BJ Penn's MMA Book

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Kazuya Mishima
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BJ Penn's MMA Book

Post by Kazuya Mishima » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:07 pm

Picked this book up a couple of weekends ago, and I must say that it’s probably my favorite and most useful book right behind Eddie Bravo’s Rubber Guard manifesto. The look and quality of the book is very similar to the books that the Gracie’s have been putting out for the last five years…large pages, all color, quality paper and printing. $35 is a bit steep, but the information within is well worth the money.

As with all things, there’s not a whole lot new here, but BJ does a great job of laying out a complete MMA system. As such, he takes us from striking to takedowns to grappling as the book progresses. BJ does not try to show us everything under the sun, but sticks with what’s been successful for him and his students.

I hate to compare products, but sometimes throwing one up against the other is useful. For illustration, I’ll briefly compare this book to Rodrigo’s NHB book. Let me say that if you liked Rodrigo’s book then you will LOVE Penn’s book. If you hated Rodrigo’s book (for reasons that I may mention here in a minute), then BJ’s book is probably the one that you’ve been waiting for. I am a big fan of Rodrigo, and I liked his book a lot (I own it, btw). However, as I look through Rodrigo’s book I am constantly bombarded with stuff that I just don’t like. I get the feeling that Rodrigo filled his book with many techniques that he would simply never use in a fight. Whether he did this to fill space, or did it in an effort to try and show fresh material…I can’t say. With BJ’s book, it is a totally different feel. There’s not a single technique in here that I would question. Every technique is practical, simple, and fits within the overall system that he’s trying to convey.

BJ starts off with striking. This is the weakest part of the book, and BJ admits that he’s not trying to show every punch and kick under the sun. The basic punches and how to apply them are shown…that’s it.

BJ then goes into takedowns and clinch work…all based around solid wrestling and Muay Thai techniques. He shows both the offensive takedowns and how to counter. He incorporates the dynamics of being up against the cage in both the takedown and clinch sections. Haven’t seen that in a book yet, and he does a nice job of showing the basic material that everyone should know.

BJ does a great job of seamlessly incorporating the striking into the takedowns (use strikes to set up) and the clinch work. There’s just not another book on the market that does the job like he does.

The ground portion of the book is it’s strongest asset. BJ shows very practical techniques and does a GREAT job of showing how you incorporate striking in order to set up passes, sweeps, submissions, etc. I think this section of the book will show and inspire a lot of jiu-jitsu guys on how they can get their ground game going within the MMA framework. BJ stresses that you must be active on the ground (especially guard) and constantly working on a seamless attack that combines positional dominance, striking, sweeps, and submissions.

I truly feel that this is the first real MMA book that’s been put on the market that shows the entire game within a continuous framework. Yes, there’s a lot more to the game that he did not show, but I truly believe that if you could do everything that he shows in this book and do it WELL then you would have a very solid MMA game for yourself.

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Post by drwillis » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:50 pm


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