Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Passing the Guard by Benneville & Cartmell - November, 2005

I love this book and its sequel. The five stars I gave it originally still stands. This also marks the point at which my reviews started getting better.


Great Study on an Important Facet of Groundfighting

Too many books try to cover too much in their text. This often results in poor details, a small snapshot of someone's game, or unconnected techniques that don't integrate well. It is a fantastic idea to spend an entire volume on one aspect of the game.

I'd read Cartmell's good work in "Effortless Combat Throws" and liked it a lot. I'd never heard of Beneville, though, as per most of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community.

However, the most important qualification is whther your information is accurate and effective. This book is exactly that.

The book opens up with imporatant details on posture and position. What it is, why you need to get there and - of course - how. This is golden information to the beginner and early intermediate, but more advanced practitioners will even find some useful info here.

Then, onto the guard passes. The passes shown are the same ones you're taught in every class. The details, though, are intricate and accurate. There are a number of options for each pass and photos aplenty, along with concise, accurate text descriptions.

The book covers more than passing and is THE text for the whole game from inside the guard. It covers posture and position, passes from the knees, passes from standing, submission attacks from inside the guard, defenses and counters to attacks and even a great section on a ttacking the turtle position.

More still, the book ends with some great drills that will help you develop the skills described in the book.

This book pioneered the contrasting coloured uniforms on the models and the blue vs white is still a great idea. The photography is great and has views from multiple angles. As said earlier, the text is concise, clear and descriptive.

It's clear that the authors know their subject and have planned this book well. Kudos to them.

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