Judo For Women

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Author: Ruth Horan
Pub: 1965 by Crown Publishers
Pages: 149
Out of Print


Mainly oriented towards Self-Defense techniques for women, this book is fairly basic in nature. Lots of good photos, and the self-defense techniques demonstrated are all quite solid. This would be a good beginners text for self-defense applications of Judo.


 Brief History of Judo                               1
 The Philosophy and Aims                             3
 Why Judo for Women?                                 4
 What Every Female Student of Judo Should Know       9
 A Word of Caution                                  12
 Basic Exercises                                    13
 Isometric Exercises                                24
 Ukemi -- The Art of Falling                        28
 Judo Techniques                                    38
         1. Basic Hand Escape                       38
         2. Cross-Hand Escape                       40
         3. Basic Two-Hand Escape                   41
         4. Basic Front Choke Escape                42
         5. Basic Rear Choke Escape                 43
 Counterattacks, or Atewaza -- The Art of Attacking
      the Vital Points of the Body                  44
         6. Counterattacks for Basic Escapes        44
         7. Pressure Points                         52
         8. Neck Embrace                            56
         9. Push to the Wall                        57
         10. Two Hands to One                       58
         11. Bim Bam Boom                           60
         12. Counters to a Rear Attack              62
         13. Wrist Locks                            66
         14. Hand Escape to Lock                    69
         15. Alternate Wrist Lock                   71
         16. Cross-Hand Escape to Lock              72
         17. Front Choke Lock                       74
         18. Takedown                               76
         19. Kicks                                  77
         20. Rear Bent-Arm Choke with Kick          78
Knife Attacks                                       80
      21. Knife Slash                               81
      22. Knife Attack from Above -- Right Side     84
      23. Knife Attack from Above -- Left Side      86
      24. Knife Attack from Below                   88
      25. Knife 'Attack from Below -- Limited  Area 90
 Fist Attacks                                       92
      26. Straight Right Punch to the Head          92
      27. Roundhouse Punch to the Head              95
      28. Two Hands to One -- Closed                96
      29. Two Hands Up                              98
      30. Club Attack                              100
      31. Lapel Grip                               103
      32. Lapel Grip -- Takedown                   106
 Advanced Escapes                                  108
      33. Hand Escape -- Inverted Grip             108
      34. Advanced Hand Escape                     110
      35. Low Pin                                  112
      36. Arm Lock                                 114
      37. Two Hands in Back                        116
      38. Mugging Escape                           118
      39. Sleeve Grip                              121
      40. Come-Along                               123
      41. Elbow Lock                               126
      42. Push-Along                               128
      43. Arm Lock Escape                          130
      44. Head Lock Escape                         132
      45. Head Lock Takedown                       134
      '46. Purse-Snatcher Takedown                 136
      47. Front Medium Pin                         137
      48. Ground Escape                            138
      49. Basic Hip Throw -- Ogoshi                140
      50. Scarf Choke or Garrote Throw             142
 Sport Judo for Women                              145
 A Word to the Wise                                147



Judo is perfectly suited to the needs and the temperament of women. Properly taught, it is truly the Gentle Way. The study of Judo strengthens character and at the same time develops a gentle personality, thus making a woman appear more feminine. You are taught methods designed to injure an attacker instantly. At the same time, you are responsible for the welfare of the person with whom you are practicing on the Judo mat. Therefore, you are on your honor not to misuse your knowledge. This, of course, develops your self-control. Most beginners have no intention of harrying their partners. Yet by wanting to do their moves too quickly, before learning proper control, they can cause injuries. It is imperative to exercise self-control and to practice the moves slowly. In learning to protect yourself you gain confidence in many ways, Enthusiastic interest in something outside yourself turns you into a more vital person, one who is interesting to others. This in turn helps you to feel more sure of yourself, and such self-confidence will make you more poised. Poise is merely the ability to meet any given situation with calmness and confidence. The study of Judo also induces a true humility. Quite often the beginner in Judo feels stupid. This is because, while the basic moves appear quite simple, the coordination necessary to do them correctly can be achieved only after they have been practiced many times. As you progress in Judo you gain coordination, and learning the moves then becomes easier. But the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. This tends to deflate self-importance and to replace impatience with tolerance, arrogance with empathy, and false pride with humility. While you are striving for the unobtainable goal of perfection, there is no room for smug self-satisfaction. Each day is a new challenge to learn and improve.

