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Mastering the Rubber Guard: Jiu Jitsu for Mixed Martial Arts Competition Paperback – December 15, 2006
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The half guard portion of this book is truly remarkable. The moves not only work, but have already become classics. Even if you have no interest in becoming a half-guard expert like Eddie, you should become familiar with those moves because you will be defending against them sometime in your grappling career. The fact that Eddie was able to hold off someone like Royler in his half guard for five minutes should tell you how effective the moves can be if you are unfamiliar with them. My recommendation is this book is a definite buy just for the half-guard materials alone.
I am less enthused about his rubber guard. The rubber guard is a decent way to hold off an opponent and create some breathing room but I don't think it is revolutionary. Eddie has made conflicting statements on the issue, on one hand advertising the guard as being revolutionary but on the other hand admitting that rubber guard, like all guards, is inherently risky and ineffective. It seems somewhat more effective in no-gi, but that is not surpring because it was designed for no-gi. Regardless, I think it definitely belongs in the "good to know" category, so you can defend against it, even if you are not interested in using it. If you are interested in learning about the rubber guard, then certainly I can think of no better authority than its creator.
The book as a whole is easy to read, with color photographs that makes it easy to distinguish the limbs of the practitioners. It even has a flow chart. Overall, one of the best executed martial arts books I came across.
As an aside, I am a bit astounded by other reviewers' focus on the book's preface. Certainly, Eddie advocates the use of marijuana but I am not sure why this seems to offend many. He sincerely and strongly believes that marijuana improves his BJJ game. Then it would seem only natural that he would recommend its use. It's his book and he can say whatever he wants to, just as a reader is free to disregard or rip out those sections. I certainly do not think his belief on the issue affects the content of the book in any negative way (except for the funky names). I think the issue should not be given much thought.
there you are...
A new way to think and act with your body.
It is not only the nice techniques presented in that book, is that it challenges you to start thinking outside the box. This way I decided to start experimenting with whatever I was taught (and not only with the techniques of Eddie Bravo but with all the BJJ techniques) and thus enhancing my game.
P.S. One very useful part is the chapter troubleshooting the moves described in the previous chapters where it demonstrates the counter or additional moves you have to do when your opponent has a very tight defense.
P.S. It helped also my Gi game although is no-gi oriented.
P.S. I am a short and further-weight fighter (165cm, 60Kgs) and I find that the rubber guard is quite useful when fighting heavier people (almost everybody in my gym). It allows me to hold their heads and neck down and not allowing them taking a posture far away of my reach (my arms are comparable short since I am only 165 cm) that limit my choices of attacks.
First let me say that this book and it's predecessor "Mastering the Rubber Guard" have totally changed my game. I always disliked grappling because the moves never worked well for shorter guys like me. I only practiced grappling to supplement my stand up fighting, because I disliked it so much. I did Shooto and BJJ, but I was always very "blah" about it. But now, I love grappling, and I have the excitement of learning something new every time I experiment with the moves in Bravo's books. And most importantly... these moves actually work.
ABOUT THE BOOK
While the first book was Bravo's bottom position game (guard, half guard, "pyramid") this book is his top game (mount, side control, and back). Like the first book, this book shows each move in step by step detail with full color photos taken from two angles. Also like the first book, he teaches all of the moves in a flowing sequence so you can get a good idea of how transition from move to move. Also like the first book, the first portion is dedicated to his childhood and his love of drugs. If this bothers you, then just flip through the first several pages until you see pictures of guys doing ju jutsu. Or, just rip out the first section entirely and throw it away. You'll still be left with exactly what you were looking for; a ju jutsu book that has a ton of great info and is worth every penny you paid for it.
PROS AND CONS
If you are new to BJJ or a hardcore gi lover, then you'll find this book to be chock full of great material. You'll probably see setups that are a little bit complicated for you, positions you've never even imagined, and some basic no-gi strategy that probably no one but the advanced students in your school know about.
On the flip side, intermediate students and gi haters will find themselves frequently skipping over setups and no gi strategies that they are already very familiar with.
Personally, I like that the book has a lot of subtle strategies and techniques, and I'm sure that I'll return to this book again and again every time I can't quite figure out what I'm doing wrong. However, I was dissapointed that this book didn't have the same "wow" factor as the first one. Maybe if I had read this book first and the other one after, then I would feel the opposite way; I'm not sure. But after reading the rubber guard book, I didn't feel that Bravo's top game was quite as Earth-shattering as his bottom game.
That being said, I still feel that this book is full of great info and absolutely necessary to complete the system that Bravo began to lay out in his first book. The quality of the paper, photos, and writing EASILY makes this the best martial arts book I've ever seen (much less the best BJJ book out there). And I think that if you don't buy this book, then you are truly missing out on a whole new world in grappling.