Shop Judo Books

For a beginner or intermidiate student, it is difficult to choose judo books appropriate for the student's level and experience. We don't want to present an extensive list of books, just some of which are clear and good to accompany you through black belt and beyond.

Judo Books


Kodokan Judo
By Jigoro Kano (Founder of Judo)
Judo, or the Way of Gentleness, an ideal form of physical exercise and a reliable system, of self-defense, was specially created from traditional Japanese martial arts. This book by the creator of Kodokan judo is uniquely comprehensive and the most authoritative guide to this martial art ever published. Over a hundred years ago Jigoro Kano mastered swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat. Failing to discover any underlying principle, he set about designing a new martial art to reflect the concept of maximum efficiency in the use of physical and mental energy. Today, the concepts and techniques of judo taught at the Kodokan are the ones originally devised by their creator and collected together in this book. Covering everything from the fundamental techniques to prearranged formal exercises for both men and women, the book offers detailed explanations of how techniques are combined in two types of practice: randori (free practice) and kata (the practice of forms). In addition to a discussion of traditional methods of resuscitation, the book concludes with a useful appendix of information on the founder and the Kodokan International Judo Center, and a glossary of judo terminology. Fully illustrated throughout, Kodokan Judo will help students and instructors everywhere to discover the principles, techniques, and spirit of this popular martial art.

Best Judo
By Isao Inokuma & Nobuyuki Sato


This book is the joint effort of two of Japan's foremost judo instructors. Isao Inokuma and Nobuyuki Sato have also been world-class judo champions, and their advice and enthusiasm have helped train countless other judo practitioners. Among their students is the sensational Yasuhiro Yamashita, who captured the All-Japan Judo Championship nine times in a row from 1977 to 1985. Now, with Best Judo, their winning methods can be yours. 

Best Judo can be used by beginners and veterans alike. It starts with the basic judo postures and salutations and shows you how to move on the mat, how to control your opponent, and how to be thrown safely. It then demonstrates the essential judo techniques: throwing, grappling, locking, choking, escaping, and sequence combinations. 

Over 1,200 photos and easy-to-follow action sequences-many of them demonstrated by Yamashita present each movement clearly. Brief explanations emphasize important areas for study, caution, and concentration. There is also a section on training, full of ideas for building and vitalizing your body.

The Judo Textbook: In Practical Application
By Hayward Nishioka & James R. West

Details virtually everything the judoka needs to know—from the art’s throws, chokes and grappling techniques to the mental preparation it takes to be a champion. Originally published in 1979, this seminal work is still considered one of the best and most comprehensive books written on the subject of judo, and it continues to provide readers with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the “gentle way.”

Hayward Nishioka has won the Pan-American Games gold medal and the U.S. AAU National Grand Championship, and he has been a member of four U.S. international teams. James R. West was a three-time Southern California open division champion.

Some other excellent authoritative books on judo are unfortunately out of print, they are either difficult to find, or can be expensive. If you have the money and can find them, these general judo English books are a must for any serious judoka of any level:

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