Because of Judo is a photographic study by Richard Goulding of the lives of elite judo players (judoka). It is the culmination of a six year project devised as a tribute to Goulding’s teacher, the late Akinori Hosaka.
In a quest to explore the pursuit of judo at its most rigorous, Goulding conveys an extraordinary grace and beauty in a sport whose origins lie in a brutal Samurai battlefield fighting system. Following the British national judo squad as it prepares for the London 2012 Olympics, he catches the fighters, men and women, as they undergo their gruelling training for a sport which demands supreme fitness, suppleness, speed, strength and technique. As well as competition, we are taken behind the scenes to the practise areas and shown the players in revealing moments before and after their turn on the mat. Goulding also shows squad members in rare moments of stillness in a stark series of haunting and often disturbing portraits. A number of the competitors featured in the book are now undergoing the same training for the Rio Olympics.
The publishing of Because of Judo has been achieved largely by a crowdfunding campaign which attracted enthusiastic support from backers all over the world.
The book contains text by former world Judo champion and Olympic silver medallist Neil Adams MBE and an introduction by Mark Law, author of the award winning exploration of the sport, The Pyjama Game, A Journey Into Judo.
Richard Goulding is a commercial photographer based in Manchester, UK, whose personal work focuses on the world of combat sports.
Hardback 308 x 286 mm, 228pages, 194 plates
£40 plus shipping