Judo For The West

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Author: Geof Gleeson
Pub: 1967 by A.S. Barnes & Co.
Pages: 207
Out of Print


A revolutionary book which blends contemporary theories of learning with classic Judo, this was Gleeson's first book on Judo. With such good material on coaching, this is a valuable addition to any Judoka's library, particularly if you teach Judo.  Widely available, and shouldn't cost very much. Be sure to check out his other two books, The Complete Book of Judo, and Judo Inside Out.


        Teaching Method and Coaching Technique 17

 Learning by Imitation 20
 The utilization of education 21
 Instructional Technique 24
 Planning for a Period 24
 Planning for a Session 24
 Skill 25
 Competition 28
 Interest 29
 Enjoyment 31
 A Coach's Characteristics 33
 Class Control 34
 Discipline 34
 Hygiene 34
 Class Technique 35
 The Importance of Demonstration 35
 The Use of Floor Area 37
 Class Appreciation of Initial Demonstration 38
 Progress Variation 39
 Use of Habit 39
 Explanations 40
 Use of Voice 42
 Observation 43
 Imagination 45
 Judo Leaders 47
 The Position and Importance of the Instructor, Coach and
 Teacher 48, 49
 Conclusion 50
 Bibliography 51

 General Factors 53
 Types of Throw 55
Speed and Movement 56
   Posture 57
   Movement 60
     Power Point 61
     Power Curve 65
     Control Curve 68
     Acceleration 69
     Body Movement 72
     Chest Contact 72
     Turning 74
     Legs 75
     Feet 78
     Head 80
 Tsukuri 82
   Hands 83
   Arms 85
   Ne-waza 89
 General Factors: Conclusion 91
 Supplementary Factors 91
   Falling 92
 Uchikomi 96
 Forms of Training 100
   Randori 102
   Shiai 104
 Observation 105
 Kinaesthetic Appreciation 109
 Aesthetic Appreciation 109
 Coaching Hooks 111
 Imagination 111
 Conclusion 112
 Bibliography 113

 3 Elementary Judo 114

 The Introductory Group Method 117
 Group 1 119
   Dynamic Defence 125
   Combined Attack and Defence 126
   Ukemi 127
 Group 2 127
   Major Sub-group 128
   Dynamic Defence 130
   Minor Sub-group 132
Group 3  134
   Dynamic Defence 137
 Ne-waza 140
 Linked Systems 144
   Coaching Hooks (Elementary) 148
 Conclusion. Objects of Group Method 148

    Intermediate Judo 150

 Example from Group I: Tai-otoshi 151
 Example from Group 2: 0-soto-gari 154
 Example from Group 3: Harai-Goshi 157
 Hairi-Kata 158
 Coaching Points for Various Techniques 160
 Tai-otoshi 161
 Tsuikomi-goshi 161
 Seoi-nage (ippon) 162
 0-soto-gari 164
 0-uchi-gari 165
 Ko-uchi-gari 165
 Ko-soto-gari 166
 Harai-goshi 168
 Uchi-mata 169
 Hane-goshi 171
 Ashi-waza 172
 Sutemi-waza 174
 Kaeshi-waza 175
 Ne-waza 175
   A Ne-waza Sequence for an Intermediate Student 176
 Conclusion 182

    British Judo Association Coaching Examinations 185

 An outline of the requirements for:
   The Club Instructors Award 186
      The Coach Award 188
      Senior Coach Award 191
   The Promotion Syllabus, with full explanation and definition 194
 The Gokyo 201
 Japanese pronunciation 202
 Glossary 204



A sport that resists change dies. Who now plays Pall Mall? Fortunately, the resistance of most sports to change is not insuperable. The historian surveying a sport's past can easily see how a simple game or physical feat originates with an enthusiastic individual or group and is gradually taken up by thousands of like-minded men and women. The sport becomes organized, it must be governed by rules, specific techniques are devised, handed on and written down. After a time, a block occurs. The sport may lose adherents or spectators or it may become enshrined as in a temple or museum. It ceases to develop. Perhaps some club or team modifies the traditions of the game and wins a world championship as has happened more than once in association football; perhaps the sport becomes a new and independent variant as did American football, and its development continues.

Mr Gleeson believes that some such crisis has occurred for judo and I agree with him. Judo is very far from declining. It has, on the contrary, attracted an enormous number of new adherents in Europe during the last twenty years. The increase of clubs and organizations in Britain, the growth of classes in evening institutes and the formation of a Schools Judo Association bears witness to the appeal of judo. Nevertheless, there are many, very many, who have abandoned the sport in disappointment and frustration, and judoka cannot be content to rest on their traditions and dogmas.

