I had been waiting for this book for a long time. I heard about it from Saulo himself and I was stoked. I have all his DVDs and found always review them to help me out. After going through it this is a MUST HAVE in your jits library.
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!
Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
Alright, so this will be my initial once over review of the book. Basically, I've read through it once and will give it a once over again as well as work on some things I've learned from the book. Below was my initial impressions of the book after reading the first two sections.
Does that hold true for the rest of the book as well as the book as a whole. Well, yes and no. Here is what I mean.
Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
Sections 3-4, Purple and Brown belt. Purple being the guard play and brown being guard passing. I liked these. Not quite as much as the first two (maybe cause I do a lot of guard play and guard passing already) but it kept the same focus. Then again, it turned out to be a gem because I've been working on the guard and guard passing a lot as of late.
Just like in the first two sections where it mentioned good survival posture before you escape, the Guard section focuses on good guard posture before you start launching attacks. Many of the things in this section contradicted things I'm already doing such as his dislike for the underhook while in half-guard. I both agree and disagree with this as I use the underhook effectively but at the same time (per his reasoning) I have had people use it to attack me as I have done to others who perform it on me. In regards to this, the main thing this did was make me think about some things which is really what it is about a lot of times. He also mentions not locking yourself to your opponents leg when in the half guard as it decreases mobility. When I first read it, I immediately thought about the lockdown but also remembered times were I lost a lot of mobility using it. I also realized that I hadn't been using it a lot lately instinctively because of that very reason. As such, I really enjoyed this section due to the fact that he explains, like previous sections, why he does/teaches a certain why as well as the potential results of doing it the other ways.
The next section was on Guard Passing. Very back and forth with me. Mainly because of his approval of the always controversial "Gracie Gift" guard pass. I understand as the guy trained with Rickson and Royler. Honestly, I'm of the opinion that that guard pass should be tossed out. I honestly believe it will take way too many triangle tapouts in order to fully get that pass to work correctly. Then again, maybe that's the point. Again, it got me thinking. I made me wonder if I could get great at this pass, could I use it to slice through the guard of all the triangle jokies around the world? Hmmm. He did show a variation of the double-underhook pass which I found interesting. In a bit of compromise, I may see if I can use his variation of the double-underhook guard pass to help teach the foundamentals of the "Gracie Gift" to maybe increase the odds of it working. That is one I will have to go to the lab on. But again, it made me think, even if I don't agree with it.
I had asked my instructor what was something I should work on, he said I should work my top game more. In order to do that, I had to work on getting the top. In order to do that, I worked more on my takedowns as well as sweeping from the guard. I then worked a lot on my guard passing which helped me work on my top game. In that regards, I worked my guard sweeps and guard passing because of his advice. Because of the time spent working on sweeping, passing, and top game, I decided I needed to get back to my guard because I felt it was lacking. Reading the Guard and Guard Passing sections put that work into perspective for me. Again, it got me to thinking.
Now the bad, the last section, the "Black Belt" or Submissions section. I honestly thought this was the worst section of all. I may come back to it and look at it in a different light, but as it stands, it could have been much, much better. The problems I had was that it left the standard set by the other sections. Gone were the positional importance that was drilled in the other sections regarding good body posture. Gone were the helpful hints about what will happen if you don't do certain things right. In fact, there is only ONE section in the Submission portion about what will happen if you don't do the submission correctly.
There are not details about the positions you are launching attacks from and what you should be doing while in these positions. This may be because Saulo feels you should not be holding down your opponent in these positions and just pinning him down. You should be taking every advantage to move around and throw submission after submission at them. I will agree and disagree with this point. I disagree in that I believe you should know how to shut down your opponent and hold him down. This is a great way to frustrate the defender and force them to make a mistake you can capitalize on. I agree with his point in that you shouldn't just hold the person down the whole time and hope something will happen. It's something I myself hate to see. I usually see it with many wrestlers starting out; some with experience, who will refuse to move and just hold the top position, going for "safe" submissions that won't cause them to loose the position (Kimura's, Keylocks, you know them). The downside is that you are not learning how to transition to other things as well as make openings happen instead of waiting on them. I know from experience that is someone is only going to try to hold onto the position and try only certain moves then I know what and what not to worry about.
Regardless of the motivations, I thought the section was very lacking. Where the previous sections provided kind of a road-map and a guide you can follow, the last section was honestly, just a technique library. Something I'm sure we have more then enough.
