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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Well produced but difficult techniques which certainly won't suit everyone, and largely not tournament legal, 2 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Mastering the Twister: Jiu-Jitsu for Mixed Martial Arts Competition (Paperback)
This book ("MTT") is the sequel to Bravo's "Mastering the Rubber Guard" ("MTRG"). MTRG set out Bravo's bottom game, and MTT sets out his topgame. It is not something which someone who is just starting to learn BJJ/grappling should necessarily rush out and buy. Like MTRG, MTT is not a general beginner's manual - it's a specialist book about a particular aspect of the no-gi ground game. There's nothing in here about stand-up, takedowns, striking or guard.

Like MTRG, the first 35 pages of MTT are spent on a rambling essay about Bravo's life, drug use and music career. Aside from that it's really well produced. It's divided into sections, with each section looking at techniques which can be used from a particular position. The techniques for each position follow a logical sequence - "if this doesn't work, do this, if that doesn't work do this". The heart of the book, in my opinion, is really a two page flow chart, which shows how all the techniques fit together, and helps you navigate the book. Rather than just set out an assortment of individual techniques in isolation, it really does set out a comprehensive bottom-game "system" with an internal logic. This is the real value in the book. I would also say that the book has been produced to a very high standard. Each technique is illustrated with large, colour photographs, showing the technique from different angles. There will always be accompanying commentary / explanation, and this will highlight subtle but important aspects of the technique which you could easily miss.

Personally, I've found it much, much more difficult to deploy the techniques in MTT than the ones is MTRG. I have the sense that the techniques in this book are especially 'situation specific' - they'll only work if your training partner reacts in just the right way, and there is a low margin for error. Much of the book is therefore devoted to troubleshooting those problems, with dozens of alternative ways of getting into the right position if your opponent doesn't react like he's supposed to. Often several such techniques have to be strung together in order to get to a finish, creating even more opportunities to mess up and get reversed. And if you mess up a twister / truck / twister side-control type technique then your training partner usually gets your back.

I should also say that the twister move itself is very often illegal in competitions (at least in the UK). As such, quite a lot of this book (though certainly not all) is going to be pretty useless from a competition perspective, even if you find the technique more to your liking than I do. If you're looking for a book with more high % tournament-legal stuff in it, I'd suggest Marcelo Garcia's "Advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu" over MTT.
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Location: London, England

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