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Mastering Jujitsu Paperback – May 22 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (May 22 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736044043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736044042
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.5 x 28.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

One of the most successful and active members of the world-famous Gracie clan, Renzo Gracie has spent almost 30 years training in Brazilian jujitsu. Competing at the highest levels of mixed martial arts (MMA), grappling, and no-holds-barred (NHB) events, he has won the Brazilian jujitsu national title twice, the World Combat Championships (MMA event), and the martial arts reality series superfight. He is also a two-time winner of the world submission grappling championship (held annually in Abu Dhabi) and a multiple winner in Japan's premier MMA venue, PRIDE.

Gracie has instructed many current UFC competitors and students who have gone on to become world Brazilian jujitsu champions, PRIDE champions, and Pan American Games champions. His New York City academy is one of the largest and most popular in the United States. Gracie continues to teach, train, and compete throughout the world. He resides in New York City.

An instructor at the Gracie school of Jujitsu in New York, John Danaher has been Renzo's training partner for several years. He holds a PhD from Columbia University and has written another book, Brazilian Jujitsu: Theory and Technique, with Renzo and his cousin Royler Gracie. Danaher has the distinction of being involved with the highest authorities in the sport and the formal writing skills to convey it. He resides in New York City.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is excellent. My only issue is the title could be somewhat misleading. It is well written and gives great depth into the history of BJJ as well as excellent photos and instructions of techniques.

The book focuses on Jujitsu for MMA competition moreso than for Jujitsu competition. Given Renzo Gracie's legendary background in MMA, it is not surprising. I was looking for a book on BJJ groundwork techniques, and while this book is excellent and I am glad I purchased it, it wasn't exactly what I thought it was.

The chapters on techniques are divided such that you have a chapter on the Clinch, a chapter on Groundfighting and a chapter on winning from the bottom, etc. These chapters cover the topics in great depth and have interspersed throughout, excellent examples of fighters who use the techniques successfully in MMA competition.

Overall this book is a great resource for any martial artist's library. I went looking for a different type of book and found this one. I am a fan of Renzo Gracie and a fan of this book. The title might mislead some and probably should have been called Mastering Jujitsu for MMA but it is still worth a read and anyone serious about MMA should pick it up.
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Format: Paperback
Coming from a traditional martial arts background for almost 15 years my instructors always scorned martial arts that broke with tradition and gravitated towards "sports." After many years of learning various styles of fighting I was finding that most schools were teaching techniques that seemed to not work well against resisting opponents. Further I found the traditional methods of practice lacked the hard physical attributes necessary to perform well in a stressful situation against someone resisting forcefully.
Although I was aware of Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) and other mixed martial arts (MMA) styles, It was only recently that I decided to begin studying other systems of combat where their successful application was proven in actual competition against opponents who were often much bigger and stronger. As part of this research I came across this book which provides far and away the best explanations on:
1) Why traditional training fails to teach combat realities.
2) Why traditional notions of combat (controlling the distance) are fiction.
3) How combat systems adopted to sporting competition are actually more effective than supposedly "deadly" techniques that are never practiced.
The above may sound obvious to those who have studied BJJ for a while, but to the average public observer or traditionally trained fighter this is completely counter to what you've always seen and been told.
This book provides not only insights into why the way you've been training all these years is probably wrong, but explores with examples why it is so. The tactics, philosophies, and techniques (there are few techniques in this book) are all proven in hard competitive situations by individuals whose training dwarfs that of an average street thug or bully.
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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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