BOOKS FOR JUDO COACHES
By Mark Lonsdale
Judo coaches take on many obligations to include delivering technically correct instruction in a safe training environment. They also have the obligation to continually expand and update their knowledge of coaching, child and athlete development, sports physiology, psychology, bio-mechanics, ethics, and risk management.
In most coaching clinics and certification programs there is a recommendation “to take ownership” of judo knowledge and “recommend continued education” for students. This can be achieved through books, provided they are written by reputable judo authors and work to preserve the traditions and positive elements of Kodokan judo.
Sensei Hal Sharp’s Advanced Judo Study Program utilizes KODOKAN JUDO THROWING TECHNIQUES by Toshiro Daigo,10th Dan, Chief Instructor at the Kodokan and former All-Japan Champion. The result of many years of research, this is not a basic book, but a rather advanced text very suited for instructors and coaches. The book includes 1,800 photographs covering approximately 360 variations and/or applications.
The best technical book that I have found on modern judo is JUDO UNLEASHED by Neil Ohlenkamp, 6th Dan. At the club level, I have adopted this book as the recommended textbook for our students for two reasons: 1. the images and descriptions are clear, accurate, and concise, and; 2. the book follows our technical grading requirements. At less than $13.00 from amazon.com this book is well worth the investment.
For general coaching, Rainer Marten’s significant work on the subject, titled SUCCESSFUL COACHING is highly recommended. This is a very comprehensive, 500-page volume covering almost every aspect of high school and college coaching. The only short-falls of this book is that it is not cheap, and it does not cover topics specific to judo.
To fill that gap, I have begun using Hayward Nishioka’s TRAINING FOR COMPETITION JUDO; COACHING, STRATEGY and the SCIENCE for SUCCESS, produced by Black Belt Publishing, which is quite affordable and also available on amazon.com. Nishioka Sensei is not only a PhD in physical education he is also a respected coach and former international judo competitor.
So if you are an aspiring coach, it is strongly recommended that you not only obtain all four books, you need to read them. The accumulate knowledge in these books will undoubtedly change the way you teach and coach judo. The few hours of instruction that you receive in the average coaching certification clinic is simply not sufficient to cover all the information required to turn a motivated judoka into a competent coach.
It is only through research, reading, diligent study, and hands-on training that the aspiring club, national, or international coach will become a respected professional. To grow judo, we need to be continually growing the next generation of instructors and coaches; and it is through books that we establish a common language within the coaching community. Remember, if you do not continue to grow, you become irrelevant. Through coaching clinics, study, and active coaching, you remain relevant and a valuable member of the judo world.