Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Essential Guard - Rodrigo Medeiros with Kid Peligro

I've been meaning to review this book for a while. I bought it around 18 months ago from a retail outlet in Brisbane, Australia. Of course, that means I paid way too much for it, but it turned out to be worth every cent.

Like many of Kid Peligro's works, the book is published by Invisible Cities Press. Previous Invisible Cities products reviewed here are 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Theory and Technique', 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: For Experts Only' and 'Submission Grappling Techniques'.

Peligro is a pioneer of writing on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is a clear and easy to read writer with a knack for expressing techniques in words. This is no doubt helped by his being a black belt in the art with an obvious body of experience.

In this book, he teams up with Rodrigo Medeiros. This is the Medeiros from the Carlson Gracie team - an experienced and decorated champion with the highest of pedigrees.

This book appealed to me because of Medeiros' excellent DVD series. It was something I'd fashioned a good degree of my game from. Since books are my thing, rather than DVDs, I figured this would be a good purchase. I've not been disappointed.

The book is 231 pages long and is (as is traditional nowadays) a large format book made from quality stock. The photos are colour and are large and glossy. Interestingly, there aren't that many of them. Where a lot of books nowadays are running six to ten photos to a page, this book has three to four.

However, not one is wasted. The models are contrasted in white versus blue gi without exception and the mats and walls on the set are lightly coloured, unobtrusive and provide good contrast with no distractions. The photos work perfectly with the writing, as well.

While I've commented on other publishers' books setting standards in depth and detail, this book (and Invisible Cities books in general) set the standard in quality and attention to detail in preparation.

With that said - this is the best of Invisible Cities' work.

The book opens with a lengthy introduction section. This section does a great job of explaining the functionality, strategy and movements of the guard. It provides sage advice on its improvement and on position and posture.

This is followed by three parts. The first is called 'Essential Guard Techniques' and covers individual and partner-based improvement drills. It also includes a section on replacing the closed and open guard.

Part two is an exhaustive coverage of the closed guard and covers breaking posture, attacks and combinations. The third part discusses some conventional open guard positions (Feet in Hips, Spider and Butterfly) and covers similar fare to the previous chapter - attacks, sweeps and combinations.

I'm a simple man with simple tastes. I believe in the 80/20 rule and most of my game is the same closed guard stuff I learned when I first started in this game. This book complements my game perfectly. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to shore up their basics and learn how simple, fundamental techniques can also be the most advanced of techniques.

I may not have been particularly enamoured with some of Invisible Cities' work. But now all of Kid Peligro's and Invisible Cities' experience has come together in this book with the basic, yet detailed guard game of Rodrigo Medeiros. The result has been an excellent treatise on the guard as taught by Carlson Gracie and applied by Medeiros.

Buy It Now At

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