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Author: Neil Adams
Pub: 1989 by Ippon Books
Pages: 96
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This is one of the 'Judo Masterclass Techniques' series of books. If you don't already own these books, start saving up right now... Ippon Books charges a pretty penny for these, I got lucky on a Christmas sale and picked up all 14 of them for $225. They are all at least as good as anything you'll be able to find anywhere else, and mostly superior. They are all written by acknowledged experts of the techniques being discussed. You simply cannot go wrong on any of the "Masterclass Techniques" books. I have my favorites among the 14 listed books, but they simply reflect my tokuiwaza, and no other reason.

 Foreword                   6
 Armlocks: a Personal View  7
 A History of Armlocks      8
 Juji-gatame               14
 Finishing Juji-gatame     38
 Ude-gatame                44
 Ude-garami                49
 Waki-gatame               57
 Standing Armlocks         59
 Hara-gatame               65
 Special Combinations      68
 Self-defence              76
 Competition Armlocks      80
 Afterword                 94
 Index                     96



Armlocks have always been accorded a prominent role in judo, not least because of their immediate effectiveness. Practised in most ju-jitsu schools, they came under the general terminology of kansetsu-waza, or joint locks. The third section of the groundwork kata, katame-no-kata, was devoted to armlocks, with the main five demonstrated: ude-garami, juji-gatame, ude-gatame, hiza-gatame and ashi-garami.

When Yukio Tani brought judo to widespread notice in Britain in the first decade of the twentieth century by touring the music-halls to take on all comers, the armlock was much in evidence. One of his special techniques was a flying armlock which had powerful boxers and wrestlers submitting anxiously. That Tani's exploits made a noted impression on his British audience is borne out by Bernard Shaw's reference to him in his play, Major Barbara: the character Todger Fairmile confesses to having submitted to the 'Jap wrestler' but only when his arms were going to break!

But as the competition side of judo developed over the following decades, it was the West that took the lead with armlocks. In men's judo in the United Kingdom today as many as sixty per cent of contests won on the ground are armlock victories, while the percentage in Japan is much smaller-often less than twenty-five per cent.

Ever since winning the 1981 World Championships with juji-gatame, Neil Adams has been regarded as one of the finest exponents of armlocks and there could have been no more appropriate author for a specialist book on the subject. It came as no surprise that, when invited to teach a technique at the Kodokan in Tokyo, he was specifically asked to demonstrate juji-gatame.

But in addition to the variety of turns into juji-gatame which he demonstrated throughout his extensive contest career, he has also made a specialist study of other armlocks- and their use in tachiwaza as well as newaza. Here, for the first time, he concentrates on armlocks alone, including most of the techniques that are seen on the modern contest mat. it is an absorbing and fascinating study which will doubtless be regarded as the handbook of the subject for decades to come.

Nicolas Soames
Masterclass Series Editor


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