This is a very excellent book by what I gather is a very excellent teacher. The only problem, from my point of view, is that it is perhaps a little too comprehensive—at least, in order to take so wide a scope, it should have been larger in format. The explanations are wonderfully succinct, the “key points” for each waza are extremely helpful, the illustrations—ah, the illustrations. They are all very sharp and excellent photos with tori and uke in differently coloured judogi so the limbs don’t visually blend together. Every photo is great—and there are three of them for every throw, which just doesn’t seem to be enough for someone at my very low and limited level; I’d say on average I’d have liked to see five pictures per throw, instead.
Of course, Ohlenkamp may have been addressing a more skilled audience who do not feel the want of those intermediate steps as sorely as I do, but still—surely any judoka, no matter how skilled, will want to look at the pictures for as many salient points as possible. Else why have pictures at all?
That aside, it truly is an excellent catalogue of techniques, and I particularly like the tables where each technique has a list of setup and follow-up techniques, helping you build a game around your tokuiwaza. Even as a true judo incompetent, the explanation and organisation around the Kodokan classifications alone helps me better understand the principles behind different kinds of techniques.