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Because of Judo is a photography monograph, exploring a life in judo, including elite athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.
Because of Judo is a photography monograph, exploring a life in judo, including elite athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics.
337 backers pledged £14,065 to help bring this project to life.

About

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I am Richard Goulding, a professional photographer based in Manchester. I’ve launched this campaign to seek funding for my new book Because of Judo.

In 1977, I started judo at Sale Leisure Centre, south Manchester. The instructor was a Japanese man called Akinori Hosaka. I was just a recreational player, but over the years we became good friends until, sadly, he passed away in 2010 (I was his next of kin as he had no family).

Akinori Hosaka's passport, he arrived in Manchester Sept 1962, first going to report and sign the aliens register at the City Police.
Akinori Hosaka's passport, he arrived in Manchester Sept 1962, first going to report and sign the aliens register at the City Police.

Before he died he said to me “I am not a wealthy man but, because of judo in my heart, I am a millionaire”.

Akinori Hosaka, photographed in my studio 1988
Akinori Hosaka, photographed in my studio 1988

This quote and then conversations with his old friends and colleagues led me to start photographing the British Judo squad as they prepared for the London 2012 Olympics.

But the book has evolved to become much more than that.

It has become a collection of visual stories about the athletes and their determination to succeed in elite judo, and about the dojo in which they train, fight and live.

It is also about their coaches, the teachers of judo.

It tells a story of a life in judo. If you do judo, it tells your story, but I want it to reach a non-judo audience, so please share with your friends and family who still think you do karate!

Working on the book, I wanted to learn more about the players before they step on to the contest mat, what their daily life is like and about their coaches, who guide them through victory and defeat.

What I discovered was a way of life. I also found beauty in a sport that has its origins in a brutal battlefield fighting system. 

BEAUTIFUL JUDO: Euan Burton throws Patrick Dawson Ura-nage, photographed at Ratho June 2012.
BEAUTIFUL JUDO: Euan Burton throws Patrick Dawson Ura-nage, photographed at Ratho June 2012.
CONTEST: Ashley McKenzie throws Matjaz Trbovc (SLO) to win gold at the World Cup, Liverpool 2011, with Go Tsunoda coaching matside.
CONTEST: Ashley McKenzie throws Matjaz Trbovc (SLO) to win gold at the World Cup, Liverpool 2011, with Go Tsunoda coaching matside.
HIGH LOAD TRAINING: Euan Burton.  The portrait on the right is taken straight after high load training.
HIGH LOAD TRAINING: Euan Burton. The portrait on the right is taken straight after high load training.

During the five years of the project I visited Ratho, Edinburgh, Dartford, Budokwai, Bath, Camberley and Pinewood. I started the project with respect for the players and coaches, but that quickly changed to admiration and amazement at their skill and dedication, motivating me further to show others what life in judo is like.

I found a unique culture; champions sweeping the mat after training, a family system, rivals for a place in the Olympic team helping those selected, young players and old school judoka, injury after injury and never a complaint, unspoken codes of behaviour.

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING: Gemma Gibbons training at Dartford, a few days later she won Olympic silver at London 2012 (-78 kg)
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING: Gemma Gibbons training at Dartford, a few days later she won Olympic silver at London 2012 (-78 kg)
NEW SCHOOL: Nekoda Davis, Commonwealth Games Champion -57kg, she says the best is yet to come...
NEW SCHOOL: Nekoda Davis, Commonwealth Games Champion -57kg, she says the best is yet to come...
OLD SCHOOL: George Kerr, 10th Dan Judoka, university friend of Hosaka, photographed Edinburgh 2010.
OLD SCHOOL: George Kerr, 10th Dan Judoka, university friend of Hosaka, photographed Edinburgh 2010.

In his final days, Hosaka requested the song Tie a Yellow Ribbon to be played at his funeral, “…. I’ve done my time, I’m coming home….” This book is dedicated to his memory, but also to the players and coaches, and, with your help, I want non-judo people to see this and be inspired to start judo.

The book includes an essay by World Champion and Olympic medallist, Neil Adams, and the introduction is written by Mark Law well known for his own book The Pyjama Game.

NEIL ADAMS has written an essay for the book, photographed after a break in randori, Dartford 2011.
NEIL ADAMS has written an essay for the book, photographed after a break in randori, Dartford 2011.
JUDO ROYALTY: Kosei Inoue, waiting before training at the Budokwai, London
JUDO ROYALTY: Kosei Inoue, waiting before training at the Budokwai, London
DOJO: Tony Sweeney after his Sunday morning class at the Budokwai, London 2012
DOJO: Tony Sweeney after his Sunday morning class at the Budokwai, London 2012

We all know there is no money in Judo, so I am lucky to have a publisher, Bluecoat Press, who believe in this project. But we need your help to fund the printing costs of the book. If, like me, you think Judo deserves more attention, please back this project.

Have a look at the rewards on offer, and the chance to order your copy of this limited edition book, and don’t forget to share with your judo and non-judo friends.

Thank you.

JUDO HANDS: Sophie Cox
JUDO HANDS: Sophie Cox

 The project is now fully funded and will definitely be published. It is still open for people to pre-order the book (and photographic prints) by backing any of the rewards. The book will be available in late November and will make a superb Christmas present.

Risks and challenges

There aren't any! The photographs have been taken and the text written. Bluecoat Press are ready to publish the books as soon as funding is completed to cover design and print costs.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 32

    The book:
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    Your name in the book plus one signed first edition copy of the book.

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    Pledge £45 or more About US$ 57

    TWO signed first edition copies of the book.

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    Pledge £55 or more About US$ 70

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    Pledge £60 or more About US$ 76

    ONE signed first edition copy of the book plus ONE limited edition fine art print from the book chosen in consultation with the author. (Prints will be photographic, not inkjet, made by Ilford Labs in the UK)

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    Pledge £90 or more About US$ 114

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    Pledge £120 or more About US$ 152

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    Pledge £1,200 or more About US$ 1,521

    Corporate sponsorship with prominent logo in the book and 20 signed copies of the book.

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Funding period

- (28 days)