Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Book Review - Judo by Vladimir Putin

Since I haven't posted in a while, I decided to try something new, a Book Review. Yes there are dozens of Good Judo books out there, and while there are only so many techniques, each author brings their own unique spin to entries, execution, and follow through.

A few weeks ago in this space I talked about Vladimir Putin - the Russian President - and wondered if his experience as a Judoka was good or bad for the sport. As it so turns out, Mr. Putin is the author of a book on the subject. The book, originally published in Russian, is now available as a large format book cover.

I've owned this book for over a year now, and while it is a good book, it is definitely not a definitive reference along the lines of Kodokan Judo or Best Judo. In fact, the section on throwing techniques only covers about a dozen throws. In addition, the translation is a little weird. While most english-language books use transliterated Japanese names of throws, the translator somehow wrote out the names of the throws in english (i.e. Body Drop instead of Tai Otoshi ). But despite its shortcomings that make this book a worthwhile read:

  • He has a unique approach to throws and combinations by taking a specific throw and then showing a 'wheel' of other throws that you can either in combination either to come into or out of this throw. I have found these diagrams to be well-thought out and useful, and I haven't seen anything else like it in other books.
  • He includes some interesting chapters on sports nutrition. While they're not comprehensive, it is definitely something that I haven't seen in other books
  • There is also some good information on the history of Russian Judo, as well as a chapter on Combat Sambo and self-defense.

While I wouldn't call this a must-have on your shelf or must-read, I would definitely say the time spent will be worthwhile.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Site - and life - changes... please be patient

Just FYI, I recently migrated from Linux hosting to Microsoft so that I can compliment my blogs with some ASP.NET programming. However, I am still in the conversion process, so bear with us as we get our house in order.

In addition, I have a lot more work and responsibility at work so far this year, and less time for blogging (and, unfortunately) Judo. However, February is looking a lot brighter, and I promise bigger and better content for 06'

Friday, January 06, 2006

Goals for 06'

We all need goals, and I have decided on some judo and fitness goals for myself for this year. I know that lip service isn't enough, and I will need to really work hard to get there, but I hope that at least one of these will be reached between now and next December.

  • I want to get my Nikyu. There are two promotionals in each year and that gives me two more shots at it.
  • I want to get in better shape. I went from 225-230 lbs. in August 04' to 190-195 in August 05', but by December I was back up at 205. My goal - hit 185 by April.
  • I want to start cross-training. I have begun doing calesthenics in the mornings, but I need to find a suitable Cardio workout for my non-Judo days - Running is a thought, so is cycling, but I am also thinking basketball.
  • If I do achieve my weight loss goals, I want to think about dropping down to the 81KG(178 lbs) weight class. If I can hit 185, sucking down 7 lbs shouldn't be too difficult.

What are your goals for 06'? Do you think I will make mine realistic?