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  1. RoninPimp is offline
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    BJJ Black Belt

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 4:28pm

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     Style: Rex Kwon Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Brief Review of BJJ Books

    Not sure where this should go. If it's not here, please move.

    I'm a bookworm nerd at heart so I tend to buy most books that come out on BJJ. This is my opinion on a few of them seen in the major bookstores. Hopefully my less than expert, but pretty experienced opinion will help a noobie to direct their $.

    "Mastering JuJitsu"
    by Renzo Gracie and John Danaher
    -The first book all BJJ students should buy. Renzo needs no introduction. Danaher is a black belt under Renzo and has a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia. It shows in the text of this book. The history section is worth the price of admission all by itself. They cover, with known facts and lots of well thought out conjecture, the history of BJJ and it's sometime heatedly argued affiliation with Judo. Reading this will instantly cure you of masochistically lurking on a 10 page thread on BJJ vs. Judo.

    The bulk of the book covers modern MMA competition and its strategy from every position. They give examples using modern fighters to support their points. All around great stuff. The techniques portion doesn't show a lot of techniques. This is a good thing. They show all the basic high percentage moves from modern MMA. The descriptions are long. They also talk about where a technique fits into an MMA fight strategically. This is the meat of the book and its great stuff.

    The last part of the book goes into basic SD strategy. This is good stuff too. It covers empty hand SD. Lots of good common sense here. Pepper spray, sticks, knives, firearms, or any other weapon aren't in the scope of this book.

    All in all, one of the few must haves. A+, even with the average pictures.


    "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" Theory and Technique
    by Renzo and Royler Gracie text by John Danaher edited by Kid Peligrio
    -Had this one for a while. This book is really good. It covers basic BJJ history and strategy briefly at the beginning. Not to the depth of Renzo and Danaher's book, but still very well. The majority of the book is technique divided by belt color. I don't understand why certain techniques are in a particular groups, but they are all good sound BJJ that every student should try to learn. All techniques are shown in the gi, but a lot of them carry over to no-gi. As most basics in BJJ do.

    Gets an A.

    "Ultimate Fighting Techniques" Volume 1: The Top Game
    by Royce Gracie with Kid Peligro
    -This book is pretty new to me. It is a good one. Royce covers all the basics with excellent detail. The techniques in this book are how I try to design my game. That doesn't mean I try to copy Royce's fighting style. I just want to know all the techniques in this book in great detail. I do a lot of these moves in sparring and competition. My stand up game for striking is lacking so I do a lot of BJJ 101 to force a clinch too. The strategy for that is covered very well here by Royce. This is basic, but well rounded BJJ that covers the BJJ outlook from the top in great detail. I can't wait for Volume 2!

    In a nutshell, if you take Renzo and Royler's book expand the material to 2 volumes and add more detail with great explanations you get this book. All techniques are shown in the gi, but a lot of them carry over to no-gi. As most basics in BJJ do.

    Gets a solid A.


    "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" For Experts Only
    by Carlson Gracie with Julio "Foca" Fernandez
    -This book isn't bad, but it doesn't cover any new ground. I know Carlson is great for BJJ, but this book kind of seems like a "I want to write a book too" type book. The theory is light. The details pretty good. I guess it's a pretty good overview of gi, no-gi, and MMA techniques. If that's what you want or need then it makes a good purchase. The truth is, if you learn and can perform all the techniques in this book at a high level, you would have some serious skills. The techniques are shown both in a gi and no-gi depending on their biasí.

    Gets a B-.


    "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" Championship Techniques
    by Jean Jacques Machado with Kid Peligro
    &
    "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" Black Belt Techniques
    by Jean Jaques Machado with Kid Peligro
    -These books are great. I'm lumping them together because they go together. Black Belt Techniques is older but comes second in skills progression. Theory is covered real well, even good advice on sport strategy. All the fundamental techniques are covered between the two books. From standing up properly to the high-tech half guard sweeps you see in the tournaments. There is an overall sport BJJ feel to the books. That's OK, I love sport BJJ. Because of that though, a lot of the stuff in Black Belt Techniques doesnít carry over to no-gi. Whether itís sub wrestling, MMA, or SD.

    I think these 2 books are the sport counterpart to Royce's "old school" BJJ book. Assuming Royce's second volume will be as good as the first.

    They get a solid A each.


    "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" Submission Grappling
    by Royler Gracie with Kid Peligro
    -This is a good solid book. It's good basic BJJ that works in a no-gi environment. Royler covers all aspects from takedowns to submissions.

    Gets a B+


    ďBrazilian Jiu-JitsuĒ Self Defense Techniques
    by Royce and Charles Gracie with Kid Peligro
    -Overall, I like this book. A lot of people like to bad mouth this book. I understand their criticism. There are quite a few techniques in this book that look ridiculous to me. Things I would not ever try. They all involve disarming weapons. I donít know if there is ever a time to try and disarm a guy with a knife who is trying to stab you. Unless you find yourself in the proverbial dark corner of a dead end alley and disarming the infamous gang member is your only way out. I will never allow myself to be in that situation.

