In our ever increasing digital age, for someone born in the 70’s, it’s always nice to be able to pick up a book and read about something. I’m all for online resources and apps for this and that when you’re on the move or sat on a long train journey, but there’s nothing quite like picking up a book and having a good read.
Mario ‘Sukata’ Neto and Gary Savage have teamed up to produce a book on MMA, offering an insight into the training methods that have made Sukata a household name on the MMA scene. I have known Gary since the beginning of BJJ in this country and beyond into the misty realms of Traditional martial arts. I first met Mario when the Wolfslair first opened its doors, where the club held a no gi comp which I entered and ended up mixing it with the likes of Shane Rigby, Tom Blackledge, Chris Brown, Antonia Silva, Scott Pickering, Rob Broughton, Paul Taylor and others and witnessed the epic finals fight between Shane Rigby and Barry the Bastard.
|'Barry The Bastard'|
Since the early days I trained at the Widnes based gym in the morning pro MMA class and was lucky to meet the likes of Mike Bisping, Tom Blackledge, Cheick Kongo, Rob Broughton, Rampage Jackson and many more and took my students to the gym for MMA sessions with Mario on a Saturday morning.
I have first-hand experience of training with Mario at the gym and can attest that the man means business. When you step on the mat expect to be pushed to the edge and beyond, physically and mentally, as Mario expects nothing less than 100% effort from everyone. When you’re training the in the morning pro MMA class, you’re running with the wolves and there are no easy rolls, especially when you have guys prepping for upcoming UFC fights. Rolling with Mario is not a nice experience, the guy is a wrecking machine and very deserved of his nickname ‘Sukata’ (roughly translates to ‘car crusher’).
|With Mario and Antonia at Wolfslair|
The book is split into fourteen chapters and covers the following topics:-
· Getting started
· Combat Conditioning
· Striking for MMA
· MMA takedowns
· The Guard
· Side Control
· Mount Attacks
· Attacks from the Back
· Leg Locks
· Defence Strategies
· Drill Bits
· The Cerebral Fighter
· The Final Round
The book checks out at 266 pages and is packed full of inspirational quotes from the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Rickson Gracie, Henry Ford, Dan Gable and others. In each chapter there are various techniques with clear, easy to follow photos and text, with tips and pointers, front and reverse angle photos to help the reader get the most out of each technique.
Most instructional books give the reader lots of techniques to practice but not much on the defensive side of the sport. It’s all well and good learning the techniques to get the win, but what happens if you end up on the wrong side of a guard or in mount, with your partner ready to rain down heavy leather?
In the defensive strategies chapter, Mario goes through defences from arm bar, triangle, defending the guillotine, options defending the rear naked choke, crucifix position, defending the Achilles lock, side control options and mount defence. Lots to learn alone in this chapter alone.
The Cerebral Fighter chapter outlines the mind-set needed to be an effective and successful MMA fighter, coming from Mario’s own experience of cage fighting from around the world at the highest level.
The Drill Bits offers a varied selection of training drills specifically for MMA training, covering striking, clinching, wrestling and take down drills, close quarter drills and controlled sparring drills.
The techniques covered in the book offer a beginners guide to MMA and is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in beginning MMA training, as the book gives a very well rounded overview of the many components that make up the MMA jigsaw and paves the way for follow up books that cover intermediate and advanced training techniques and concepts.
The book is printed by Martial Arts Publishing, the ISBN number is 978095444642 and can be purchased through Amazon.