comprehensive discussion of important elements like gripping (Kumikata), posture (Shisei), movement (Tai Sabaki and Shintai), unbalancing (Kuzushi), fitting in (Tsukuri), application (Kake), combination techniques (Renraku Waza), counter techniques (Kaeshi Waza), and attack initiative (Sen).
Even the appendix contains valuable information including techniques recognized by the Kodokan compared to techniques recognized by the International Judo Federation, a variety of combination and counter techniques (Kaeshi and Renraku Waza) for every situation, formal techniques (Kata), a guide to tournament rules and scoring, current competition penalties and prohibited acts, and sources for further information.
Reviews: Mr. Eddie Awford, Director and Chairman of the Coaching Commission of the British Judo Association says, "In my view this book has been well constructed covering the wide spectrum of Judo Skill Techniques, Training and Judo Ideology and as such it would be a welcome addition to the library of any level of Judoka, Judo Coach or Judo enthusiast."
Rusty Kanokogi (6th dan) writes, "Judo Unleashed by Neil Ohlenkamp is a must have for every Instructor, Dojo and Judo student in the USA. It is well written with great care given to the text and photograghs. The book covers techniques, history and the philosophy of Judo. Brings Judo up to date. Colorful, interesting and a definite teaching tool for Judo."
Ben Holmes, founder of the world's best Judo book review site at BestJudo.com says, "Judo Unleashed is an excellent text for every Judoka's bookshelf. I've trained with the author, Neil, for several years now, and am impressed with his depth of knowledge, and simple ways of explaining difficult concepts. You won't be disappointed with this book!" Read the full review.
Author: Neil Ohlenkamp is a 7th degree black belt from Southern California who has been practicing and teaching Judo continuously since 1968. He has in-depth experience as a student, competitor, referee, instructor, tournament official, and an international coach. Mr. Ohlenkamp was the 1988 US Paralympic Team Coach in Seoul, Korea, 1999 USJA Coach of the Year, and he has been the head instructor of a large Judo club producing champions for many years. To promote Judo and educate the public, he created the Judo Information Site at JudoInfo.com, which has been the most comprehensive Judo web page in the world since 1995.
Origins: Although there are many books about Judo, most are old texts, often translated from another language, and they usually have small, posed, black and white photos where it is difficult to distinguish vital details.
In the summer of 2004, Neil Ohlenkamp started work with a team of consultants to prepare an outline, write an initial manuscript, and plan a week-long photo shoot in Cape Town, South Africa. The best photos from thousands of professional action shots were selected to represent each technique. The original draft was edited for clarity, designed with a modern layout to be visually appealing, reviewed by experts for accuracy, and finally produced by major publishers.
More Information: Additional details about the photography, illustrations and text is available here, including sample photos and general excerpts.
Orders: The book is available in bookstores everywhere, even in Tokyo (Kinokuniya in Shinjuku). It can also be ordered online for home delivery. The inexpensive paperback Judo Unleashed may be ordered from Amazon.com. The hardback edition Black Belt: Judo Skills and Techniques may be ordered from Amazon.co.uk. The German edition Meisterliches Judo may be ordered from Amazon.de.