    A few of the disarms do look doable. These are the techniques for when youíre being threatened with a weapon or the BG hasnít yet drawn the weapon. A lot of the book covers BJJ basics. Nothing wrong with that. Iíd say 50% is OK, 25% might work, but isnít my style, the last 25% is stuff that is crap.

    Gets a C-.


    ďThe Gracie WayĒ
    by Kid Poligro

    -I really like this book. Probably because Iím a history geek. Lots of old photos in this book. Zero fighting technique or strategy. Thatís OK because I like reading about this innovative, but somewhat dysfunctional family. Kid Peligro paints a very positive image of all the family members he discusses. Heís a family friend so thatís understandable. Recommended for the sheer joy of reading.

    Gets an A.

    All the books by "Invisable Cities Press" which is all of them except "Matering JuJitsu" are very well photographed. I don't know the story behind this publisher but they do damn good work. "Mastering JuJitsu"'s photo are average at best, but they get their point acroos. This book is published by "Human Kinetics". They print lots of good books on sports.

    Thatís all I gotÖ
  2. Yrkoon9 is offline
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    Brock Sampson

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 4:43pm

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     Style: 5.56

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You hate Carlson.

    ...and I am telling him. You are soooooo in trouble now.
  3. Captain Spaulding is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 5:49pm


     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've heard people criticize "Inside the Lion's Den" for being too kind on Ken Shamrock and skewing events so that he looks good. And then the same people say how great and historically accurate "The Gracie Way" is.

    I just find it funny.
  4. Yrkoon9 is offline
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    Brock Sampson

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 5:57pm

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     Style: 5.56

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Are you insinuating that Helio and the Gracie's might not be telling the whole truth?

    Blasphemy, sir.
  5. Captain Spaulding is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 6:06pm


     Style: TKD, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just like the book insinuates that Helio beat Kimura.

    And it's not a bad thing. A book like those two are supposed to portray the subjects in the best light possible. Everyone knows that. No one expected to see an addendum to the Rorian Gracie chapter about how he sued members of the family for using the name "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu".

    Anything that's non-fiction has to be taken with a grain of salt, as everyone has a point of view (including the author).
  6. Yrkoon9 is offline
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    Brock Sampson

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 6:30pm

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     Style: 5.56

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hah! Don't you know anything? If Helio and Kimura would have been the same weight than Helio would havewon! Therefore, Helio did not lose. Which means he won.
  7. FingerorMoon? is offline

    The man they call FoM

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 6:32pm

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     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    ďThe Gracie WayĒ
    by Kid Poligro

    -I really like this book. Probably because Iím a history geek. Lots of old photos in this book. Zero fighting technique or strategy. Thatís OK because I like reading about this innovative, but somewhat dysfunctional family. Kid Peligro paints a very positive image of all the family members he discusses. Heís a family friend so thatís understandable. Recommended for the sheer joy of reading.

    Gets an A.
    I have this book and the pictures are great. Give them an A+
    The text however can only get a C at the most. TOPS. Personally I'd give it a D.

    Lets ignore the fact it deletes all the family in-fighting, Rorian attempting to charge others to use 'Gracie Jiu-Jitsu' and the subsequent birth of the name Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Rorian and Rickson's falling out. Its an official biography so although very dodgy, I expected that.

    One of the most famous matches in history for better or worse is Shamrock vs Royce 2. This book actually clearly states this match did not happen.
    (I haven't read for a while now) but its something along the lines of 'After UFC 4, Royce went looking for other challenges'. It then talks about his comeback in PRIDE years later. Um, excuse me, I remember another match he fought in between UFC 4 and PRIDE. Maybe I imagined it.

    Attempting to erase THAT match is absurd, and if they are willing to do that, it makes me wonder just how much other stuff has been erased or re-written. It raises questions on all the 'war' stories the book includes.

    And this is from a Gracie fan by the way, not a hater. I study BJJ, bought rare Rickson footage, saw Royce fight live in Osaka last year, etc. But come on, this book is a joke.
    The Wastrel - So attractive he HAS to be a woman.
    - Pizdoff
  8. Freddy is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 7:34pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Be Happy

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah didnt Shamrock fight Royce again? I'm almost sure of it.

    Its historical revisionism.
    Ghost of Charles Dickens
  9. RoninPimp is offline
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    BJJ Black Belt

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 7:48pm

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     Style: Rex Kwon Do

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I can see why Poligro's roasy history would rub some the wrong way. Renzo and Danaher's book is much more objective.
  10. Kato is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2005 8:28pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    'passing the guard' -beneville/cartmell . clear descriptions, superb layout, and ( for a white belt like me ) very , very helpful ( and from my point of view, very technical). I would be interested to know if blue and purple belts thought it was a comprehensive textbook or just basic stuff thats obvious with a bit of experience. I'll leave that judgement for somebody who knows what they are talking about :-)
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