If the only benefits derived from Judo were to our health, it would still be well worth the effort. The very nature of Judo captures the imagination, You become so fascinated with the Art, you think of nothing else while you are practicing. You forget your worries and cares. Judo serves to release tensions-mental as well as physical. You work off your frustrations. The physical activities of Judo give you a wonderful feeling of well-being.

One benefit of Judo is that it coordinates the entire body. Many activities and sports build or exercise only one set of muscles; Judo conditions all of them. It increases your flexibility, making you much more agile. This makes you feel and appear more graceful. By improving your circulation it improves your complexion. Because balance is so much a part of Judo, students generally note their posture improves. I have found with most of my students that the overweight reduce, the underweight gain. If the weight is right but its distribution is wrong, Judo can put the weight in the right places. Most of my students lose inches from their waist and hips in the first few months. The overall benefits derived from studying Judo make the woman student appear and feel younger and more vibrant. The teen-age student appears more mature and womanly. She faces life with more confidence but without arrogance or egotism.

While nobody would claim that Judo has medical "cure-all" powers, I cannot overlook the physical and mental improvement in the condition of my students. One of my students, a woman with many problems in her private life, was having her yearly physical checkup. As the doctor was taking her blood pressure she started to tell him of her Judo classes. In her enthusiasm she talked for several minutes, during which he took her blood pressure several times. She naturally asked him why. He replied, "I don't know very much about Judo, but I strongly urge you to continue your studies'. I was taking your blood pressure when you started telling me about your Judo classes. As you talked, your blood pressure went down fifty points. It's amazing." He went on to explain that tension had caused a temporary rise in her blood pressure. As she talked with enthusiasm of Judo, her cares were forgotten and the tension subsided.

I had two girls as students who were completely deaf. The inability to hear danger, such as automobiles and trucks-or potential attackers-was an important problem to them. They found' that the study of Judo increased the speed of their reflexes and the so-called sixth sense. They could sense when someone approached. They became much more relaxed because they. Were freed from fear, fear of the unheard and unknown. Their headaches caused by tension disappeared.

To me one of the most important benefits of Judo is the feeling of fellowship. On the Judo mat artificial social distinctions disappear. We are all engaged in the same struggle. First, we learn to control and coordinate our own body, and then we learn how to control our partner's body and physical action. This creates a profound respect for the human body and consequently a much deeper respect for other people. As we advance in our studies, we learn to accept our partner as a true partner, not an opponent. This partner-ship is necessary to our progress. Thus, all true Judo players endeavor to help other Judo players to learn. When you are practicing Judo you will learn more quickly and enjoy it more if you trust the person with whom you are working. You must be relaxed. When you are thrown, the body must be relaxed in the proper position. Any muscle that is tight will transmit shock to the rest of the body. In trusting your partners with your body, you learn to trust them completely. This leads to a warm feeling of friendship and confidence in others.

Many people believe that Judo as a contact sport is only for the physically conditions and to both sexes. The science of Judo is based on the laws of nature. It is applied physics with emphasis on leverage and gravity. We endeavor in our training to learn to coordinate our bodies so that these principles work for us instead of against us. By using these principles, a small woman can keep under control a bigger, stronger opponent. The oldest woman student I have ever taught was seventy-six. While she learned to defend herself well against an assailant, her greatest benefit from Judo was peace of mind. Age should not deter anyone from studying Judo. The teaching of Judo can and should be adapted to the needs and the abilities of the student. No two people ever learn at the same rate; yet the ultimate object remains the same for all. The instructor is responsible for teaching Judo techniques in the natural order. The moves must start with the easiest and progress to the more advanced. To teach an advanced technique before the student has learned the coordination necessary for the previous move is to invite injury to both student and partner. The instructor is responsible for actions and progress. No move should be taught until the instructor feels the student is ready for it.

It would be wonderful if husband, brother, or boyfriend were always with us to protect and defend us. Unfortunately there may be times when we are alone and unprotected. Avoiding trouble is the best use of Judo. But the knowledge that we can handle trouble if it is forced upon us does give a sense of security. A display of confidence will often make a would-be attacker think twice.

Here are a few cases in which Judo has played an important role in protecting several of my students.

