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