Gene "Aranha" Simco runs the very popular Jiu-Jitsu.net website and is also the owner of the NYMAG Academy in Pougkeepsie, NY. If you've never been to the website, you are short-changing yourself if you have the least bit of interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
I have to say right off the bat, that this is one excellent resource. This book contains over 320 pages and is jammed full of information.
It's broken up into 3 main categories:
There is only one drawback to this book and it's not much of one. All the pictures are black & white. I'm sure it's because of the cost involved in producing a book with color pictures as I believe Mr. Simco produces this book himself. Now let's move on to the important stuff!
- Sport Jiu-Jitsu
- Submission Grappling
- Vale Tudo
The book starts out with an introduction of how it began as a student handbook and evolved into the version I'm now reviewing.
Before the techniques are discussed, Mr. Simco starts with a chapter called, "Where Do I Start?"
Some of the things discussed in this section are:
He also uses quotes of well-known BJJ practitioners such as Royce Gracie, Carlson Gracie, Andre Pederneiras, Rodrigo Gracie and Fernando Sarmento Jr., to help hammer in many of the points involved.
- Finding a school
- The gi and belts
- Importance of technique
- Various facts
- Warm up excercises
- First 5 suggested lessons
This section is very well-written as it goes into much detail that's quite often left out of books of this kind. It answers many questions that a novice might have and reinforces many aspects to teachers and veterans of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Each main section contains several subsections of techniques. Here are the main categories for each:
- Takedowns & Throws
- Passing the Guard
- Hold Downs
- Arm Locks & Chokes
- Leg Locks
- Taking the Back
- The Guard
- Half Guard
- Spider Guard
- Butterfly Guard
- DeLaRiva Guard
- "X" Guard
- Scissor Legs / Sweep
- Sweeps to ArmLocks
- Arm Locks & Chokes Sequences from the Guard
- Common Double Attacks
- Stand Up
- The Sprawl and the Turtle
- The Top - Attacks and Defense
- Strategies for using and passing the guard
After these main sections follows 2 more entitled:
- Closing the Distance
- The Clinch
- Passing the Guard (with strikes)
- Fighting from the Top Position
- With strikes
- Cervical / Neck Cranks
- Knee on Belly for Vale Tudo
- The Vale Tudo Mount
- The Vale Tudo Guard
- Setting up Armlocks for Vale Tudo
Drills & Excercises
Where do I go from Here?
The pictures are clear with concise descriptions. There are also mentions of possible dangers in each move and what to watch out for when performing them.
The demonstrators are clad in white and blue (I think!) gis so as to see the moves more clearly without the meshing of the same color uniforms. I'm really surprised anyone doesn't do this anymore!
I think all future BJJ authors should take note of how Mr. Simco presents his material. He not only presents a technique, but also presents a counter-move after most of the techniques. This to me is probably one of the most noteworthy aspects of this work.
The book costs $39.99 and is a steal at this price. Not only that, but Mr. Simco will answer any questions you have about the material on his discussion forum on Jiu-Jitsu.net. Talk about personal service!
Mr. Simco informed me that he's working on the next edition of this text and it should be out by this summer. It will be 800 pages! What's more, if you buy this version, you get the next version for only the difference of price between the two. So essentially you'll be getting this one for free.
Here's what Mr. Simco had to say about this:
"I really stand behind my work and before this thing goes to retailers, I want to reward all the people who helped me get here by replacing their book with my new version."
Try that with the other texts on the market today!
If I could give this a higher rating than five stars, I would. This is a reference manual that you'll use again and again. Well done Gene "Aranha" Simco! It was a pleasure to review this work.