One thing I enjoyed highly was the section introductions. I thought there were very informative, in of themselves. They detailed what the section was about, what each belt level should be about, as well as how to go about training and learning. I also enjoyed the many solo drills as well as insights on how to properly train the moves in order to be able to add them to your arsenal. Very SBG I Method, in my opinion.
Summary of Review
The book is a game changer and will take you to new heights. In my opinion, the best approach for using this book would be the same approach Rodney King uses for his Crazy Monkey boxing. Give the student strong defensive tools that allow them to become comfortable in training so that they can fully explore the art and become well rounded in it. Without a strong defense, you will be too scared to do anything and anyone who has sparred in any way shape or fashion knows this. Use this book to make your defense air take. Then enjoying experimenting and taking your BJJ to the next level because you know if you find yourself in a bad spot, you have the defensive tools to get out of it. Don't expect much from the last section (Black Belt - Submissions) other than the typical things you probably know, although the section introduction is fantastic and is probably worth more than the techniques themselves.
Highly recommended, great for beginners, intermediates, advanced, AND seasoned, grizzled BJJ vets alike. Four out of five stars.
I bought the book a couple weeks ago and haven't put it down since.
I have also purchased the book recently and there are a few things I'm wondering about since they are pretty significant departures from what I've been taught previously, and I don't know that I'm ready to abandon them just yet.
First and foremost, I was confused by what he says about escaping from sidemount; he seems to come down pretty hard on using the various escapes afforded by using an underhook with your far arm. What I can't figure out is whether or not he rules it out completely or only if you haven't defended the cross face properly.
Would anyone be willing to shed more light on this?
It's something I've thought about too. My assumption is that he feels it is a bad idea if you don't have the cross face blocked. I can understand that in the other sense if you don't have some control over the potential cross face arm. Another reason is the fact that both Gi and No-Gi, there are chokes you can apply when the person on the bottom underhooks, if you are the top person. It's one of the things you will have to be aware of.
Originally Posted by Ungjaevel
You don't really have to abandon anything per say. The fact that you are thinking about it is a good thing. Do some research, development, and testing on the mats to see what you can do to tweak the move. Also, try his suggestion out. It may actually work better for you. It's one of the reason's there are a million+ (and then some) moves in the system. Not everything works for everyone.
I and Mr. Moose have been having a PM back and forth regarding my review that I would like to post in this post. He made some valid points and I, in return, made my counter points. Here we go:
Originally Posted by 3moose1
His reply back:
Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
Originally Posted by 3moose1
What do you guys think of the running man escape?. Thought that was abit controversial as well. As even if you block them stepping over, you have to lift your hips to roll on your shoulders. Leaving an easy opening for someone to slide a hook in and take your back.
I have read through a little more than half the book; I got it as a Christmas present - I have to say it's excellent - the shining portions are, believe it or not, the white and blue belt sections.
For a while now I've been watching tape near constantly and it's been helpful, however, I find books to be much more, static and somehow easier to learn from (while keeping relatively sound technique). It's a lot less frustrating than rewinding and trying to see the finer details over and over again. Saulo's book is excellent, especially his take on the basics.
It seems to me that a lot of Jiu Jitsu players that do tapes and books seem to do things differently within the different mediums (whether this is because of the editing process within books being much more...easily feasible or what; this is the impression I got from Dave Camarillo - I feel his book, "Guerilla Jiu Jitsu," was much better than the video I've seen. I've yet to get started with Karo Parisyan's book, but I'll be sure to post a review once I've finished), but Saulo is extremely consistent, especially with his emphasis on escapes and not letting the opponent get any real head control.
It's readable, technique-oriented and detailed.
It's one I still have to put more time into. I've used it both successfully and unsuccessfully. Just like turning into them (side control version) you have the option of going to turtle or rolling on your shoulder and recovering guard. I've found the best success with escaping knee-on-belly. He addresses these points in the book about the right/wrong way to perform the movements. Also, me personally, I don't mind them taking my back if my running escape fails. The back survival posture and escape are so solid, I've been getting out of that position left and right. My back survival and escapes were already pretty good, but when I added the stuff shown in the book, it really took it to another level.
Originally Posted by Jadonblade
It has definitely helped me from that position as well, the scoop that is. Made me much harder to sub from their now, giving me time to escape.
Originally Posted by datdamnmachine
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