This is the first book to explore women’s judo in all aspects, from the history and governance of the sport to cutting-edge sport science perspectives. 

The book examines the story of judo for women and how the history of the sport has paralleled the cultural and social challenges faced by women in both the East and the West. It considers the issues of leadership and governance in contemporary women’s judo, and the obstacles to stronger involvement for women in the sport as a whole, as well as the rules and competition structures that shape the sport today. The book also looks at the tactical and technical considerations of coaching women in judo, and the significance of the coach–athlete relationship, as well as the physiology of the athlete – including the female athlete triad – and how that relates to training, performance, technique and skill acquisition. A concluding chapter presents short biographies of the pioneering female judoka Rusty Kanokogi, Ingrid Bergmans, Kaori Yamaguchi, Karen Briggs and Ryoko Tani. 

This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in martial arts or women’s sport and a useful resource for those studying sport history, sociology of sport, gender studies and sport development and coaching.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|12 pages

A history of women in judo

chapter 2|12 pages

Teamwork as a method of governing in judo

A women's perspective

chapter 3|11 pages

Coaching women in judo

chapter 6|10 pages

Competition judo for women

chapter 7|6 pages

Notable women judoka