Tuesday, February 06, 2007

For Experts Only by Carlson Gracie - January, 2006

Another book I still love and skim over regularly. I gave this four stars at the time and it's still worth it now. Everyone should read this to see how one of the main men did it.


Undisputed Master Discloses the "Secrets"

If, by secrets, we mean quality, high percentage techniques for BJJ, submission wrestling and MMA, then this is true. As well as being an elder statesman of the legendary Gracie family and well recognised master of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Carlson is also the coach of many top BJJ, submission wrestling and MMA champions.

Names like 'Ze' Mario Sperry, Murillo Bustamonte and Rodrigo Medeiros are just a few of Carlson's fantastic stable of students. In this book, we see why they're so successful.

The book is in three parts and starts with Carlson demonstrating techniques for sport Jiu Jitsu. This section covers takedowns, guard work, sweeps and reversals, chokes and cranks, and arm bars and ankle locks.

Carlson demonstrates (or has his students demonstrate) simple and effective techniques. Often, you'll see something done slightly differently to what you're used to. IT's a little light on description. That's a bit of a pain, but it's also part of the reason this is for "Experts Only".

I especially liked the section on the "Jello Guard". Some open guard techniques you've seen before at the big competitions, but performed by the guy who developed them and refined them, giving you details on how to make them work.

The submission wrestling section covers guard work, escapes and defences, chokes and cranks, and arm bars and wrist locks. This section is mostly demonstrated by Carlson's students, but Carlson demonstrates a number of techniques.

Same comments as the previous section. Great, simple, effective techniques. Light on description, but those with some exerience will be able to pick up plenty of detail. Perhaps you'll even pick up a great technique you haven't seen before to add to your arsenal.

The MMA section is my favourite. It covers the clinch, takedown defence, guard work and side control/knee on stomach. The first two are subjects you don't usually see in Jiu Jitsu manuals. The other two parts are covered in a way I've only seen covered by Mario Sperry in his Vale Tudo series.

The standing techniques incorporate strikes that are simple enough for any grappler to use. The takedown defences and clinch techniques are simple and very high percentage.

As I said earlier, this section reminds me of Mario Sperry's Vale Tudo Series. The techniques are simpler and different, but you can see where Ze Mario developed his philosophy.

This section includes THE ABSOLUTE BEST coverage of guard use in MMA/NHB I have seen in a book.

All in all, the photography is good, the techniques are great. The book doesn't teach you how to string techniques together very well, though. They're more a set of ideas to add to your game. The book loses a star because I thought it needed more detailed descriptions in a lot of areas.

Don't let that deter you, though. Especially if you're a somewhat experienced grappler who wants to add to his or her gam or to see how to implement your existing game into MMA/NHB.

No comments: