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Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martia l Arts Paperback – October 2, 2012
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“Polly earned my respect. He's got a ton of heart. He did the work and played the part.” — Randy Couture, former UFC heavyweight champion
“Matt Polly's Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.” — MMAConvert.com
“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.” — TheSweetScience.com
“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.” — New Hampshire NPR
“Hypnotic…Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as “human cockfighting” by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.”
--The New York Times
“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.”
“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.”
--New Hampshire NPR
“The Best MMA Book of 2012.”
—The Bleacher Report
“A vivid, breezy read.”
“Polly’s self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.”
“It is safe to say that if George Plimpton, the fellow who embodied participatory sports writing by pitching to Major League Baseball all-stars, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and otherwise humiliating himself, were still alive, he’d cringe at Polly’s endeavor.”
—The Boston Globe
“Polly takes his training seriously, but as a writer, he never takes himself too seriously, which is one reason why his book works as well as it does.”
—Bill Littlefield, NPR’s "It’s Only a Game"
“A gregarious and charming protagonist, Polly comes across as self-deprecating, yet his enthusiasm and passion for martial arts are unmistakable. Readers familiar with MMA will be gratified to hear how affable their heroes are and will recognize themselves in the author’s shoes. Those who previously lacked knowledge of this modern craze will respect both Polly, for undertaking this odyssey, and the fighters whose grueling training regimens he followed.”
“Polly is hilarious as a narrator. He gets beaten, tossed, choked, and twisted like a dishrag on every page, yet maintains a humble sense of humor that is both charming and unique. Tapped Out is so in-your-face good you’ll check your jaw for bruises.”
“Polly’s memoir of a middle-aged, thoroughly out-of-shape couch potato’s quest to become a UFC-style cage warrior is one of the funniest yet most insightful books that I’ve come across in quite a while.”
“Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport’s most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport. It may even inspire you to start training. I say buy it and read it. You won’t be disappointed.”
“In between throwing up on the subway following training sessions and getting yelled at by Xtreme Couture coaches for his terrible diet, Polly actually learned a great deal about this sport and its denizens, and the book is a must-read for any MMA fan.”
—Ben Fowlkes, MMAFighting.com
“Tapped Out has a big heart that will make you enjoy its quirks as much as its virtues. It’s a delight to read and has a much greater mass appeal than most of its contemporaries. This book is a must-read for the MMA fan and a probably-should-read for everyone else.”
“Matt Polly’s Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.”
“Polly earned my respect. He’s got a ton of heart. He did the work and played the part.”
—Randy Couture, former UFC heavyweight champion
About the Author
Matthew Polly is an award-winning travel writer for Slate. A Princeton University graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Polly has also written for Esquire, Playboy, and The Nation. He lives in New York.
Top customer reviews
This interesting and entertaining book (Tapped Out by Matthew Polly) provides an insiders look at what the mixed martial arts is all about. The author trained for two years for his first fight in order to get first-hand experience for this book he was writing.
This 280 page hardcover book is organized into three sections. You will meet some of the legendary mixed martial art fighters in this book which is just one of the many things I liked about this book. The first section (Act 1 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) the author explains Kung-Fu Panda, Descendants of Hercules: MMA 101, Gracies don’t tap, and other stories. The second section (Act 11 Muay Thai and Sambo) the author relates his experiences such as Bangkok Vice, Nursery school, there will be blood and other incidents. The final section (Act 111 Mixed Martial Arts) was the most interesting to me because the author finally loses enough weight and trained hard enough to finally have his first fight. I am not going to give away more than that.
If you are an ultimate fighter and mixed martial arts fan you should check out this book. I thought it was a great read, but then I am a crazy lifetime student of the martial arts which makes me not the most objective guy when it comes to anything to do with training in the way of the warrior.
Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: The Samurai Soul: An old warrior’s poetic tribute)
What gives credibility to Polly is his willingness to put himself through brutal training of MMA, BJJ, Muay Tai, Sambo, etc in order add authenticity to his book, as he did in his first book. He even takes part in an amateur MMA fight so to better understand what goes in the bodies and minds of the fighters in the MMA's Octagon.
While his experience alone makes in worth buying the book, the reason for 5-star rating lies in the strength of his writing. His writing style veers toward self-deprecation, eschewing the massive ego and the macho BS of the typical martial artists and fighters. His writing often hilarious but at the same time displays a surprising intellectual depth in analysing the sports or human behaviours.
All in all a hugely satisfying read for an intelligent MMA / martial arts fans.
The author has a smooth and readable prose voice built around a core of self deprecating humor. He has a knack for giving just enough background on a subject to satisfy curiosity without getting bogged down in minutiae that only the rabid purist is really going to care about, and leaving enough clues for further research for those who want to go deeper into the topic. But his biggest strength is in finding the stories that convey the emotional and physical truth behind the subject without having to resort to overt dramatics or mud slinging.
I'll admit that I may find his books so damned enjoyable partly because I am a long time martial artist myself, but I have passed them on to others who weren't and gotten positive responses. Everybody likes a good story and this guy tells them. I look forward to more from him, even if his next subject has nothing to do with martial arts.
In closing, this is a 4 1/2 star rating out of five--but that deduction is mainly for some glitches in the kindle copy I received. C'mon publishers, the e versions cost close to or as much as print. In this case there were a few lines repeated. No content was missing, but you would NEVER see this in a print trade paperback these days.
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