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Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting Paperback – Bargain Price, December 1, 2008

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The best book on the real history of MMA that I've seen. . . . This book really is so great I couldn't put it down . . . it's a thorough history dating back to the turn of the 20th century, covering the heydays in Brazil, Japan, and major UFC opposition groups over the past 15 years in North America."  —Wrestling Observer

"If the history of MMA was taught as a college course, Total MMA would be the official textbook used for the class."  —Five Ounces of Pain

"A definitive history of the sport, and it tackles just about every major figure and event in the sport's history."  —

"I highly recommend it for yourself or for the MMA fan in your life."  —Inside Fights

"[Total MMA] is amazingly detailed with hundreds of footnotes as Snowden focuses on the expansion of MMA from its early beginnings to late 2008. Snowden obviously loves the business but doesn't shy away from exposing its darker sides and presenting both sides of arguments."  —

"By far the most definitive book on mixed martial arts I've ever read . . . I can't recommend this book more highly."  —The Angry Marks

"A go-to resource for the figures big and small in the history of MMA . . . It is hard to imagine any book in the future matching the detail and definition provided here . . . make it the cornerstone of your MMA library."  —

"I just tore through . . . Jonathan Snowden's excellent history of MMA. . . . If you're looking for a one volume history of Mixed Martial Arts, it would be hard to do better than this."  —Bloody Elbow

About the Author

Jonathan Snowden is a former lawyer, radio DJ, and television producer. He has worked for the U.S. Army and the White House Communications Agency, is trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the Army Combatives Program, and currently works for the Department of Defense. He lives in Vienna, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550228463
  • ASIN: B006W40LWK
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,200,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan Snowden quit his job as a lawyer after September 11, 2001, to join the United States Army. He trained in Brazilian jiu jitsu and the Army Combatives Program and fell in love with the UFC. He is a former radio DJ and television producer who worked for the White House Communications Agency in Washington, D.C. He currently works for the Department of Defense and is a Contributor for and the Houston Chronicle as well as the author of Total MMA (ECW Press, 2008)and The MMA Encyclopedia (Coming to Amazon November 2010).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Walsh on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
As the sport of Mixed Martial Arts grows, as does the public's interest with the fighters, the personalities and the history of the sport. Of course, to meet that demand that means that publishers are going to start to demand books on the subject are available. With that being said, Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting by Jonathan Snowden sets itself away from the rest of the pack by doing what nobody else has done; present a thorough history of Mixed Martial Arts dating back to the inception of Judo and everything else leading up to modern Mixed Martial Arts. Not only is it the information that sets Total MMA apart, but the narrative style and passion the writer has for the sport of MMA.

Total MMA is written in a way that is both engaging and informative; to not only appeal to a newer fan of the sport who might not know much of the storied history behind the sport, but to the avid fan who has heard many of the tall tales and third-hand accounts of stories recounted in this book. As opposed to a simply linear presenation, Total MMA moves back and forth, jumping between countries, promotions and personalities. One chapter will present what was happening in the United States with the Ultimate Fighting Championships, while the next chapter will tell of the events unfolding at the same time in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championship. No stone remains unturned in the major history of MMA, as everything from Antonio Inoki's appeal in Japan as a martial arts champion to the Fertitas and their links to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and organized crime.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Marlinata on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Waaooww...!! that's the first impression when I read this book for its first couple pages. Then I can't stop reading it although it has almost 400 pages!! This book is a total package of the history of MMA in the world, even it goes back to early 19th century, from any part of the world! Jonathan Snowden, the writer has a lot of credibility in his life. And the way he tells us the history and his opinions are awesome. He's very detail in explaining the events, feeling and histories and also he always gives us the pros and cons of every thing and character (which is very true in this life, there's always two sides of a coin).

From the fierce competition inside and outside the arena or even the feeling of each chareacter. He doesn't just tell the story in a chronological time, but he goes a little bit back and forth without too much confusion involved. That way he makes us all think , memorize something or even looking for that particular reference in the earlier ares of hte book to double check the fact or the real zone for that particular event or character.

I have two thumbs up from my hands and if it counts, I give an extra two thumbs from my toes when I jump up and down getting excited reading this book ;p

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Bock on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Total MMA. It's a quick read with lots of broad ranging detail. I especially appreciated how Snowden covered a lot of history, but didn't bog it down with detail far too minute to hold a UFC fan's attention.

I cannot say I knew much about mid 90's Japanese MMA/Shoot fighting or about the Gracie legacy pre-Royce, so this book got me up to speed and allowed me to seek out more detail elsewhere if I chose.

The book takes a fairly 3rd part perspective as to not choose sides, though at times, Snowden definitely nudges you in one direction. Nonetheless I was satisfied with everything overall.

So this is a great book if you want a general background on how MMA came to be the International success it is without having to feel like you're studying for a mid-term out of a text book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Wallace on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Jonathan Snowden is a talented author whose genuine love of MMA history comes across on every page. Snowden's extensive knowledge of the sport will illuminate any reader with an interest in this growing phenomenon.
Exhaustively researched, Total MMA covers the wide (and much longer than you may know) history of the sport, bringing us up to the present day. He presents a fair and not always pretty portrayal of the inner workings of the business, casting a sometimes unsettling but always illuminating portrayal of the athletes, promoters, and other bizarre hangers on of the mixed martial arts world.
In addition, this book will make you fall in love with Kazushi Sakuraba all over again. Whether you're a MMA diehard or a TUF noob, this book will educate you to facets of the sport you may never have even known existed. Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Pulgarin on May 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a little weary about the fact that Snowden uses the misnomer "Ultimate Fighting" to refer to the sport of MMA. I thought this was just going to be blatant propaganda for the UFC. But from the beginning Snowden establishes an insider's view into the short history of MMA, and it is not, as I originally thought, a propaganda tool for pushing the UFC.

Snowden's book begins with a detailed history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He describes the "Gracie Challenge" and Helio Gracie's fight with Masahiko Kimura with great lucidity. All this, of course, leads to the rise of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and the birth of MMA. The book continues on with stories of Ken Shamrock, the rise of the UFC, Pride, and TUF.

Sometimes critical but always insightful, Snowden gives the reader a front row seat to the story within the history of how MMA became the sport that it is today. The key word here is story - since the book reads like a story and not like a history text. Thoroughly researched and full of original interviews, Total MMA is a must read for any true MMA fan.

Also check out these other excellent books about MMA - The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game, Brawl: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Mixed Martial Arts Competition, and No Holds Barred: Ultimate Fighting and the Martial Arts Revolution

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