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The "Jiu-Jitsu Jesus" gives us the closest thing to a BJJ Bible
, November 29, 2011
As an avid practitioner and fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I'm more than familiar with the name Marcelo Garcia, whom many have argued is the best grappler in the world. Since he stormed onto the scene by making a statement at ADCC 2003, Marcelo's aura has grown. Although it's been made clear that he himself is not invincible, his flaws have perhaps made way for him to improve his game even more-so than many thought was possible.
Alongside co-author Marshal Carper, acclaimed author of "The Cauliflower Chronicles", Marcelo provides us with a look into his mindset and the tools he is willing to share that have brought him to the top of BJJ in "Advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques". For a white belt like myself, the book seemed a bit intimidating since it looked more like a manual, and usually I'm more concerned with not getting submitted than how my opponent got their position. Plus, I was afraid it would become more of a task to read than a pleasure, sort of like the iTunes Terms of Service. Thankfully that wasn't the case, and it's safe to say that one run-through of ABJJT will leave you anticipating when you can re-start it.
The sections of the book vary and give the reader a strong base (no pun intended) of techniques to acquire and try out: Arm drags, Establishing back control, Submissions from back control, Takedowns, Attacking the guard and Submissions. One of the biggest pet peeves I hear from jiu-jitsu players who have previously invested time in learning from books is either lack of visual aids, or simply bad quality of the visual aids. Neither of these apply to any part of ABJJT, with every section displaying vibrant color photos of set-ups, transitions, adjustments and finishes of the maneuvers. The best parts, though, are the multiple angles that show Marcelo's positioning and technique to give the reader an overall view of how the move is supposed to look from every which-way. Who hasn't had to get up and move around the mat while your instructor is showing a move in order to see how your body needs to be positioned?
There's no doubt that these techniques are quite in-depth, some more than others, and you'll have to carefully pay attention to detail in order to get the big picture. But that should not deter you from taking the time necessary to really study the various techniques and attacks that Marcelo offers in this publication. Since his last book dealt specifically with X guard, which all BJJ players may not utilize as much or as well, it's safe to say that this book is a much better starting point.
Remember, reps and mat time are what improve your game the most, so once you're comfortable with these moves, DRILL THEM! They're probably not going to work right off the bat, but practice makes perfect. Well, in BJJ it's more like almost perfect.