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29 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Training's useful but there's no substitute for experience !
No, that's not a quote from Gichin Funakoshi or Moriei Uyeshiba.
That's from Ian Fleming's "From Russia with Love."
The Gracies agree. The bad news is that we're told that 'There is no Santa Claus' against multiple opponents, so wannabe James Bonds are out of luck.
The good news is that when Royce Gracie entered the 'Ultimate Fighting Championship' he was...
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by the wizard of uz

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars low budget
Bad editing and poor production values mar what otherwise could have been a great book.
Published on July 2 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, Oct. 6 2003
By 
Broken Ninja (Santee, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
This is by far the best Brazilian Jiujitsu book I have purchased. The text is clear and concise. I particularly appreciated the highlights of famous fighters' fight styles and mind set.
Definitely oriented toward experienced fighters looking for greater depth and understanding in their techniques as well as their psychology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not dissmised if you buy it., Oct. 1 2003
By 
IVAN ZUPANC (Croatia, Europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
Mastering Jujitsu is an interesting martial art book without gi. At the beggining of the book there are very good chapters about theory and history of Jujitsu and aslo about modern Jujitsu. At the end of the book there is one of the best words I've read about Jujitsu for self-defense. I would like to see this book in next edition with color photos. One of the best on teh market.
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5.0 out of 5 stars worthy read, Sept. 9 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
Let's just say that as a student at Rickson Gracie's school, I rarely find a bjj book which augments my training. This one does. It's a deep, rich read with fasinating history and theories of combat. It changed the context through which I view the Gracie artform.
If you train or are interested in bjj, read this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book on Underlying Theory, Aug. 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
This is a great book that explains in detail the underlying theory behind Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and ground combat.
This is NOT a technique book. While There are pictures of techniques in the book the main idea behind the text is the underlying theory that Ground Fighters need to engage in while fighting.
Renzo does a great job of explaining the phases of combat, and details strategy for each of those phases. He also cites examples of current MMA fighters and shows how they apply the principles that he is explaining.
This book requires some knowledge of ground grappling to understand the strategy behind what is going on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Mixed Martial Arts, Aug. 22 2003
By 
AncientSword "ancientsword" (Orlando, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
This book makes an excellent introduction for the mixed martial arts and the Gracie fighting system. It is very well written and illustrated. This book is worth every bit of its cost and is a good addition to any martial arts collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read, Aug. 8 2003
By 
William R Elder Jr (Abington, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
This is the best book I've ever read, period. The way Renzo and John Danaher break down the theory and techniques is amazing. Every BJJ practicioner should read and own this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars simply excellent, July 27 2003
By 
ahduru (Ankara Turkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
Especially division of a fight into phases is very good. Well prepared and easily read book. Alhtough rather an advanced practicionner I am, I have found very good tips. There are not many techniques but I think the purpose of the author is rather giving tactics. Consider that the book does not cost much either.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Theory from the master, July 22 2003
By 
therosen "therosen" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
To many, this book was "Renzo's long awaited No-Gi book" If you're looking for a list of a 200 gi-less technqiues, you'll be disappointed - that book is coming later. But this book is much much more...
The book starts with a history of ju jitsu. It places Brazilian jiu jitsu in the context of Judo, Japanese JuJitsu and other martial arts. It then covers the theory of jujitsu, including the various phases of fighting. This background provides a great context or framework to understand techniques. (This is analogous to the economic framework behind financial technqiues)
After providing the broad context, the book delves into deeper theory on each general position, along with a few specific techniques. Again, the focus is on frameworks and how to think about positions more than a listing of techniques.
The book also contains case studies on various fighters who have learned certain aspects of fighting. Although the book has a jujitsu focus, fighters from other arts such as Mark Coleman and Vanderlei Silva are highlighted. This demonstrates the broad landscape of ideas covered.
In summary, this has proven to be a uniquely informative book. The authors use the medium (book versus the common tape format) to convey history and theory that is more difficult to convey in class or on a tape. It's about time that someone wrote it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Notable addition to the literature of fighting strategy, July 22 2003
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
This is a notable contribution to the martial arts literature, particularly from the standpoint of theory. There have been several recent books capitalizing on the popularity of Brazilian Jujutsu (BJJ) such as those presenting basic techniques, a training syllabus, and self-defense applications. This book is distinguished clearly from those by its more systematic coverage of the general principles and their origin, allowing more advanced martial artists of all styles to learn what makes Brazilian Jujutsu so effective under the submission fighting and "no holds barred" conditions where it excels. This book also takes on unarmed fighting strategy in general, and so does not limit its coverage to the traditional methods of BJJ.
