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.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

JUDO Self-Taught in Pictures

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:
Sorry it's a bit wonky, I've only just worked out how to use my scanner.  But you should get a flavour, and I hope next time some hoodlum tries to garotte you, you'll know what to do.  Admittedly, Lichfield doesn't have much by way of a grim underbelly.  Gangs of thugs are not generally found prowling the Close, unless you count the Lay Clerks.  Perhaps, more relevant--given the age demographic round here--is the section on 'Defence against Attack with a Walking-Stick'.  Klinger-Klingerstorff cautions that this particular defence should only be employed in extreme circumstances: 'If your pull is powerful enough and takes the Attacker completely by surprise, you could break his neck by this counter.'  Fortunately, anyone attacking you with a walking-stick is unlikely to be very mobile.  This means you will probably be able to employ the most effective martial arts counter of all--running away.


  1. If you can convince the whole clergy of Lichfield cathedral to get to judo, we can speak of a Judo-Christian clergy ...(I hope you will not find this joke in bad taste, but i'm not sure).

  2. Not at all. I may pass it off as my own, in fact.

  3. You may. I do not claim any copyright

    1. You people have way too much time on your hands.

  4. Andrew A. McNamee3 June 2017 at 15:08

    Just came across this while searching Google to check the name of the author of this book, as I was too lazy to run through the house and dig out my own copy!
    Your comment "this is the 1950s, so it always is him" was a wee bit upsetting. Being a martial arts enthusiast for 31 years now, by far and away most books, magazine articles in the mainstream Press, and courses for self-defence are nowadays almost exclusively aimed at women.
    But in his "Teach Yourself Self-Defence", Judo teacher Syd Hoare notes that in the UK, the most likely victims of violence are MEN(!), aged 18-25, and most likely are attacked between 10.30pm Friday night, and midnight Saturday into Sunday! So it appears the imbalance in self-defence teaching isn't quite the one you think!
    Regarding the book itself, most of the advice and techniques are good; but NOT the ones against knife attacks!
    You've almost NO CHANCE of grabbing the hand or arm using the knife while it's moving, you risk being cut in the attempt, and even if you do grab it, the attacker still has 3 limbs free!
    All sufficiently knowledgeable teachers who know how to defend against knife attacks (and I'm afraid there's no sure way to pinpoint one) teach that you should FIRST strike and stun your opponent, so that he can't react when you take control of the knife hand / arm.
    See the late Erle Montaigue's You Tube video on Taiji defences against the knife. This is REAL Tai Chi Chuan, as it was meant to be.
    Enjoy your training!
    Best wishes!

  5. Andrew A. McNamee3 June 2017 at 15:11

    P.S. Good luck with the detective novel!
    I envy you!
    I've always wanted to write, but could never "flesh out" a whole story.
    Plus, now I feel I'm too old and haven't the time! :D