This is the first formal study of pick-ups in judo ever made-and therefore is a milestone in judo literature. This may appear strange because many of the throws in this book have formal Japanese names and a long-standing tradition in judo. Yet, the truth is that despite this history, few of these attacks have been regarded as classical techniques to compare with seoi- nage
The traditional view is that while throws such as morote-gari and sukui-nage are seen regularly in competition at all levels, they have been seen as an adjunct to the main body of judo techniques-barely tolerated imports from other combat systems such as wrestling or Russian Sambo.
However, the last 30 years-since judo became an Olympic sport-certain outstanding exponents have demonstrated that pick-ups are truly effective tools in the hands of a skilled competitor. They have been developed into genuine techniques, with a wide range of variations, gripping possibilities, combinations and counters.
Few champions are more qualified to undertake this first account of Pick-Ups than Robert van de Walle, the Belgian light-heavy weight who has become almost a legend in his own time. He had an extraordinary contest career, winning the Olympic title in 1980, numerous other medals and titles throughout the decade, and a bronze medal at the World Championships in 1989 although he was already in his mid-thirties.
Van de Walle's premise has always been that morote- gari and other pick-ups, when performed well, do not need excessive power; and he proved it by making them work not only within his own weight category, but against much heavier opponents in open weight category events as well.
Now retired, he has put his experience into open forum, giving judokas of all ages tips that have never been seen in print before.