It was the late afternoon of a bright fall day in New York. A woman instructor in a high-school printing class was hurrying along Forty-third Street and had almost reached Times Square. She became instinctively aware of a large man walking behind her. He suddenly appeared at her side and asked for a match. Saying she had no matches, she kept on walking. Without further ado, he seized her right wrist with both of his large hands. With a smile she quickly turned under his arms. Freeing her wrist from his grasp, she faced him with a broad grin. Her main thought was, "What will we do now?" He gaped. He stood and stared in utter amazement. His expression clearly said, "How could a five-foot-two-inch woman escape so easily from me, a six-foot-three-inch man?" He backed away in confusion. Thoroughly perplexed, he turned, ran for about ten feet, then stopped and looked again. With a look of utter disbelief, he took to his heels in earnest.

This one-hundred-and-ten-pound woman was one of my students in Judo. She had been studying for about a year at the time of the encounter. She said she smiled when he seized her because the move was so simple to escape from. She was pleased with herself because her escape had been a reflex action to his attack-just as it was supposed to be. She had spent a year practicing this type of escape, a year well spent if only for this moment.

Her calmness, confidence, and disarming grin were effective weapons. What attacker wouldn't be knocked off balance to find his intended victim freeing herself so easily and then smiling at him?

If the attack had occurred in a deserted area, her reaction would have triggered a different counterattack. She would have incapacitated him while she still had the element of surprise working for her.

Another example concerns a young student nurse who was annoyed by a man walking next to her while she was hurrying through the subway crowds. He said, "Hello, baby. What's your hurry?" Ignoring him, she increased her speed. He would not be brushed off. Finally he grabbed her wrist and said, "Hey, babe, I said where are you going in such a hurry?" Snapping her wrist from his grasp, she replied, "I'm going to the YWCA to my Judo class!" When last seen he was beating a hasty retreat.

A tall middle-aged woman stepped from the subway train. As she walked down the platform, her heel caught in a grating, and the strap on her shoe broke. She walked slowly along, wondering how she could get home with her shoe in this condition. It had been such a pleasant day. In her attache case was a bottle of expensive perfume she had saved for weeks to buy. By the time she approached the stairs to the street the other passengers had gone. Suddenly a man appeared at her side with a fistful of money. He said, "Look at the money I found. What should I do with it?" After a glance at him she said, "Turn it in to the station agent, I guess." She looked back at her shoe. In that instant he pushed her against the wall and held her there with his forearm. His other hand went to his trousers. Her first thought was of her perfume. Should she drop her attache case and risk breaking the bottle? She thought, "No, so that eliminates wrist locks. I'll try pressure points. No, I'll just hit him with a Judo counterblow." With that, as she had been taught in Judo class, she raised her free hand to strike his neck with the side of the hand. He immediately released her and ran away. She was quite surprised. Almost two years before she had taken only eight lessons. How then had she remembered so many of the things she should do in such a circumstance, and why was she not in the least bit panicky? Mainly because she was angry. She went to the change booth attendant and told him of the attack. Busy counting change, he scarcely noticed her. Without looking up he advised her to "call a cop." Now she was really angry. As she started once again for the stairs at the end of the station, she heard a woman screaming. She thought, "Well, it worked once for me. Maybe I can help this woman." As she rounded a corner she could see the same man. The woman was prone on the platform. Looking up as my student came running toward him, he must have figured that two angry women were too much. This time he ran away for good.

A small high-school girl was balancing her books against the swaying of the subway car when she became aware of a man's body pressed against her back. As she had been taught in her Judo class, she moved away. He soon followed. She moved again. Again he followed. It was now obvious his moves were not accidental. She glanced over her shoulder before starting a countermeasure. She was surprised to see such a little man. Remembering the admonition that "the best use of Judo is to not have to use it at all," she reached into her purse for her wallet. The man did a double-take and moved away. She had shown him her Judo Rank Registration Card. Normally you do not let a potential attacker know that you know Judo. Why give away your secret weapon? In this case it was understandable. It may have made him think twice the next time. Perhaps another intended victim would not be so considerate.

These are just a few of the attacks and attempted attacks experienced by my students. Many others have had numerous occasions to use what they learned in their Judo classes to protect themselves. All have acquitted themselves well. Not one has suffered any harm at the hands of an attacker. I am very proud of all my students. I am also very grateful that when they needed to protect themselves, the Judo they had learned saved them from harm.


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