The author of this book starts from an analysis not of what ought to happen in the dojo, but of what does happen. Learning must come from the throws themselves not from artificially devised practices. Many of these latter come in for severe criticism, not least the standard use of the arm-beat method of falling. However, what is now needed is not an approach to judo as a stylized form of Japanese wrestling nor as unarmed combat nor as a twentieth century alternative to the 'noble art of self defence' but an analysis of judo as a positive and dynamic sport for the West as well as the East. We none of us know all the answers in teaching or learning judo, but this book offers all who read it the chance to think ahead.

Peter C. McIntosh, B.A. (Oxon)
Dip. P.E. (Carnegie)
Once Lecturer in Physical Education, Birmingham University.
Now Senior Inspector of Physical Education, Greater London Council.



The reader, having seen the title of the book may, by inference, imagine that I advocate a style of judo different from that practised in Japan. This is far from the truth. I have experienced far too much and have far too great an admiration for 'Japanese Judo' to want to change it-although naturally enough I should like Britain to surpass the standards set by the Japanese! What I do consider needs radical change to suit the temperament of the Britisher are the methods of teaching and training. The teaching and training of any skill is to a greater or lesser extent a reflection of the national characteristics of the country involved; when the skill is indigenous the extent is greater. Therefore when a skill or sport is transferred to another country that country should replace the foreign training methods with methods reflecting and exploiting its own characteristics, needs and virtues.

The main purpose of this book is to indicate how this could be done with judo in Britain and the West. The general educational background is shown, indicating what constitutes learning and how these principles are incorporated into a judo teaching method; then more specifically an introductory method is shown with a follow-up at the intermediate stage of learning. Other specialized aspects, like the advanced skills, kata training etc. will, it is hoped, be covered in detail in later books.

In addition to reassessing the value of training and relating it to existent circumstances, another main object of the book is to reveal the actual bones of the game. I have, in other words, tried to clear away some of the cobwebs and dust accumulated over the past half-century, which have obscured the true value of judo training. Judo, because it had its origin in a period of time which was virtually feudalistic, has become somewhat contaminated with an obfuscatory aura of feudalistic mumbojumbo, with the result that subsequent teachers, for various reasons, have insisted on treating judo as a feudalistic, esoteric 'art' and have taught it as such, mistaking the original or early environmental manifestations of the training as the essence of the skill. In an attempt to substantiate such an approach these teachers have 'nudged' historical events somewhat out of context to support this interpretation. For example, Kano (the founder of judo) was made out to be a little man inspired to invent a series of clever tricks merely to overcome the bully, which he then passed on to a few 'enlightened' followers. When the truth is known, Kano was in fact one of Japan's most brilliant educationalists, who not only saw the need for a national sport (with as many recreational as patriotic benefits), but was visionary enough to see how such a sport might develop and possibly even attract people other than the Japanese. Judo was his own contribution to the overall fitness and recreational enjoyment of his countrymen. It had no connection with self-defence or ju-jitsu. A careful study of its underlying principles will prove that. It was intended solely to fill a gap in the physical, recreational and educational requirements of a people needing to play purposefully and beneficially. He did not attach any grandiose pseudo-philosophic trappings to the sport; he intended it simply as a physical developer. If the individual could acquire satisfaction and self-expression from the training, then judo had more than achieved its original task.

Lastly there is a personal objective in writing the book; to try to help other people find as much pleasure from the game as I have done. Judo has been my chief sport for almost twenty years now. With very few exceptions, in whatever conditions and places I have found myself doing it, I have enjoyed every minute. It has brought me satisfaction, much excitement, travel, knowledge and many friends. By attempting to clarify some of the many things which always puzzled me in my early training days, others may be able to take shortcuts and avoid bewilderment.

At one time or another I have met many of the famous contemporary judo personalities and have heard them talk about their judo hobby-horses, expounding what in their opinion is judo's object and purpose. Because of their personal example and opinions (let me be frank and add-despite some others) I started off and have remained a judo enthusiast. I thought then, as now, that judo, given the right presentation, can do much for any person who plays it conscientiously and sincerely.

The main purpose for the accumulation of knowledge is, in my opinion, to help the possessor live a fuller and richer life. Judo can be looked upon as a special type of knowledge which can be transferred to other fields of experience, and in so doing help the trainee to live a fuller life than if he had not taken up judo. For this to happen the teacher or coach must have a clear picture of the aims and purposes of all aspects of his trade-teaching judo. By his example, both on and off the mat, he will stimulate his class to strive towards more knowledge and increased awareness of all things. If this is achieved to any degree then judo will have served a very real purpose in society.

G. R. Gleeson



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