The Difficult Way

The Difficult Way is not only a great judo blog; it's one of my favorite blogs of any type. It's written in exactly the way I want to read about judo, with emphasis on fundamentals and frequent areas of confusion, and with arguments well supported by diagrams, photos, and videos, including examples of bad technique (bluntly flagged as such) as well as good.

A lot of attempts to explain judo technique succumb to a common pitfall, which is that they merely rattle off which body part goes where, in a dry, mechanical way. Such descriptions may be technically accurate, but I find them dull to read, and I feel they're poor at conveying the underlying principles. The writing on The Difficult Way avoids this problem, partly by using visual aids, but mainly by quality of writing. I find it a pleasure to read. There are typos and grammatical glitches I'd be mortified to publish on my own blog, but on this blog I don't care even the tiniest bit.

The author prefers to remain anonymous. He goes by the name "A Judoka" on the blog and by the handle "judoka_uk" on the Bullshido web site. According to his profile he's a student and an "Average Judoka in possession of a black belt, a taste for analysis and an unwarranted sense of self-importance."

One thing I like is that while A Judoka's advice is strongly argued, he doesn't try to overstate his credentials. I was amused and inspired by his frankness in this post about sasae-tsurikomi-ashi:

I have a mighty tally of one male white belt and one female brown belt that I have felled with this combination in randori. However, they hit the mat very hard and [so] very unexpectedly that it knocked the wind out of both of them. That’s how powerful a combination [it] can be even in the hands of a spud like me.

The blog hasn't been updated since January, and before January there was a break where it hadn't been updated since September. I see the author has been active on, so it's not like he got hit by a truck and can't operate a keyboard. Maybe he's been too busy to compose a full blog post. Or maybe he hasn't had an idea for a new post that's gotten him interested enough to do the work.

Every blogger who isn't contractually obliged to publish on a schedule knows how it is to let a blog go stale once in a while, sometimes forever. I hope there will be new posts on The Difficult Way.

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