It's gradually dawning on me that my enthusiasm for judo is not shared by those around me. The congregation of Lichfield Cathedral, for instance--not a very martial group of people. Realistically speaking, I'm not likely to persuade them into the dojo for an introduction to The Gentle Way (laughingly so called).
So instead, I thought I'd share one of my favourite martial arts books with you: JUDO Self-Taught in Pictures, by Hubert Klinger-Klingerstorrf (2nd Dan, Instructor of Judo at the University of Vienna). Published in 1952, 'the object of this book is to instruct the reader in the use of Judo in self-defence.' There isn't a whole load of dense technical prose to wade through. Instead the would-be judo distance learner is provided with helpful diagrams illustrating how to defend himself (this is the 1950s, so it always is him) against a range of attacks. 'Breaking a stranglehold whilst on the ground', 'defence against upward knife-thrust', 'defence against a blow from a cudgel'--yes, Vienna was a hard-scrabble place in the 50s.
Here's a photo of the page illustrating 'Defence against Thugs and Hoodlums', with special reference to the garotter:
About this blog
This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.