Mark Laws book is the first literary sports book on the most popular of the martial arts. Law took up judo at 50; he follows the history of the sport back to its Samurai beginnings, profiles the legends of judo from the Japanese Kimura to the giant Dutchman Geesink, and at his London club even finds himself battling Brian Jacks, the former BBC Superstars champion. Superbly well written, intellectually rigorous and brilliantly witty, this is a magisterial exploration of a sport practised by thousands in Britain, but still one of the most enigmatic of pastimes.

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