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Wide ranging and comprehensive
Marital Arts technique books tend to be fairly predictable. They are filled with pictures and short descriptions, typically of the techniques being executed exactly “by the book”, without the nuances necessary to make the move work against a live opponent.
This one is different, as you might expect from an author who was a multiple time world Jiu-jitsu champion himself (see his match with Carlson Gracie on YouTube if you have doubts), Marine Recon, and police officer who still holds a local record for felony arrests.
Schirmer sets out a number of philosophical principles for Jiu-jitsu, such as the use of “focused thrusting force” which will get the attention of experienced practitioners and which provide a theoretical infrastructure beyond that of most styles. For me, the most interesting element that sets this book apart is that Schirmer doesn’t follow the standard flow of position to submission in the progression of techniques, he also incorporates the element of pain. Yes, by all means, get the position, but here’s a way to get there that encourages your opponent to make it easy. This gives his style a feel that’s a little rough (again, Recon, Cop), but make no mistake, there is no less science behind it, there’s more actually. Technically, this book is something of a graduate level work, I think of new practitioners will miss a lot of good material the first time through, which is fine, come back and read it again when you get your green belt.
Lastly, for those that are interested in a warrior mindset, there a lot of quotes, poems (yes!) and other material that push the book a bit beyond the boundaries of being just a “technique” work and make it something a bit broader. Well worth the read for serious martial artists
It’s in the details
Master Bob Schirmer is a former Marine with a lifetime of training in a number Martial Arts. Before the Gracies arrived in America, and long before the first UFC ever aired, Master Bob was honing his skills in Judo, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing, and a number of other fighting styles. Eventually he blended them together, creating his own system known in Chicago as “Combat-Do.” In doing so, he became the Windy City’s first true “Mixed Martial Artist.” And like Bruce Lee, Bob “absorbed what was useful, discarded what was not, and added what is uniquely his own” to develop an incredibly effective system for fighting and self-defense. He has a deep understanding of angles, weight distribution, and the subtle movements that make the difference between an attempt and an actual submission. The entire volume is dedicated to the side control and the techniques he presents will make you comfortable, confident, effective, and IN CONTROL whether you find yourself on the top or bottom of this key position. This book is a must for all Martial Artists and I can’t wait to see what he gives us next when he releases other books revealing his secrets in other aspects of the game.
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