Anyone familiar with MMA - mixed martial arts - is doubtlessly familiar with Greg Jackson. Jackson is one of THE top trainers of elite MMA fighters. He coaches the guy many consider the best pound for pound fighter in the world - Georges St-Pierre, now simply known as "GSP." Jackson's Albuquerque NM Submission Fighting camp features a veritable Who's Who of the elite martial artists at the top of their respective games. He is the MMA equivalent of E.F. Hutton - when he talks, people listen.
Co-author Kelly Crigger is less known but is emerging as one of the top MMA writers around. He is the author of the highly entertaining "Title Shot: Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts" and writes regularly (and adroitly) for FIGHT magazine. Together, these two experts have fashioned a powerful one-two punch and text for refining the standup game.
Their useful, practical and hand-on book proves to be a successful collaboration. Their book is organized into six major sections:
* Developing a fight strategy
* The Fundamentals
* Basic Strikes
* The Clinch
* Street Fighting, Multiple Opponents and Weapons
THE STANDUP GAME, by its very title suggests that this is not just a textbook on the "sweet science" of boxing. You will not find Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao researching a spinning backfist or a front snap kick. The range of fighting techniques addressed here highlights the context of MMA fighting. THE STANDUP GAME refers to one of the main pillars or components of mixed martial arts.
The latter, popularized by events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, require successful practitioners to have fluency in wrestling, boxing, kicking, and jujitsu submissions. Practitioners who can seamlessly blend transitions from one fighting style to another and combine a balance of effectiveness in these areas learn the recipe for success in the ring or the octagon.
Jackson and Crigger's book provides a useful synthesis of narrative text and succinct instruction through effective use of color photographs in illustrating various components of the standup game. They cover in virtually encyclopedic detail every conceivable combination of standup fighting, including techniques utilized in Muay Thai, a dynamic form of kickboxing (with elbows and knees thrown in) popularized in Thailand. The sections on strategy and street fighting differentiate THE STANDUP GAME from most other books of this genre.
Further, in the final chapter, Jackson and Crigger leave behind the boxing ring and octagon and move to the street (or bar room). The book is worth the price of admission alone for its Chapter Six, which provides useful tips on personal self defense, including: seizing the initiative, countering your opponent's move, breaking chokes, dealing with weapons such as baseball bats, knives and guns.
THE STANDUP GAME is a useful -- and likely an absolutely essential resource -- for recreational or competitive boxers, or anyone engaged in mixed martial arts at any level. Even for those individuals not falling into either of the preceding categories, the book is also useful as a resource and reference for self defense techniques.
As is the case with any book, however, it is not realistic to expect that anyone will learn fluency and skill just from reading a book. To this extent, THE STANDUP GAME by Jackson and Crigger is a superb reference text to augment -m but not replace -- the need for skilled hands-on instruction from a knowledgeable instructor.
If you're interested in boxing, mixed martial arts or self-defense, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of THE STANDUP GAME!