Pro MMA Now book review: Machida Karate-Do Mixed Martial Arts Techniques

Following up on the success of their Machida DVD series, renowned publisher Victory Belt has now released another piece of instructional material featuring the UFC light heavyweight champ. Given this weekend’s UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun 2 event, where Machida will look to once again defend his title, it is only appropriate to take a look into another little piece of what helped the champion get to where he is.

Machida Karate-Do Mixed Martial Arts Techniques (270 pages) gives readers some in-depth insights into some of Machida’s techniques from various positions.

From Victory Belt:

In Machida Karate-Do, for the first time, Lyoto Machida unveils the techniques that allowed him to climb to the top of the mixed martial arts mountain. Through descriptive narrative and more than a thousand step-by-step color photographs, he details dozens of attacks that allow you to penetrate through the toughest defense. He teaches you how to inflict devastating damage to your opponent while remaining safe from his attacks using numerous intercepting and countering strategies. He demonstrates how to use strikes to set up crafty takedowns, multiple methods for defending against takedowns, and how to dominate your opponent while tied up in the clinch. Machida also delves into the ground game, demonstrating ground-and-pound tactics and attacks from dominant controls, and he shows how to fight off your back from the guard position. He details submissions, escapes, submission defense, and sweeps.

As the book notes in an introduction written by Erich Krauss, Machida’s techniques draw on years of experience in various martial arts. Through the in-depth introduction, readers learn more about Machida’s background as well as his thoughts on each of his fights on his rise to winning the UFC light heavyweight title.

The book itself is divided into seven parts:

  • Striking Attacks
  • Intercepting Attacks
  • The Clinch
  • Attacking the Guard
  • Attacks from Dominant Control
  • The Guard
  • Escapes

Machida is a mixed martial artist clearly recognized for this ability to maneuver in the cage, his footwork, and his ability to evade attacks. Although these skills are easily recognizable in the DVD set, how could they translate to a printed media? The question was simply avoided, and that is ok, because instead of conflicting with the DVD set, it was a nice follow up. Instead of focusing on Machida’s overall evasive nature, this book focused on individual techniques in all of the aforementioned categories. Done in Victory Belt’s usual easy-to-follow style, the pictures illustrate each move from different angles, capturing the detail necessary to pick up the intricacies of each move.

Logistically, the different sections are color-coded with tabs at the top of each page designed to help the reader quickly flip to the section he or she is looking for. More experienced MMA practitioners may find some of the techniques fairly elementary (i.e. “Get up from the guard), but rest assured, the book showcases a number of intricate standing combinations, slick submissions, and solid overall ground work.

Each part of the book is given a brief introduction by Machida where he also speaks to the strategy of certain moves such as using the appropriate amount of power when throwing a kick to not offset one’s own base, or discussing why he breaks up sections of the book into “same-stance combinations” and “opposite-stance combinations”.

As with all Victory Belt publications, it’s a wealth of information given to readers in an easy to understand format. The first exposure I ever had to brazilian jiu jitsu training was Victory Belt’s Eddie Bravo – Mastering the Rubber Guard and I have been a fan ever since. Although I do not train on a level like any of the fighters I know (not even close, people, not even close), I have also found these books to expand my general knowledge of mixed martial arts and the techniques we see in the cage everyday, and when it comes to a fighter like Machida, with all of his unorthodox techniques, I will take all the help I can get.

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By: Brian Furby