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Author: Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki
Pub: 1992 by Ippon Books
Pages: 112
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
Shimewaza: A Personal View . 8
A History of Shimewaza .... 11
A Technical Introduction .. 14
Okuri-eri-jime ............ 16
Juji-jime ................. 38
Kata-ha-jime .............. 48
Hadaka-jime ............... 56
Koshi-jime ................ 62
Sangaku-jime .............. 72
Miscellaneous techniques .. 86
Training .................. 93
Shimewaza and Ochiru ...... 95
Self Defence .............. 99
Competition .............. 102
Index .................... 112



The range of shimewaza in judo is huge. When this book was in the early planning stages, it was expected that the range of strangles could be accommodated quite comfortably in the normal size book of the Judo Masterclass Techniques -- 96 pages. But as the preparation advanced, it became obvious that the repertoire was so extensive that a larger book was necessary. Thus, we have 112 pages.

Even so, Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki does not pretend that this is an exhaustive list. During the first photo session, and during subsequent discussions as the book was being written, other techniques came to the surface and additional photographs had to be taken.

It is undoubtedly the largest collection ever made under one cover, but in the end it remains just a selection of the most popular and the most useful. Yet shimewaza has always been the most esoteric aspect of newaza -- at least in the West, where armlocks predominate. And even in Japan, where more shimewaza are used in competition than armlocks, the numbers of successful applications are relatively small.

However, there is no denying the effectiveness of shimewaza. Almost everyone in their judo career knows what it is like to be on the brink of consciousness when in the hands of a shimewaza specialist, and everyone treats shimewaza with great respect. They may be more difficult to learn and to apply than armlocks or osaekomi, but when they work they can do so with devastating abruptness.

Most people who have done newaza with Kashiwazaki will have had experience of shimewaza. The relentless, irresistable attack of those long fingers working their way steadily under the jawline towards the carotid artery is an unforgettable feeling. It is also a good lesson in panic control.

I have a particular memory of his shimewaza. I was uke for him during a demonstration he gave at a school in England where I taught. He explained and demonstrated a variety of his techniques, including tomoe-nage and obi-tori-gaeshi into tate-.shiho-gatame, and then went into shimewaza. He turned me over with the sangaku-jime roll, and propped himself up on one elbow to explain to his audience -- my pupils -- about strangling. However, it was quite early on in his days in England, and English was quite an effort for him. As he was searching for words and grammar, the tension translated itself into his body, and, without realising it, he tightened his legs.

Reality, for me, began to recede into the distance. A great peace descended upon my consciousness. I heard vaguely his description, as if through cotton wool, but I had lost the will or the capability to tap. I just remember thinking that I hoped he found the words he was looking for quickly.

It was not a demonstration that the pupils forgot for a long time, nor did I. And when it became time for the Judo Masterclass series to issue a book on shimewaza, I knew just the man to write it.

Nicolas Soames
Masterclass Series Editor


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