My Championship Judo

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Author: Anton Geesink
Pub: 1966 by Arco Publishing Co.
Pages: 135
Ranking:Four star Rating
Out of Print


You never really forget your first love, and in my case, I must confess a particular joy for this out-of-print book, as it was a copy of this that I read as a kid, that began my interest in Judo. So it's hard to be objective about this book. It was painful to be honest and only list it as a Four Star book - when I'd gladly put a rating of Five Stars... but I have to rate books for all the website visitors, and not just for me

It's written in an auto-biographical style, with Anton Geesink showing his favorite techniques, describing his ups & downs in competitive Judo. One technique shown (actually, a counter), I've rarely seen discussed anywhere else: 'Kusabi Dome'... he also has several really excellent pages on Sankaku waza. I recommend this book, especially if you can find it at a reasonable price.

        The sport that won my heart,                        7
        The sport in which I got to know myself.            7
 My Judo                                                     
        Title and purport                                   9
        Ashi-Waza                                          13
        Koshi-Waza                                         13
        Te-Waza                                            13
        Shizen-Tai                                         13
        0-Soto-Gari                                        14
        Hiza-Guruma                                        18
        Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi                              20
        The difference between Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi
            and Hiza-Guruma                                22
        0-Uchi-Gari                                        24
        Ko-Uchi-Gari                                       26
        Tsuri-Komi-Goshi                                   28
        Harai-Goshi                                        30
        Uchi-Mata                                          32
        Kusabi-Dome against Harai-Goshi                    38
        Tai-Sabaki against Uchi-Mata                       39
        Tai-Sabaki against Harai-Goshi                     41
        Seoi-Nage I                                        42
        Seoi-Nage II                                       44
        Eri-Seoi-Nage                                      46
        Hiza-Guruma -- Ko-Soto-Gari                        50
        Okuri-Ashi-Harai -- 0-Soto-Gari                    52
        0-Soto-Gari-Migi -- Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi-Hidari   54
        0-Soto-Gari-Migi -- Uchi-Mata-Migi                 56
        0-Soto-Gari -- 0-Uchi-Gari                         58
 Kumi-Kata                                                 60

        The Cinderella of Judo                             62
        Kesa-Gatame                                        64
        Kuzure-Kesa-Gatame followed by Ude-Hishigi         66
        Yoko-Shiho-Gatame                                  68
        Kuzure- Yoko-Shiho-Gatame                          72
        Ude-Garami I                                       74
        Ude-Garami II                                      76
        Ude-Garami III                                     78
        Okuri-Eri-Jime                                     80
        Kata-Ha-Jime                                       82
        Ushiro-Jime                                        84
        Shime-Waza in contest Judo                         86
        Ushiro-Jime in contest Judo                        88
        Okuri-Eri-Jime in contest Judo                     90
 Sankaku-Waza, my Tokui-Waza                               
        Sankaku-Jime                                       96
        Sankaku-Ude-Kansetsu-Waza                          98
        Sankaku-Shiho- Tate-Gatame                        100
        Sankaku-Ude-Kansetsu-Waza I                       102
        Sankaku-Ude-Kansetsu-Waza II                      104
        Sankaku-Ude-Kansetsu-Waza III or
             Sankaku-Shiho-Tate-Gatame                    106
        Sankaku-Ude-Hishigi                               108
        Sankaku-Shiho-Tate-Gatame                         109
        Sumi Gaeshi I                                     110
        Sumi-Gaeshi II                                    114
 My contest Judo                                          117
        Pictures from my contest Judo                     122

 In translating the Japanese nomenclature in the headings,
 the English equivalents have as much as possible been placed
 in the same  order, and under the Japanese terms, see e.g. page 54
           0   -  SOTO  -  GARI - MIGI                       
         major   outer   leg-sweep right                     


The sport that won my heart
The sport in which I got to know myself

I was only fourteen years old when I set foot on the judo mat for the first time. My introductory bow was a hasty nod, and I plunged into the fight with the impetuosity, the intrepidity and the recklessness peculiar to a boy of that age. When I now set foot on the mat, my bow is deeper; it no longer reflects haste, but respect. What a lot my great Japanese teachers taught me there on that mat.

