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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Unique - Comprehensive
There are teachers and there are craftsman. And every so often there is someone who uniquely combines the two. I've been lucky enough to train with a very few of them and the gift of expert ability and exposition is rare.

Even more unusual when it comes to putting those ideas and concepts on paper in a form that actually allows the reader to effectively use the...
Published on 29 Mar 2009 by R. Donald

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad experiences.....and bad memories
I went to the Bob Breen 'academy' in 2007. One day, I was joining the class and there were lots of people. One of the instructors, Terry Barnett, shouted at me 'You! Get out!'. I could not understand why, and he explained that it was because I didn't bow. I apologized and bowed to him. I really meant no disrespect, I was new and I was probably thinking of some other...
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - Unique - Comprehensive, 29 Mar 2009
This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
There are teachers and there are craftsman. And every so often there is someone who uniquely combines the two. I've been lucky enough to train with a very few of them and the gift of expert ability and exposition is rare.

Even more unusual when it comes to putting those ideas and concepts on paper in a form that actually allows the reader to effectively use the material rather than simply come along for the ride. World renowned Bob Breen successfully pulled that off with the excellent "Fighting", a benchmark primer for anyone genuinely interested in exploring Martial Arts and an integrated approach to combining various paths.

Bob's new book, Sparring, is all about exploring, testing and refining those skills and, perhaps most importantly, providing an environment in which to experience the a little of the reality of what we actually do.

Bob starts with a explanation of the origins and development of sparring. He's quick to point out that no amount of drilling will actually prepare you for free fighting. You learn by doing. But he's equally quick to highlight that his students excelled when they focused on "easy" sparring rather than simply going "hard". The advice is "Go slow and grow".

Chapter 2 is all about "Laying the Groundwork" with an overview of the basic tools. If you have "Fighting" you will find it an invaluable reference at this point. Bob concludes the chapter with a discussion on conditioning and the value of consistent practice a principle close to my heart. I've expressed my own thoughts of the importance of conditioning before.

The next couple of chapters are all about getting started. They cover isolation drills to introduce concepts that lead into a number of Basic Templates. This is where the fun really starts. There are a bunch of superb drills covering hand based sparring and then introducing kicks and combinations. My favourite quote in the book occurs at the end of Chapter 4 -

"Know five, own three, master one" - Bob Breen

Next follows a chapter on "Position" which should be required reading for anyone who stands in front of someone else wearing 14oz gloves. Bob covers the key concepts, including my favourite -

"Don't Be There!"

This leads into the most informative sections in my opinion. The next 5 chapters are the heart of the book, each one offering a wealth of information with enough drills to keep you sparring and learning for a lifetime. The chapters on Defense, Attack and Close Quarter are packed with clear pictures and concise descriptions. With a willing partner you can benefit from these instantly. The Body chapter provides a map to effective body striking including effective defense and set ups.

The chapter on "Opponent Control" really makes sense once the earlier material has been absorbed. Chapters on "Games" and "Strategies" follow. Like the rest of the book, they emphasise the need for play and mutual co-operation in an effort to really "own" your practice. The "Strategies" chapter provides excellent advice for dealing with opponents who only play to their own strengths and attributes. Good for us little guys!

No book on sparring would be complete without addressing "The Mind". This section considers the universal concerns of anyone who might be on the receiving end whilst setting the stage for confident sparring.

I've eagerly awaited this book since I heard about it quite some time ago. The wait has been more than worth it. I've had one read from cover to cover, now I need to go back and slowly, consistently make the material my own. I can only thank Bob Breen for taking the time and effort to produce such an excellent resource and more importantly offering us his hard earned experience. Like his previous book "Fighting" you will benefit, whatever your art, whatever your skill level and whatever your background.

This book is unique. I can't think of any other title that addresses the subject of sparring and actually provides the tools "go at it".

And it is worth remembering, there is always someone bigger, faster, stronger out there so your ability to adapt, improvise and be creative is vital. You can only explore those qualities through progressive practice. This book will certainly address the gaps in your game.

As Bob concludes - "It takes time, patience and intelligent practice to become great at sparring. Enjoy the trip"

Once again, in the interests for full disclosure I personally purchased "Sparring". Money well spent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have for fighters, 5 May 2009
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
this book is well written, with no technical mumbo jumbo, its straight forward to its subject which is sparring. like his first book 'Fighting', the author gives you the essentials(in sparring) and for sure after reading and practising it, you'll be confident enough to engage yourself in sparring (if you haven't done it) and better if you are already doing it.

not only that its well written, it got loads of pictures too :)

buy it and you won't be disappointed, whatever martial arts you're practising.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless, 8 Dec 2009
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H. Nessa (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
This is an excellent book which provides good explanation into techniques and how they work. A worth while investment for anyone interested in improving their game, regardless of experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the subject there is!, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
If you enjoy sparring for the sake of sparring, or even adding some more reality to your training, then this book has it all. I could not recommend this book highly enough. It's hard to believe no one else has anything close to this quality on the market, considering how popular this subject now is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good for any martial art where sparring is practised, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
I bought this because it is written by Bob Breen. If you're unfamiliar with him, he is one of the most experienced martial artists in the UK, and a student of Danny Inosanto. I study Wing Chun, but I firmly believe in using whatever works, as does Bob Breen. Whatever art you practise, this will give you a few extra tools to play with in sparring sessions. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice, 29 April 2013
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
Great pictures and simple instructions to build up your skill one level at a time. I have used this book to inspire my MA lessons and it works well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wingchun perspective, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
This book is fantastic! I've been reading and applying its contents for sometime now in my own fighting style (wingchun).

I bought this book, along with "Fighting (Fighting Series)" (by the same author).

The books give you fundamental principles that can be applied right away in real fighting situations.

It gives clear examples of various startegies, tactics and techniques that you can apply, with practice, regardless of your own personal style.

Worthwhile for any martial arts practitioner, regardless of your style or art.
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4.0 out of 5 stars sparring, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
this is a great book for anyone who is into boxing or mixed martial arts. Bob Breen has years of knowledge in western boxing and martial arts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Sparring Book, 3 April 2011
This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in sparring. It caters for both beginners and sparring veterans as it starts off slowly and gradually picks up speed revealing some great hints and tips. There are loads of drills and exercises along the way to help you integrate the techniques and really help you develop the quick responses that often elude you when you're learning something new. The strategic aspects of the book are also incredibly useful and I've picked up so many neat tricks for breaking down even the toughest of opponents. I also want to mention the quality of the book; the photos, in particular, are superb and it's clear that a lot of love has gone into creating this excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sparring book review by bob breen, 5 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique (Paperback)
The book is very good, because there are very few books on the market that explain all the principles of sparring. Book is also very simple to understand.
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Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique
Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique by Bob Breen (Paperback - 30 Aug 2008)
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