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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Techniques: The Essential Guard (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Techniques series) Paperback – September 28, 2005
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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Kid Peligro is an excellent teacher and offers many of the subtle details that make the difference between submitting and being submitted. For example, the section on breaking the posture and the 4 pages on the basic cross collar choked improved my game more than anything. Everyone knows this choke, but the minor details make it really dangerous, especially when you don't have a lot of muscle to force the choke. Before, most guys I sparred with weren't too worried about my choke, I was convinced I wasn't strong enough, but since reading this book I've put several guys to sleep because they wouldn't even considering tapping and now they try hard not to even let me get a grip on their collar. This opens up many more opportunities to attack with sweeps, arm bars, and omoplatas. What makes this book so good is the authors' understanding of students and the basic mistakes they make, as well as the very clear explanations and photos. The moves are integrated into a complete system that will put you years ahead than if you tried to figure this out on your own. That being said, there is plenty here for higher belts as well. I think the Essential Guard is essential reading for anyone taking BJJ seriously and interested in dramatically improving their Guard game. It should be know that there isn't a lot on the half- guard, it's mostly breaking the the posture, replacing the guard, opend and closed guard, butterfly, spider, and attack combinations. If you want a good half-guard game, I recommend Eddie Bravo's Mastering the Rubber Guard. These two books compliment each other well.
This book has three main strengths. First, the layout and organisation are excellent. The book is broken down into the following sections:
2-Essential guard techniques
3-Closed guard techniques
4-Open Guard techniques
Each section is broken down into further sub-sections including drills, breaking the posture, attacks, combinations etc. The page headings are also colour coded to help you flick through the book faster.
The second great thing about this book is the photos. Peligro has a different approach to illustrating his books than Ed Beneville and limits himself to three or four pictures per page (Beneville's book is very well illustrated, he just has a very different style of layout). The pictures are very large and clear and illustrate the key points of each technique very well. These pics are accompanied by a solid text and at no time did I find myself struggling to understand how a technique was meant to be performed due to unclear instructions.
The third strength of this book is the fact that it contains a wealth of valuable information. The authors take the time to explain what you should be doing, why you should be doing it and what it should lead into. The Combinations section has was very helpful for me (and would be for any other beginner) as it introduced a lot of logical progressions involving basic techniques that had not occured to me after one year of training.
While a more experienced BJJ practitioner may have a different opinion, I consider this book an essential resource.