Judo - Starbrook Style

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Author: Dave Starbrook
Pub: 1978 by Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Limited
Pages: 128
Ranking:Five Stars
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This book surprised me at how good it was! It's a rare winning competitor who is also a competent instructor, and Dave Starbrook is apparently one of them. I found many interesting insights into Judo in this small book. Written very much in the style of Anton Geesink's book, or Yamashita's book; it is an autobiographical history of Starbrook's Judo. Many B/W photos, but the text is so good I found myself wishing for less photos and more text...


Foreword by Ray Ross             6
Chapter One How It Began         9
Chapter Two Martial Art         l9
Chapter Three Basic Skills      27
Chapter Four Throws             39
Chapter Five Combinations       65
Chapter Six Groundwork          73
Chapter Seven Fitness Training 105
Chapter Eight Champions        117
The Glossary                   126
Competition Successes          128


Inside Cover:

In this easy-to-follow and informative guide, Dave Starbrook, Britain's leading exponent of the sport, explains his techniques for success in judo. With the help of photographs and line drawings, he describes his favourite throws, attacking moves and combinations, his methods of groundwork, armlocks, strangleholds, defensive and counter moves. But judo is a sport in which each individual has to find the techniques which suit him best, and nobody knows this better than joint British team manager Dave Starbrook. So he also explains methods which other champion judoka (judo players) use, but which he found less rewarding.

JUDO STARBROOK STYLE is as invaluable to beginners as it is to more experienced judoka. It contains a clear and concise chapter on the basic skills-the breakfalls, stance, grips and balance-as well as chapters on the more advanced throws, combinations, groundwork, and training.

But JUDO STARBROOK STYLE is not only a champion's guide to successful judo, it is also a rare insight into Dave Starbrook's chosen sport, and into the development of his life and career. It contains a fascinating account of the history of judo, its progression from the Japanese samurai's jujitsu to present day techniques.

Judo Starbrook Style also describes the other champions and their methods and covers the psychological preparation, mental attitudes, bluff and double-bluff which are necessary on the road to becoming a top-class judoka.

In the history of judo only three menin the world have ever won two Olympic medals-Dave Starbrook is one of them. A bronze and silver medallist (only by great mischance did the gold elude him) Dave Starbrook is uniquely qualified to pass on the physical and mental techniques for success in judo. As well as his Olympic medals he won over thirty-five other medals in fights worldwide.

Now retired from international competition, he is joint British national team manager-with Tony MacConnell, a former European medallist-and as such shares the responsibility for the selection and training of all Britain's international teams, from junior to Olympic level. In 1977 he was awarded an MBE for his services to judo. He is married with two children.

Front cover photograph Derek Ryman
Back cover photograph David Finch
packet design Paul Chevannes



From time to time in horse racing-the Sport of Kings-there appears an animal which becomes a legend. Pinza, Nijinsky and Mill Reef all shared the same qualities-speed, stamina, courage, consistency and class. In sportsmen, the same qualities are necessary as well as the need for greater skills. But perhaps the most important factor is a touch of luck. Rod Laver and Lesser Piggott are examples of greats, who through 'total dedication' have kept themselves at the top of their sports for a decade.

In Judo, it is David Starbrook, known affectionately as the 'Iron Man', who, through spartan discipline, has emerged as a legend. David overcame the handicap of an unsupple physique (he cannot touch his toes) through tremendous self-motivation and application in acquiring technique, strength and stamina, simply by training harder than everyone else. His gruelling schedule resulted in his winning a medal in every competition he entered from 1971 until Montreal in 1976. This period corresponded with the time that I was team manager, and it was noticeable that if he had had his fair share of Lady Luck in the competition draws, he could have won an Olympic gold medal and a World Championship.

For instance, in the 1975 World Championships, he was drawn in the same half of the pool as the four favourites for the light-heavyweight title. In the first round, David beat the Korean, after a terrific battle, with the cleanest and hardest throw I have ever seen. The Korean still had double vision an hour afterwards. In the second round, he met Dietma Lorenz, the European champion from East Germany and a renowned groundwork specialist. This resulted in a win by an ippon for David in groundwork! The third round was against the Japanese odds on favourite for the championship. At the end of this contest, Starbrook was awarded a unanimous decision. Only Rouge of France remained and he had had an easy day watching David destroy the real opposition. A very tired Starbrook lost to the powerful Frenchman on a decision.

The most vivid memory I have of David's competitive career is the contest against the ferocious Russian middleweight, Gogolouri. This was in the first round of the 1973 World Championships. Right at the beginning of the contest, Gogolouri secured a juji-gatame (armlock) and for four minutes he tried to prise David's hand grip apart with his whole body weight. Finally, his own arms tired and seized up. Five seconds after resuming in a standing position, David had thrown him using his dreaded tai-otoshi once again.

David is the perfect model for aspiring athletes and is a coach's delight. He always gives one hundred per cent effort whether it be on a squad training session or in an international match. He has been at the forefront of Judo's rise from obscurity to one of Britain's most successful Olympic teams. His vast experience and personal skills blend into a huge bank of knowledge from which people new to judo and the more advanced judoka can obtain a loan through the contents of this book, whether it be for skill acquisition or stamina gaining techniques.

However, anyone interested in sport will enjoy reading about the trials and tribulations encountered by a real 'character' in one of the most demanding Olympic sports, both physically and mentally.

Ray Ross, 6th Dan Olympic Team Manager Munich '72 and Montreal '76.



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