Worth Defending Book Thoughts
by Richard Bresler with Scott Burr
I did not know who Richard Bresler was until a week or two ago when I heard him interviewed on the Grappling Central podcast. Once I heard him speak I had to purchase his brand new book entitled Worth Defending: How Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Saved My Life. Those who are brand new to the art and well as people who are BJJ veterans will get both historical and philosophical value from this book.
This book is about an unathletic drug addict that meets a martial arts master who transforms his life into something better. It sounds like a fiction, but Richard Bresler's life fits into the story and highest ideals of Gracie Jiu Jitsu perfectly.
Part one of the book begins with background info on Bresler's life as a child and takes the reader into his mindset. As he starts learning Jiu Jitsu from Rorion Gracie he slowly changes how he thinks about himself. Much of the book is about his relationship and training with Rorion. It also goes into the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bresler's experience sitting cageside with Helio Gracie at UFC 1.
In part five of the book he goes into his falling out with Rorion. Although they reconciled many years ago Rorion does not come off great in this book. I am also wondering if the fact that Bresler was unable to startup his own school after leaving the Gracie Academy points to something wrong with the Jiu Jitsu community. It seems an embarrassment for Jiu Jitsu as a whole that someone as knowledgeable as him teaches at a Krav Maga school. Maybe not though.
Part six of the book goes deeply into his thoughts on mental and physical health. Although I am not sure what to think about the mention of homeopathy there is a lot of wisdom contained in that chapter. Also an approach to therapy known as Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) seems to have really helped him although its founders have made strange claims about NLP's effectiveness and it is considered a pseudoscience today.
Part eight of the book goes into the meat of his thoughts on Jiu Jitsu and how it is practised today. This was my favourite part of the book, maybe because it debunks the garbage arguments against using Gracie Jiu Jitsu for self defense.
I would recommend this book to all Jiu Jitsu practitioners and the link to purchase a copy (unfortunately it only seems to be available through Amazon) is here.
This is my day 53 post for #100daystooffload
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