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A new book for all you MMA historians out there

  • 25-11-2008 5:01pm
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 23,089 ✭✭✭✭

    Since the beginning of time, men have engaged in hand-to-hand combat. In Ancient Greece, they called it Pankration, a no-holds-barred battle. Over time, one complete combat system was replaced by a variety of limited ones like karate, boxing, and wrestling. In the modern age this created an eternal question: who was tougher? Could a boxer beat a wrestler? Could a kung fu artist dispose of a jiu jitsu man?

    The Ultimate Fighting Championship answered those questions emphatically in 1993 – and Mixed Martial Arts was born. Early stars like Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie propelled this new sport into the North American public’s consciousness while pro wrestlers Nobuhiko Takada and Masakatsu Funaki led a parallel evolution in Japan, where cultural forces led to fighters becoming mainstream celebrities.

    With no television contract and little publicity budget to speak of, the UFC was forced to adopt an aggressive marketing scheme to get public attention. The potential for carnage and blood was played up and a predictable media outcry soon followed. Politicians, led by Arizona Senator and Presidential candidate John McCain, were able to ban the sport in most states and even managed to suspend pay-per-view broadcasts.

    While the popularity of MMA was at an all-time-high in Japan, MMA failed to thrive in America until Spike TV finally took a chance on the controversial sport and The Ultimate Fighter thrust mixed martial arts back into the mainstream, creating new mega-stars like Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans, and breathing new life into old favourites.

    For the first time, Total MMA: Inside Ultimate Fighting arms you with all the history and information you need to know to understand the contemporary world of Mixed Martial Arts, where the backroom deal-making is as fierce as the fighting.

    Dave Meltzer wrote this about the book this weekend:
    The best book on the real history of MMA that I’ve seen will be released next month, called “Total MMA,” by Jonathan Snowden, published by ECW press. The 400-page book dates MMA back to the days of the fathers of judo, Jigoro Kano and Mitsuya Maeda (better known in some parts of the world as Conde Koma). Maeda did a lot of pro wrestling and carnival con style wrestling in North America, and wound up in Brazil, the original teacher of Carlos Gracie. It covers both the Japanese, Brazilian and American history of MMA up to the present including the ups and downs of the early UFCs, the heyday of Pride, the modern era up through the build-up of Lesnar vs. Couture. The book is thorough and honest and tells, at least over the 15 years that I know how things evolved. It doesn’t run from the pro wrestling connection, and goes into the UWF movement that preceded true shooting, and covers the first generation of Pancrase largely for what it was and wasn’t. This book really is so great I couldn’t put it down and this week I hardly had any time to be reading a huge book. I don’t necessarily agree with all the conclusions but agreed with the vast majority, and understand where he was coming from on all of them. It’s a thorough history dating back to the turn of the 20th century, covering the heydays in Brazil, Japan and major UFC opposition groups over the past 15 years in North America.

    This is very high praise as he has a ridiculous preoccupation with facts and especially historical ones. He has served as fact checker for dozens and dozens of MMA & Wrestling books.

    Anyone know more about this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 51,054 ✭✭✭✭Professey Chin

    I think I speak for most when I say "GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!"
    Looks very very very......very....detailed :)

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 23,089 ✭✭✭✭rovert

    I think I speak for most when I say "GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!GIMME!"
    Looks very very very......very....detailed :)

    It really is an amazing story as it crosses cultures and time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,871 ✭✭✭Karmafaerie

    Definately buying that for reading on the 18 hour trips to and from Vegas.

    (Sorry, I have to find some way to point out that I'm going to UFC 94 at least once a day!:p)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 161 ✭✭RNCFAN

    Chalk it down - that is MINE now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,594 ✭✭✭Fozzy

    Sounds like a good book. I don't think that I've heard of any similar sort of books at all

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,443 ✭✭✭Red Sleeping Beauty

    Cheers for that Rover, I'll have a look out for that. I've watched them early UFC events over and over and it's amazing to see how the sport has grown. Looking forward to reading up on some history of MMA other than the start of the UFC

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 23,089 ✭✭✭✭rovert

    I got this in the post last Friday and I’m only half way through but I can completely recommend it. The book is VERY comprehensive it what it covers and how it covers it I can’t really criticise in any way well not at least yet :P.