Kids Judo Books by Koka Kids
Judo Books by Koka Kids

Best Sports Books chosen by Experts

Best Sports Books

Best Sports Books

Recommendations from experts

What book to read next? How to know if it’s going to be a gem or a waste of time? A good place to start is to get recommendations from like minded people.

What do other judoka’s books shelf look like? What is Neil Adams reading? Has Kate Howey got any good reads to recommend? What do champions read?

From these questions came this new section of the website: Book Recommendations by Experts.

Let me tell you more:

Best books for sports people

Going beyond the mat.

Book Recommendations by Experts started during the middle of lockdown. Unable to travel (one of my passions) and uncertain of the future, I decided to take a look at solutions. Bingo! One thing I can do, is I can read.

I began to look at my own book shelf, and then I wondered what other judoka’s book shelves look like? Did anyone have any good book recommendations? I began to ask around.

Who better to ask about what the best books for sports people than sports people themselves?

What are their favourite judo books? Or non-judo books for that matter. Books that have made an impact and a difference in their sporting career be it a biography, or a self-help book.

Best books for coaches

Recommendations from coaches for coaches

I wanted to develop a section with the best books for coaches, and so I asked plenty of coaches too.

Here, you’ll find book recommendations from judo coaches, books that, although are not specifically about judo, focus on key coaching skills; leadership, coaching and success.

Filter by category

You can filter by clicking on a category on the main page, or below here is a small selection:

Success & Mindset
Nutrition & Fitness
Skill Acquisition

Filter by Expert

You can also filter by the name of the expert who has recommended the book:

Neil Adams
Kate Howey
Chloe Cowen Vickers
Euan Burton
Darren Warner
Peter Gardiner
Mark Fricker
Jo Crowley
Vince Skillcorn
Paul Ajala
and Nik Fairbrother (me!)

Best Sports Biographies

Be Inspired

Who doesn’t love a sports biography? Biographies rate right up there as best books for sports people. The insight, the behind the scenes, the struggles, and the success. If you looking to be inspired then start with one of these 10 Best Sports Biographies.

Some absolute crackers here: Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson, and Clive Woodward’s Winning.

Best Judo Books

Books about judo

The Best Judo Books

Books on judo. A dying genre? Do we now rely on You Tube video to study technique? Less books about judo are being published these days for sure, which is a real shame. Reading and studying pictures is a powerful way to learn.

But if you know where to look, there are some real gems out there. Here are Top Ten Technique Books recommended by the panel of judo experts.

Old Judo Books

Collector Books

Want something a bit special to add to your judo collection? The coveted Fighting Judo by Kashiwazaki comes straight to mind. My own copy is torn and battered and much loved. You might pick up a copy on eBay or amazon, if you’re lucky – but it will cost you.

However, some of these on this list of Old Judo Books are more reasonably priced and are real finds.

Judo Books by Jigoro Kano and Japanese authors

Mind over muscle

What about reading a book written by judo founder’s Jigoro Kano? See this list of judo books by Japanese authors which includes two of Jigoro Kano’s books; Mind over muscle (recommended by Euan Burton) and Kodokan Judo. Written in English (thankfully) and other books by Japanese Masters like Yasuhiro Yamashita, Katsuhiro Kashiwazaki and Toshiro Daigo.

Judo Masterclass books

Build your collection

Chances are if you competed in the 80s/90s, you will own at least one Masterclass. But did you realise how many there are?

Judo Masterclass Technique was a fantastic series, published by Nicolas Soames (Ippon Books) and Fighting Films, that focusses on judo legends and their repertoire of techniques; Alexander Iatskevich, Neil Adams, Yasuhiro Yamashita, Robert Van de Valle, Jean-Luc Rougé, Noboyuko Sato and Katsuhiro Kashiwazaki.

Here are some of the favourites picked by our panel of experts – for more titles visit the Fighting Films website.

Best judo books for Beginners and Children

For Kids Who Love Judo

OK, so might be biased here – but check out the Koka Kids Judo Books for Children. There are books for beginners and books for intermediates and advanced.

Each book centres around a skill from learning hold downs and breakfalls, to turnovers and throwing. See the full collection with info on how to buy each book.

My Bookshelf

Are you reading more?

Reading has surged in the UK, with most people reading at least double what they normally do, since lockdown began. No surprise really. Reading is one of the way to get through lockdown and come out the other side in better shape.

My book shelf has expanded since I started this project and I’ve been buying books based on the recommendations. The last book I read was a winner. The Energy Plan by James Collins (and recommended by Darren Warner, thanks Darren! And next up for me is one of Kate Howey’s picks: Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin.

Do you have a best sports books recommendation?

Can you help keep Book Recommendations by Experts going? Do you have a best sports books or best judo book to recommend? If you do, please get in touch.