- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Breen Media (1 Aug. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0956075304
- ISBN-13: 978-0956075307
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 1 x 27.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sparring: Strategy, Tactics, Technique Paperback – 1 Aug 2008
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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!
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.
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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