The book has several remarkable strengths, especially for a martial arts technical book. It treats cultural evolution of martial arts in an unusually serious and competent manner, it is relatively free of stylistic bias despite being written from within the perspective of Brazilian Jujutsu, it is very well written, and it has a logical structure with clear, useful, well-chosen examples.
The book also has a couple of minor but notable problems. First, the authors chose a completely non-scholarly format, and so they have some difficulty making serious historical and technical points with a very bare minimum of sources. Second, the authors treat principles as if all principles were strategic, thus largely missing technical (e.g. biomechanical) principles.
Third, the authors avoid an important central issue, the classification of strategies based on the degree of risk and commitment. An important distinction should be made between strategies that minimize the damage an opponent can do to us ("minimax"), and strategies that create the maximum opportunity to do damage to an opponent ("maximax"). Without this distinction, Japanese Judo and Jujutsu seem to the authors to be 'without a systematic strategy," when in fact they have a consistent systematic strategy but it is based upon the Japanese aesthetic and strategic principle of the "sudden death" finish. The goal is to use first opportunity to execute a devastating finishing move rather than to accumulate positional advantage in a series of phases.
The difference is one of the logical relation between preconditions and commitments in strategy. Just as in chess strategy (e.g. see Vukovic, "The Art of Attack in Chess", ch. 11) there are in general a set of preconditions that make a commitment to an attack sound, and missing those preconditions the attack is unsound and can be countered devastatingly by a skilled opponent. Knowing the preconditions that will make the risk of a move worth taking is an extremely complex and error-prone matter that in most fighting strategies has to be done through experience and intuition.
Since an attack necessarily requires a commitment and therefore produces vulnerability, it is important at high levels of skill that the attack (finish or transitional move) be done when the necessary preconditions are in place rather than simply hoping to pull them off through speed and strength. What the BJJ phased positional strategy does is to break down the preconditions for attack uniquely well and ensure that they are present. A finish (or transition) doesn't begin until the advantage is present for it to succeed with a high degree of likelihood, unless a very clear target of opportunity opens up. This way, BJJ fighters rarely get countered and frequently succeed at reaching the next step of their positional goal, especially against opponents who are waiting for larger openings to appear, even though they may have great technical skill. This is what I think is the reality behind the "lack of strategy" of other grappling approaches.
This book does a very competent job placing the (strategic) principles of Jujutsu into Japanese social and cultural context, using more than just the standard uncritical mythology usually found in books of this type. The difficult topic of cultural evolution in general and martial arts evolution in particular is covered unusually well, although it stops well short of being a scholarly presentation. The general problem of trying to explain both convergent and divergent evolutionary patterns in culture is introduced in an understandable way, and the weaknesses of the "common origins" theory of Asian martial arts are made very clear.
Having detached their analysis from the questionable "common origins" theory, the authors are able to make a strategic analysis of unarmed combat based on a more sophisticated combination of historical, social, and technical factors. With this analysis, they accomplish something akin to what Bruce Lee and the Jeet Kune Do theorists attempted years ago, and what Paul Maslak addressed in his "Strategy in Unarmed Combat" and "What the Masters Know," but with a new twist. Whereas previous analyses focused on the range-dependence of standing fighting, the authors of "Mastering Jujutsu" add their understanding of mixed martial arts fighting. This allows them to incorporate both the principles of grappling strategy and the principles involved in fighting against grapplers, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the of the range-based strategic approach.
They find the range-based approach marginally useful. Where they consider range important to standing fighting is in the same sense that Maslak divided ranges into "infighting and outfighting," and classical Budo considers a single critical distance or Ma-Ai to be important. The JKD-inspired idea of separate ranges for "kicking, punching, trapping, and grappling" ranges is found to be an inferior teaching tool in a very persuasive analysis using both practical examples and general principles. The authors divide standing ranges into "non-contact" and "contact," and demonstrate why this is as useful a range-based analysis as can be attempted.
Where the book has its greatest value is in its clear and very general presentation of the origin and application of the phased positional strategy of BJJ, and the examples of how it is executed in mixed martial arts, submission, and self-protection fighting. This is one of those rare books that while written from the perspective of one discipline has value that easily crosses disciplines. An excellent addition to the literature of unarmed fighting strategy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for Beginner, July 18 2003
By 
"brazilianjj" (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mastering Jujitsu (Paperback)
I myself trained Gracie Jiu Jitsu for many years and know the techniques of this art are effective. This book would be great for a beginner who needs background information on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and insight into the NHB/MMA world. This book is not a techniques book but does have a few good examples of popular and effective techniques. Overall it is a good book. The explanation on Jiu Jitsu's history is amazing. Renzo is a great athlete, teacher, writer and all around nice guy.
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Mastering Jujitsu
Mastering Jujitsu by John Danaher (Paperback - May 22 2003)
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