Building Your Judo Library...

My current collection of Judo books, if sold, would probably net me over $1,000 or more… yet the vast majority of the books I own cost me cover price or less.

The trick, of course, is to start buying books right now - as they are first published… I’ve predicted, for example, that Syd Hoare’s Judo A to Z will eventually be in the same price range as Kudo’s Dynamic Judo on the used market… for there will come a time when “Judo A to Z” is no longer being published, and yet, there will still be a demand for such a good book.

Also, with the rise of Ebay, and book search services on the Internet, it becomes possible to hunt down books that would otherwise be extremely difficult to find.  Unfortunately, it’s also contributed to the rise in prices… For example, my copy of Mifune’s 1961 version of Canon of Judo cost me just $4.95.  But no used book dealer in his right mind would still offer it for such a small amount - he now has a world-wide market, and the price can rise to the demand for the book.

(By the way, my favorite is - they search over 100 million books, and access most online book sellers, used and new, all at once.)

So while the Internet has enabled us to build a great library of old Judo reference books, it’s also made it far more expensive to do so.  But if you start now, and buy each book as it comes along - when you’re at the point where you want to research a particular technique, you’ll have the library to do so.

Occasionally, older Judo books get re-published - this has happened recently with Canon of Judo, and Ishikawa & Draeger’s Judo Training Methods.  But you can’t rely on this happening in the future.  I remember giving many of my students a set of the Judo in Action books, because I could purchase the set of two books for less than $10.  I used to give ‘em away as the 1st place trophy in our dojo shiais.  It’ll probably cost you a minimum of $50 today, if you can find ‘em.  Perhaps I should start stocking up on Syd Hoare’s book - I could use it as my retirement nest egg… :)

Videos and DVD’s are starting to become a popular way to pass along the technical knowledge of martial arts, and one that is far better in many respects to a book - so by all means, start collecting them as your budget allows.

But the trick is - Get started now!  And 10, 20, 30 years from now, you’ll have a library that will be the envy of all your Judoka friends, and helpful to you as you learn more and more about our common passion - Judo.