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Author: Nobuyuki Sato
Pub: 1992 by Ippon Books
Pages: 111
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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.

Table of Contents

 Foreword                    6
 Ashiwaza: A Personal View   7
 A History of Ashiwaza      13
 The Basics                 18
 De-Ashi-Barai              21
 Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi      39
 Harai-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi      57
 Okuri-Ashi-Barai           69
 Training for Ashiwaza      78
 Self-Defence               86
 Competition Ashiwaza       91
 Index                     111



Of all the categories of judo throws, footsweeps are perhaps the most misunderstood. Whereas it is generally very clear when a throw is harai-goshi or when it is oguruma, footsweeps have a habit of blurring into one another, making it difficult, sometimes even for the two fighters involved, to state precisely what happened. 'Then I swept him,' is the frequent description. This is often not helped by photographic evidence from competitions. One man being levelled with okuri-ash-barai can look remarkably similar to another on the end of a Harai-tsuri-komi-ashi, though not to the truly expert eye. This book sets out to clarify the divisions between the three major footsweeps -- de-ashi-barai, okuri-ashi-barai and harai-tsuri-komi-ashi. Traditionally, they are separated by three movement patterns: de-ashi-barai for opponents moving forward, okuri-ashi-barai for opponents moving sideward and harai-tsuri-komi-ashi for opponents moving backward. This book shows that it is a much more complex affair.

The book has been written by Nobuyuki Sato, manager of the Japanese national team in a period of some of its greatest successes. Of course, he was a notable competitor himself. During his long contest career encompassing two world titles and the All-Japan Championship title, he used these three techniques extensively. He adds a fourth-sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi -- an ashiwaza which, with its blocking instead of sweeping throwing action is an important complement to any armoury of footsweeps. This was also a particular favourite of his.

Those who have attended his classes during his stay in England in 1988 inevitably found themselves on the receiving end of his footsweeps or wheeled over by his sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi. He demonstrated that despite his position as the professor of judo at Tokai University where he has trained a long list of world champions, including Yasuhiro Yamashita, Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki, Hidetoshi Nakanishi and Hitoshi Sugai, he has remained an extremely capable exponent of judo himself.

He is also an advertisement for the efficacy of footsweeps for the older judoka. When it becomes more difficult to maintain speed and power on the big turning throws, shrewd but subtle use of footsweeps can help to maintain a high-standard judo practice into advanced years.

Mr Sato hopes that this book will revive an interest in ashiwaza and be of use to players and coaches alike.

Nicolas Soames
Masterclass Series Editor


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