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A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting [Paperback]

Sam Sheridan
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2009
After the success of "Fight Club" and Neill Strauss' "The Game" comes the next big nonfiction book for men, "A Fighter's Heart", the real Fight Club. Already a huge success in the US, this raw, bone-crunching memoir of one man's adventures in fighting has all the ingredients for a huge paperback sale.After a series of adventurous jobs around the world, Sam Sheridan found himself in Australia, cash-rich and with time on his hands to spend it. It occurred to him that he could finally explore a long-held obsession: fighting. Within a year, he was in Bangkok training with Thailand's greatest kickboxing champion and stepping through the ropes for his first professional bout. But one fight wasn't enough, and Sheridan set out to test himself on an epic journey into how and why we fight, facing Olympic boxers, Brazilian jiu-jitsu stars, and Ultimate Fighting champions. "A Fighter's Heart" is a dizzying first-hand account of what it is like to reach the peak of finely disciplined personal aggression.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843547333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843547334
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"* 'Sam Sheridan's brilliant, brutal book holds up a mirror to the soul of the modern male, and finds that some men will always and forever yearn to be tested in the fire of combat.' Tony Parsons * 'The obsessive, brutal subcultures Sheridan explores are inherently fascinating, and his behind-the-scenes access makes for a gripping read.' Washington Post * "[Sheridan's] accounts of the gruelling work-outs he endured and the characters he met form the compelling core of the book... Watch out, he's still in training." - Independent on Sunday * "A writer who can intelligently explain his love of fighting." - Dazed and Confused"

About the Author

Sam Sheridan joined the US Merchant Marines after high school and then attended Harvard College. He has written for Men's Journal and Newsweek. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart and brains 14 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The only way a fighter could truly suffer is not fighting" Ryu Street Fighter Alpha 3. I know this quote is from a video game but it has always stuck with me and I think it sums up the message in the book brilliantly; also I love that game almost as much as I like this book. This book is excellent. It ticks all the boxes the subject is excellent, why people fight, excellent research from fighters, teacher, and even philosophers, covering the topic from all angles.

Sam Sheridan graduated from Harvard. This could have probably have gotten him any white colour job he wanted. In fairness he tried many jobs but they did not take. He boxed a bit in Harvard and "fell in love at first punch". The book follows his journey of discovering into the different fighting arts from around the world. From Hard combat fighting arts like Mau Thai, to soft arts like Tai Chi.

The thing that made this book special is Sam really immersed himself in each art. Studying it months at a time, and managing to meet and train with some of the best trainers and practitioners in each art. As Sam says in the after words this book is for people like him who love training and fighting. Even though it will never be a career from most of us, but will still are willing to dedicate most of our time and energy to it.

He talks about the mental and as well as the physical needs of a fighters in a positive light. Now with the impressions of MMA and educating people about martial arts this book is great to anyone wanting a greater understanding into the fighting world or the technical aspects of martial arts. The difference in perceptions of fighter and martial artists can be summed up in one line of this book. "People though this book would be a hard sell, as fighter don't read books".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book (No spoilers here) 14 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's simple really. You follow Sam Sheridan throughout the world as he travels, trains and fights in different countries and disciplines. He does muay thai in Thailand, BJJ in Brazil with Nogeira and others, he trains with Andre Ward in USA and more...

There's a lot more to be said about this book, but I won't spoil it for anyone, just trust me, if the above caught your attention, you need to buy this book. I love boxing and since I'm a Dane I love Mikkel Kessler, but I didn't get why he couldn't beat Andre Ward till I read this book. Not because it explains it, but because I now realize how bad ass Ward is.

There are loads of insights in this book. Many of them into Sam, but if you read this book right, you'll learn as much about yourself as about Sam Sheridan.

I LOVE this book, I bought the sequel and I'd recommend it to ANYONE who's into martial arts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The underside of MMA revealed 6 Jun 2010
I got into the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts in general last autumn. This book is an excellent introduction. The author trains around the world, including Thailand, Japan, Brazil and the USA. He comments on the different approaches to fighting in these countries. In doing so, he greatly increased my knowledge of the sport. For instance, I have noticed many Brazilian fighters either own a pitdog (Shogun Rua) or have one as a tattoo. Sheridan explains the cultural significance in Brazil of this dog breed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fighters Heart 10 May 2010
Absolutley excellent book.

A must read for anyone who is interested in MMA or martial arts ingeneral.

Its insightful, honest and written through experience.
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3.0 out of 5 stars At times very interesting, but often felt dry 28 Mar 2014
By John
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Upon finishing this book, I felt I had wasted some of my time doing so. There are one or two highly insightful looks into what fighting is really about. However, for the most part, rather than sharing much of what his actual training or fights were like, it felt like; "I liked him, he was a good guy, he was impressive, but his family life was damaged and he made me want to fight more" repeated with slight variations ad nauseum.

Worth it for people who compete in / practice martial arts or other forms of combat and are "adding to the library", but for the casual enthusiast it's not worth trawling through the pages for the few insights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my hubby will love it! 19 Nov 2013
By jade
Very fast delivery came in exellent condition. I had a quick flick through and seems like a great mma book my hubby will love it!
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