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on 28 June 2003
Having ordered this book on the basis that I am a big fan of Renzo Gracie as a martial artist, I was expecting a good book. What I found was that this was an excellent book. Whilst the book is centered on (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu, it really encompasses the world of competative Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
The book is not full of hundreds of techniques and it is NOT an instructional manual. What is does contain, however, is a spectacular amount of information on HOW modern Jiu-Jitsu evolved from it's earliest roots in Japan and WHY it evolved in the manner that it has.
You won't learn hundreds of techniques, but you WILL develop an understanding of the core concepts and strategies behind modern (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. As such, it is ESSENTIAL reading for newcomers to these arts. I believe this so strongly, that I have made this book ESSENTIAL READING for my Jiu-Jitsu students.
The book is separated into two main sections. The first section deals with the historical evolution of Jiu-Jitsu and the differences between modern (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu and Classical Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. This is fascinating for any budding martial arts historian and will also improve the understanding and knowledge of any practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu.
The second section deals with the actual business of realistic self-defence through the unique Jiu-Jitsu style of the Gracie family. The business of fighting is split into three main areas; Free-standing, clinched and ground-fighting. Each area is dealt with in-depth, offering sample techniques, core principles and examples based upon famous fighters/bouts from the sport of MMA (No Holds Barred Fighting).
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on 22 July 2003
This is a really good book for anyone who is interested in or competes in mma events. It is called mastering jujitsu but is more on mma and how 'modern jujitsu' is used in mma events.
It starts off with a history of traditional japanese jujitsu and then Brazilian (or Gracie) Jujitsu. This all sets you up for the intro to modern vale tudo and mma events.
It then moves on to combat strategy, looking at the three recognised phases of combat. Free movement, Standing clinch, groundwork. This section of the book is worth the money on its own, it has plans for fighting people of different strengths e.g striking and case studies of how this was done in real fights.
The ground fighting is broken down into winning from the bottom and winning from the top, these are all illustrated with good photos and clearly explained. The end of each section, free movement, standing clinch, top and bottom ground positions all end with drills you can do to practice and put them into your game.
All in all this is an excellent book and i would recommend it to anyone.
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on 13 July 2003
Renzo Gracie sets out in this book to try to help the reader understand the nature of a combat event, in terms of the phases of combat and the appropriate strategies and techniques for each. It is of course from the perspective of a submission fighter as the author is a top Brazilian JuJitsu practitioner however the author makes it clear that to be able to survive and win in a MMA event you need skills in each domain, from free movement (striking) to clinching and then grappling.
This is not a collection of techniques like many other martial arts books but a handbook for anyone who want to build a fight plan around their strengths and weaknesses. There are of course many techniques in the book but presented in the context of building an overall fight plan. I really did like this book!
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on 2 July 2003
Jujitsu is one of the best grappling art to learn as it's easy for anyone to learn and it's perfect. This book covers most of Jujitsu holds and explains them very well so anyone can understand and apply good strong holds which can be used on anyone and are very effective when applied properly.
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on 6 September 2012
Funny book this. 1/3 of it's history of BJJ which was very interesting. The rest of it's no-gi and quite focussed on MMA/self-defence. As that I think it's very good indeed. Won't you don't get is detailed instruction on the full gamut of BJJ techniques. It's not always the easiest to follow from the pics and descriptions. If you're looking for a BJJ instructional that isn't MMA/no-gi focussed then get BJJ University instead - it's very good. But if you are up for those aspects then it's a god buy,.
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on 7 January 2005
The first part of this book takes a comprehensive look at the development and proliferation of Jujitsu throughout various Japenese eras then through to Brazil and so on. This section is informative whilst still managing to retain the reader's interest.
The book then goes into discussing the three phases of combat and strategies and techniques for each one.
The main ground positions are then looked at and some techniques and combinations are presented from the top and bottom in each position.
I think that just about anyone involved in any of the grappling arts could benefit in some way from this book. It has great techniques and training ideas. The only complaint would be that there are no gi techniques, however, these are covered in depth in Renzo's other book written with Royler. That said, most of the techniques shown are directly transferable to gi work.
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on 21 September 2013
Although the history of jujitsu is very well documented in this book, the rest of it is written with MMA in mind. If you're looking for a book specifically about jujitsu then you'll frequently find irrelevant and excessive information e.g. pages about punching/kicking technique. You may find the extra info useful so don't let that put you off (and even when it isn't useful, it's always interesting).

For a more jujitsu/BJJ orientated book, I highly recommend The Essential Guard - Kid Peligro if you're a beginner/intermediate practitioner.
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on 6 March 2015
A great book and a great buy. Stating off with a bit of history and some solid research into the beginings of the modern art of Jujitsu, the authors then move on to cover, in great detail, techniques, and just as important, stratagies, for the various types and stages of combat. Thoroughly enjoying it and I am already putting things into practice.
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on 29 April 2004
Mastering Jiu Jitsu
Having bought many books on the martial arts, one of the criteria that Ioften observe before purchasing a book, especially one that teaches agrappling art, is the number and quality of pictures that are availableand the variety of techniques which I can obtain from the book.
On first observation, Mastering Jiu Jitsu seems to lack the graphicalcontent of other recently released books in the field and also thevariation of techniques taught.
However, enthusiasm for a new hobby lead to me to purchase the textregardless, and on closer scrutiny, I was pleasantly surprised to findthat the book was both informative and well written in providing aninsight that other books do not do in as much depth.
As the forewordindicates, the aim was to address the recent changes in the evolution ofjiu jitsu and show the effective techniques that have evolved over theyears. Mastering Ju Jitsu details the 'combat phases' of fightingproceeding through the phases and discussing in detail the techniquesutilised in the phases. The book effectively does this by offering casestudies and analysis of past contests in mixed martial arts through timeand how such competition fighting has evolved. Case studies are alsodiscussed on the effective utilisation of techniques that are demonstratedin the book by referencing fighters who have displayed skills in theirrespective areas (fighting from the guard, clinching, kicking etc). Thetext also provides fight strategy explaining the thinking behind certainmethods providing the reader with an clear understanding of the fightprincipals.
In spite of graphics being monochrome, something that Idon't really advocate in books teaching grappling, they are large enoughand clear enough to not hinder the detail that is being shown. In my view,the learning came from the text accompanying the pictures. It is probablythe best 'supporting' text I have read in such books.
In summary, I found this a very informative read and would recommend itwith a 4.5/ 5 score (colour pictures would give it 5/5.
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on 6 February 2014
The title lets this book down, no Mastery here but something much more real. Great intro into MMA and its constituent arts, interesting historical overview of JuiJitsu and a delve into the methods of determining the 'roots' of Martial Arts are just icing on an already very tasty cake.
Some illustrated techniques are shown, these are chosen to illustrate the various 'stages' and 'ranges' covered in MMA as well as for there relative simplicity and effectiveness. If you are studying MMA this book is an interesting and enjoyable read. If you are thinking of studying and want a painless intro to the subject get this book then go join a club.
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