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.


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