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The Pyjama Game

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Judo is a sport that demands of its practitioners the total commitment of their whole life, in which defeat can symbolise calamity in a single sudden throw. This book celebrates the Japanese grand masters who effectively defined the modern sport, examining the Samurai history that has shaped judo's unique sensibility.
Unknown Binding, 324 pages
Published February 25th 2007 by Aurum Press
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Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book about the sport and inspirational story about an older man falling (no pun intended) in love with judo. I have also recently started judo and it was great to see somebody else navigate through that world. Even if you are not aware or keen on the sport; it's a well written non fiction sports book with enough anecdotes and real life wisdom to appeal to all readers.
Goran Powell
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Anyone who steps onto the Judo mat as a beginner at the age of 50 deserves respect. Anyone who goes on to earn a black belt in this wonderful, unforgiving art deserves admiration.

Mark Law did just that, and from his writing, it's clear what gave him the strength to succeed - his passion for Judo shines through from start to finish.

'The Pyjama Game' tells the story of Judo, from its founder Jigoro Kano to the redoubtable Kimura; the rise of Europeans Judo in the form giant Dutchman Geesink; the
Brendan Crowley
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to be in Rio during the 2016 Olympics and got to see a huge amount of events live. But the sport I saw most of during those 2 weeks was judo – simply because at all times it was on at least 4 Brazilian TV channels 24/7 during the Games. After plenty of hours watching without any knowledge of Portuguese, I felt only a little the wiser as to what went on but strangely fascinated nonetheless.

So I approached The Pyjama Game with a keen interest in figuring out a little more about
Evan Micheals
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was timely as I was embarking on my journey from Brown Belt to Black in Judo. I found the book familiar, but also foreign. I could recognise the aspect of club world, but foreign to the International echelon. It made for an interesting and informative read. I could recognise “collect judo autographs” in my own throwing Winston Gordon for Ippon once in 2001 at Budokwai during randori, and recognise the subsequent being thrown from one end of the Dojo to the other. I too have grappled ...more
Bernie Gourley
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martial-arts
Mark Law’s book contains two types of book in one volume, unified by the theme of judō. On the one hand, it’s a microhistory of the martial art and sport of judō--and, no, it’s not redundant to say the martial art and the sport because while these aspects overlap they aren’t identical. On the other hand, the book presents a personal account of Law’s experience as a judōka who began his practice at the ripe age of 50. The two elements of the book are interwoven together, and aren’t forced into ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a pleasant, involving foray into a sport that in tone put me in mind of several that seem to show up each year on cricket. That combination of journalistic punch with a lot of self deprecation.

There are some good highlights of the history of judo here, along with some nice stuff about the feel of the sport/art, some conversations with judo greats, and an abiding feel of the obsession for a chosen sport. Perhaps there should have been a little more for the non-judo player to help them
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book written by a real enthusiast of all things judo. Everything you always wanted to know beside the actual techniques. Where did it come from, who were the big players, the legends, the outlaws? How did it become olympic? When did the woman start to compete? It`s everything there plus some really good reflections on training, competition and tradition. The only thing I didn`t like was his less knowldgable treatment of the striking arts but this is a book about judo. Should be ...more
Barnaby Chesterman
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rip-roaringly entertaining. Law is a fantastic writer with a masterful eloquence. The tales of his exploits in the judo world can only be bettered by those of us lucky enough to have actually been on the mat with him! I'm still nursing a bruised coccyx from the experience! But more importantly, even for those no avid lovers of the pyjama game, this is just a damn good book.
Carl Smith-owens
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fighting-arts
re-read 30.4.11 / 4.11.13
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport-studies
Law writes well, and his history of judo merges with a tale of movement into the sport. As a non participant with minimal knowledge of judo this was entertaining: worthy as a beach book.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
(4 stars if you're already into judo, otherwise probably a 3)
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