Monday, July 07, 2008

Startegic Guard - Ed Beneville & Joe Moreira


I've been waiting a long time for this. Another book from Ed Beneville's Grappling Arts Publications. Ed is responsible for the prvious works 'Passing the Guard' (with Tim Cartmell) and 'The Guard' with Joe Moreira.

For 'The Strategic Guard', he again teams with his teacher Moreira to produce a volume largely about defending your position in the guard. It also has chapters on sweeps and the sitting guard.

The reason I have been looking forward to this release is Beneville's attention to detail. Grappling Arts' previous publications pioneered the idea of multiple camera angles and different colour gis for the models. The previous books also had inordinately large numbers of photos showing the most intricate details. The new book doesn't disappoint in any of those areas, either.

'The Strategic Guard' is over 260 large format pages. Each page seems to average over twenty photographs and not one of them is wasted. Some some books add too many photos at the expense of clarity. The photos don't seem to capture the details, even if there's a lot of them.

In this book, every photo has something to say and the sequencing is clear.

The book has eleven chapters, starting with side control escapes followed by one on north-south escapes. It is refreshing for me to see these areas treated in terms of there relationship to the guard, rather than the typical purely defensive and isolated fashion.

There follows a chapter on deflection where the art of maintaining space and head control is covered in depth. This is followed by a simple and highly detailed chapter on half guard.

Following this is the meat of the book - four chapters on countering guard passes. The chapters classify the passes as tight or loose, knee in the middle and underhook passes.

A helpful chapter on counters to submissions follows before the aforementioned chapters on sitting guard and sweeps. The submission counters chapter is especially innovative to me. All to often, we gloss over the danger of submissions from inside the guard with rhetoric about positional hierarchy.

Grappling Arts Publications consistently turns out high quality, highly detailed books. This one is useful to all Jiu Jitsu practitioners, but its subject matter and detail make it as useful to purples and browns as it is to whites and blue which is where books are usually marketed.

Joe Moreira has a simple game with a lot of detail. Ed Beneville is helping him make it known to the world. If you're looking for instruction that will give you insight into the fundamentals and help you maintain your guard, this is the book for you.

For me, I'm kind of glad there's some time between each Grappling Arts publication. There's a decade's worth of details here for me.

3 comments:

MMAndy said...

Thanks for the great resource!

Anonymous said...

Is this book good for no gi grappling as well or does it focus on the gi?

Anonymous said...

i have this ones , they are made gi but you can meke adjustments its very good anyway, maybe you should take a look before buy, but its amazing so much detail

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