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Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts Paperback – July 15, 2008
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Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts
by Kelly Crigger (Victory Belt)
© Marc Wickert November 19, 2008
Title Shot is to mixed martial arts what Jack Kerouac's On the Road was to bebop, with author Kelly Crigger taking readers on an up-close tour of some of America's most successful MMA gyms, where they encounter very colorful coaches and competitors.
Crigger is a lieutenant colonel in the US Army, and served in the 1st Special Forces Group and the 3rd Infantry Division as well as completing the Army's Ranger School. His military career has included trips to the holiday destination of Afghanistan. Knowing firsthand about action, Crigger takes a trek across the US on a quest to see what makes mixed martial artists tick.
Title Shot opens with a visit from BJ Penn who "wants to do something for the troops" before he hooks up with Crigger. Of BJ, the author says, "He was gracious, humble, and genuinely happy to spend time with soldiers of Fort Lewis, Washington."
Like Kerouac's Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady), Kelly Crigger then commences his yearlong journey across America, starting at Matt Lindland's Team Quest in Portland, Oregon, then travels to Cesar Gracie's, David Terrell's and Ivan Salaverry's gyms in Northern California, before cruising down to spend time with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque. Kelly leap-frogs up to Somerville, Massachusetts, to take in Mark DellaGrotte and his Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy, where Crigger plays some very amusing mind games with Mark using a stone dragon ornament that adds a lot of humor to the book.
Readers get more firsthand experience of MMA when they're escorted to IFL finals in Florida, and Coconut Creek's American Top Team gym.Read more ›
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have only three criticisms, two quibbling, one more substantive.
First, the omission of Miletich Fighting Systems in Bettendorf, IA is huge. So many elite fighters come from there, it's astonishing that one can tour the top training venues and skip over Bettendorf. It's like writing about Olympic highlights from Beijing and not mentioning Michael Phelps.
Second, in the effort to be funny, Crigger over-uses some humor conventions. Someone is "as grim as an IRS agent on April 15th." He was out of it like a ... And on and on and on. Nearly every page has one of these would-be witticisms. Some are amusing but after a while it gets tiresome and repetitive, repetitive, repeti - oh, well, you get the idea.
Third, at times Crigger - the ex Army guy - feels obliged to explain in asides how various ,members of the training dojo correspond to the hierarchy of the US Army. Ok, so...? Why should the reader care? He is shoehorning his Army experience into the book in a way that does nothing to add to the story.
Don't get me wrong, though. This is a fun book and Crigger takes at once a respectful yet puckish approach to the world of MMA. He takes the sport seriously but not too seriously.
Even with these reservations, I WOULD recommend "Title Shot"!!
continued at Bloodyknux.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome inside account of what goes on in MMA gyms. Good read if you're a fan of the sport and the fighters.Published 10 days ago by Slipstream
Really enjoyed this one. There was a story at each setting to go along with the tale of Crigger's journey to find out what makes MMA fighters do what they do. Read morePublished on January 30, 2013 by M. Redmond
i, like most of you looking at this book love mixed martial arts. but this book is nothing more than some boring guy trying to decide if he likes the sport or not, and trying to... Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by dantct
TITLE SHOT deserves ongoing and repeated recommendation as an outstanding account of an Army officer who embarked on a survey of mixed martial arts competition to learn what drives... Read morePublished on December 20, 2009 by Midwest Book Review
Excellent look into Mixed Martial Arts. Kelly Crigger does a great job of not only getting involved in MMA itself, but also the minds and philosophies of the fighters. Read morePublished on July 2, 2009 by Nico Salas
Nicely done. Written pretty well with an informal personal style that sometimes got too "forced".
Provided defininte insight into why some of the current and up and coming fighters do what they do. Traveling to five of the top camps in the country LTC Crigger was able to get an... Read morePublished on October 12, 2008 by D. A. Boling
My husband bought this book and I decided to give it a shot. It was fantastic!! I have a new love for this sport. The author made it very entertaining. Read morePublished on September 10, 2008 by C. Simon
Great book, very entertaining, informative, and humorous. I ended up finishing it in a few days. The author worked with A LOT of people in the MMA industry when writing this... Read morePublished on September 5, 2008 by Edward N. Watanabe