Reading this fourteen years after its publication, I came into this knowing that it would be seriously outdated. And it is, but I can't knock it for that as Ken has just released a newer book, presumably more up-to-date with the world of mixed martial arts (a term that hadn't actually been coined when this was written!) However, I found this a pretty good read, as I was a big fan of the UCF under SEG, and I still love some of the older events (though not so much the earliest ones, that Ken was largely involved in).
In my opinion it was not until the teens that the UFC really started getting into full swing, and I think the use of gloves, banning of headbutts etc made for much better viewing. I was not really a fan of Ken going into this, but I am a big fan of his brother Frank, so decided to give this a go. There's no doubt that Ken has lived an interesting and dangerous life, and this comes across in the book. However, as many reviews have attested to, this book is very biased towards Ken, making him out to be some sort of demi-god. Later on though, he does admit his defeats and also confesses his use of steroids early in his career, some of his flaws which bring him back down to earth somewhat.
The training manual is undoubtedly outdated, but as I was a big fan of the submissions of Ken, Frank and the other Lion's Den fighters I enjoyed reading about their training, fight preparation, and the locks and holds that they were famous for. Some of the training camps and tryouts sound absolutely brutal, but there are some humorous moments for the reader that come through this. I particularly enjoyed the section on diet; I already knew most of what Ken recommends and has his 'young boys' at the Lion's Den eat, but it shows what went into being a professional mma fighter, even at this early juncture in the sport's history.
If you don't take everything that's written as gospel, and you're a fan of Ken Shamrock, the Lion's Den, or even early UFC and MMA then I'm sure you'll enjoy this. It's not a long read, it's not excellently written, but it is informative about the early years of the sport and one of the men who started it all...