I became Dutch champion twenty-one times, European champion, twenty times and World champion in 1961 in Paris, in 1964 in Tokyo I became both World and Olympic champion and again World Champion in Sao Paulo in 1965.

Five times I tasted the hospitality of Japan, the nursery of my Judo-and what hospitality it was! It was there that I was able to perfect my favourite sport, and today my most promising pupils are welcomed in Japan with open arms.

I also learned to suffer defeats. Often-especially later on-I learned from the defeats I inflicted upon my opponents; I learned to win. I also won many friends among all races, ranks and stations, learned to understand and speak their languages, and to respect and appreciate their manners and customs. This taught me that peace and prosperity can only be attained by mutual understanding, and that sport may be an important contribution to opening up the ways leading to that understanding. In short, I got to know the world and myself and built up my career.

My career, will however, not end in Sao Paulo. For Judo has won my heart, and within and outside the walls of my new modern school in Utrecht, my birthplace, and within and beyond the frontiers of our small country, I intend to devote myself to the training of a new Judo generation, to work for the degree of perfection which I have acquired, though I know that perfection as such can never be achieved.

Hence, this my first book may be considered to mark the conclusion of my career as competition judoka and the beginning of the task I have set myself on behalf of Judo all over the world. It is meant to give insight into the manner in which I have developed my Judo, both to those practising Judo as a competition sport and to those who are interested in or fascinated by it. I hope that I shall succeed in the object I have in view, namely that it may stimulate many to acquire further proficiency in Judo, and others to realise the values that lie hidden in the practising of Judo and competition Judo.

In conclusion, I wish to thank my great teacher Matsumoto-sensei and all those who have supported and stimulated me, and have set an example, through which I was able to realise all that I wanted to realise, through which I have become what I am.


One of the first things a child at the primary school learns is the art of writing. It is instructed there in the technique of writing and it learns there the fundamentals, in a scholastic and uniform way. The child's handwriting changes with the development of its personality; the primitive form remains, but the scholastic uniformity is lost. It develops character in tune with its personality.

A football coach polishes the technique of the players of his team and teaches them the basic principles and the strategic features of a certain system. However, the eleven players give character to the system with their personality. They maintain the basic form, but adapt it to their character and there is not a single team applying a certain system in exactly the same manner.

A judoka learns in the Kodokan the basic forms, the techniques, but if he wishes to be successful in contests, he will have to give character to his Judo. He will have to adapt his Judo to his aptitude, to his speed, his special adroitness and abilities, and thus he should know that it is not sensible to start an immobilising hold, a strangle hold or an arm-lock unless he feels that his position is safe, even though, for instance, the position of his feet or the grip of his hands is not precisely what the school prescribes.

In this book you will find the techniques which I thought the most important for the building up of my contest arsenal; from "Tsuri-Komi-Goshi", the lifting-pull-hip-throw, as the English call it, from which I always started when training in Tachi-Waza, i.e. the standing techniques, to Sankaku-Waza, the triangle techniques, which occupy such an important place in my ground work,. Along with them you will find my application of those techniques to competition sport, but adapted to my character, my aptitude, speed, and abilities. Moreover you will find in it those throws and immobilising holds with which I scored my great successes; you will find O-Soto-Gari, the major outward leg-sweep, by use of which I became third in the world championships in Tokyo in 1956 against the Frenchman Courtine; you will find Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi, the lifting leg block, which in Paris in 1961 was how I led into my Mune-Gatame, the chest-immobilising hold, with which I gained my first world championship against the Japanese Sone.

You will find Uchi-Mata, the inner thigh throw, with which I beat the Japanese Koga during the same championships; you will find also Kesa-Gatame, the lapel immobilising hold, with which I became World and Olympic champion in Tokyo in 1964 against the Japanese Kaminaga.

In this book I have set out "my Judo" according to form and purport. With it I have become "Seventh Dan". I hope it will prove to be an important basic book for judokas all over the world. A basic book comprising all Judo in the compass of one volume is impossible. Special books will have to follow on Tachi-Waza, standing techniques; Ne-Waza, ground techniques; Renraku-Waza, combination techniques; and Kata, Judo principles and techniques especially for Dan graduates-in order to be able to get to the bottom of Judo in its entirety. All such future books will, however, draw to a considerable extent upon this, my basic book.


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