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Author: Yasuhiro Yamashita
Pub: 1992 by Ippon Books
Pages: 96
Ranking:Five star Rating
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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.


Foreword .................... 6
Osoto-Gari: A Personal View . 7
A History of Osoto-Gari .... 11
Techniques ................. 17
Combinations ............... 47
Defences and Counters ...... 61
Training for Osoto-Gari .... 73
Self-Defence ............... 81
Competition Osoto-Gari ..... 87
Index ...................... 96



Osoto-gari has always been one of the most popular of judo throws in spite of its general classification as a technique used most frequently by middleweights and above. Despite its apparently simple mechanical principles, it is a throw as complex in its nuances and as rich in its variations as any of the other major throws.

There could be no better guide to osoto-gari than Yasuhiro Yamashita. Ever since he burst on to the international scene as a teenager in 1976, he dominated judo in a way that few would have thought possible with the growing international status of the sport. From that unforgettable day in the Tournoi de Paris until he retired, in 1985, he was unbeaten, winning a record nine All-Japan Championships, the Olympic Open title in 1984 and world titles in 1979, 1981 and 1983. As a competitor, his judo was underpinned by an intense determination to do his best. This was not merely a question of raw ambition but a deep-rooted vision of what a human being is capable of when faced with Mount Everest in the shape of a massive Russian opponent, Sergei Novikov, or his much larger Japanese rival, Hitoshi Saito. Yamishita never lost.

What was even more notable was that, throughout, his judo technique was distinguished by a high level of competence in both tachiwaza and newaza, backed by perfect preparation. Whatever his heart felt -- after all, judo is not an activity for the chicken-hearted -- Yamashita always maintained a courteous and considerate presence.

During his competitive career, he developed a particular understanding for a number of throws, including uchimata and ouchi-gari, but his osoto-gari always remained his tokui-waza (favourite technique). When invited to contribute to this series, he showed no hesitation in chosing osoto-gari.

Though he specialised in a particularly dynamic form of osoto-gari, he has made a continuing study of other variations. This book is the fruit of that study. It represents Yamashita's viewpoint, and a view of Japanese judo at its peak. In so doing it is an outstanding contribution to the Masterclass series.

Nicolas Soames
Series Editor


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