Jean-luc Rouge, technical director of the French Judo Federation, is without question, the finest exponent of the throw in the last 20 years. Tall but powerful, he had the classic build for the throw, and it was the technique he used in winning his World Championship title in 1975.
In this fascinating exposition on harai-goshi, Rouge follows the basic pattern of all the Masterclass Techniques series, looking at his personal affinity for the throw, its history, the techniques, combinations, defences and counters, as well as its self-defence applications. He concludes with chapters on training and a collection of stimulating competition pictures.
But, in his individual Gallic manner, he lends a special flavour to his discussion of harai-goshi. Rather than settling down a rigid step-by-step guide, he offers certain basic rules for gripping, entries and directions of throws and leaves it up to the reader to put together a blueprint that suits his or her own build, stance and personal preferences.
In that sense, Harai-Goshi is not only a book on specific technique, but rather, an insight into a thougtful and creative view of judo--a view which produced one of the most exciting and technically accomplished products of French judo.