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42 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man, what a great read! Any guy over 21 should read this book, if only for the fun of it. Enjoy!, October 31, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Refreshingly fun and uplifting! I read Simpson's Bruises in one sitting & really enjoyed it for a lot of reasons. Like any good book, it is hard to express exactly what makes it a great experience. I would say some key elements are 1. Simpson has a great sense of humor and does not hesitate to apply it with liberal brushstrokes throughout the book, primarily to his own personal failings and experiences, 2. Page turner, not one flat spot in the book, you will not want to put it down, I didn't, 3. He describes the inner world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so accurately it's great, you really get a fascinating inside look at the sport, the studios, teachers and the international competitions 4. at the same time the book's greatest success is probably it's straight forward, enjoyable account of a guy working through very real, difficult life issues all guys face in some form or fashion. 5. There is a lot in this book, like any well written book, there is plenty to appreciate. I probably enjoyed it the most as an uplifting guide to keep you on track to accomplishing what you find desirable, worthwile and rewarding in life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is full of quotes, short stories and an amazing fun ride into Crazy Land!, October 28, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
If you have ever wondered what it is like to "choke" someone out....read on or simply step onto the mat. Mr. Simpson paints a vivid picture of the world in BJJ, as an outsider of this world I feel empowered and hopeful for humanity. If one man can pull himself back from darkness, with a few bruises (ok a lot), broken ribs, black eyes and still wake up wanting more, what strength lies within each one of us?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head off the mat Seempson!!!, November 5, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
What a great read!!! This is a must for any bjj guys out there that have been on or are in the same journey "Seempson" is going through in this book. He does a great job of laying out his pain and pleasure he experiences from his daily lessons both in life and on the mats. It is a humors book full of Academy stories and tales of everyday hero's using the skills earned in the Academy and played out in the street in the form of self defense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern day Rocky story without the sappy love story, November 2, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
From being broken down and broken to "getting it" this is a great story of triumph and growth from a real life perspective. Enjoyed it and made me want to become one of the "trained". Made me understand the value of the sport and how it's more than just a sport. Well done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why everyone can get this story..., November 21, 2013
This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I’d like to start this review by saying Mike Simpson’s story is typical of the American almost-middle-aged man who marries the love of his life, has beautiful children, suffers through a nasty divorce (because, surely, he is the victim), only to find himself in the depths of despair, but comes out on top with butterflies, rainbows, and bunny rabbits. But I’d be lying. In fact, I’d never say that because what Simpson very rawly divulges is the naked truth unconcerned with the stereo-typical, fairy-tale ending that any realist knows is just delusional nonsense. Simpson is honest, unapologetically straightforward, and undeniably real. Whether you have been a jitsuka for decades or have no idea what the hell that word means, you will get this man’s story. He somehow manages to take the events of a normal man’s life and makes his reader acutely aware of the universal experience we all share as humans. He finds that one thing that keeps his head above that proverbial water. It is sad. It is hilarious. It is bare. It is hopeful. It is real. Read it. Get angry. Get disgusted. Laugh. Relate. Sigh in understanding and frustration. It is rare that such a humble, real, relatable story comes from your average, ordinary man. He is one of us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bruises", an American adventure., November 14, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I really liked the book: maybe because I can relate on many levels, or because of the writing, or because it's funny. But maybe what appealed to me the most is it's a testimony that we can still live an adventure, and change things around our way, no matter the circumstances. "Bruises" describes an American adventure, as I learned to love them: life is not over unless we say so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brutally honest, funny and insightful read., November 13, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Mike "Seempson" has put together a treasure of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu anecdotes woven together with some good stories and a few important life lessons. As a first hand witness and enthusiastic participant in most of the Megaton Academy exploits described within, I can say without hesitation that Mike nailed it. He does an excellent job of recreating the conversations, accents and atmosphere exactly as they happened. This book is a peek behind the curtain of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world and helps to explain why (for the trained) it is more than just a hobby, it is a life style. Buy it and read it now, you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh perspective on how a hobby can have a complete impact on your life., November 12, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I had just finished reading Mike's book and I am very impressed. First of all, I had met Mike once in local tournaments and his friend Greg had trained with me for a while at my bro in laws gym. It was not until I moved to New Orleans that I really got to know him. The stories in here refer to the positive influences that Jiu Jitsu has had in life on a professional, social, and even psychological level. The journey he takes us on shows us how a martial art can be more than just a hobby. For many of us, it is our social circle, its a way to relieve stress, and a way to challenge ourselves. Jiu Jitsu practiioners and non BJJ practitioners will be able to relate. Every person has some type of hobby that gives them that satisfaction in life and for myself, for Mike, and many of our friends at the gym, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does that. Its a challenging sport that is difficult to master, but the rewards are endless. You build friendships for life, you learn more about yourself, and most of all you gain character. Magnum Mike has clearly depicted how Jiu jitsu has impacted his life and its a fun journey that I know has only begun for him and for many others that practice this sport. Great job my friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome BJJ Book, November 7, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book is a fantastic collection of stories about "trained" warriors coming to the aid of everyday citizens interwoven with the journey of Mike into the subculture of brazilian jiu jitsu. Mike is a hilarious and engaging writer that would make anyone want to go on the journey to becoming "trained" with six-pack abs.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpson makes no attempt to hide the bruises., November 6, 2013
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This review is from: Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I met Mike while attending the lunchtime class at Megaton's in 2005. I was the new guy and Mike pointed over to me, no words were spoken, no introductions, I knew that I was selected to roll as his partner for the next 10 minutes. At the completion of what seemed to be the most humiliating and painful 10 minutes of my life, I re-tied my white belt that was speckled with blood (my own), Mike turned to me and asked me what I did for a living...I told him I was in Real Estate. I was hesitant to ask him about his profession as I already knew he was either a convicted felon or bouncer or both. I summoned the courage and replied, "and you"?...Mike replied...."Hair Dresser". Hence the completion of my most painful, humiliating and yet the most enlightened day of my life.

Mark Spray - markspray
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