Review of “The Science of Submission”

Check out this review a of “The Science of Submission:  A Principle-based Approach to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu”!

To order to copy of this groundbreaking e-book, go to www.scienceofsubmission.com.

 

“Warning: long post, but realized there was a lot to say here after sitting down to review this book. If it gets too long, read the last paragraph. I hope that sums it up.

The Science of Submission is a must read for any serious BJJ or judo practitioner who wants to progress in their knowledge of how ground techniques actually work in principle. If you are anything like me, with most BJJ books and magazines, I skip the words, look at the pictures and then try them live and ask questions to my instructor. The descriptions are pretty useless because I cannot translate them into how I need to position my body. This was clearly not the case with the Science of Submission. As a highly published scientist myself, I found it extremely refreshing to see all of this knowledge laid out in a straightforward and scientific language that is conspicuously absent in most of the common martial arts books out there that simply try to tell the story with pictures but really do not describe the subtleties proficiently in the all-important prose that goes with the photos. The words in most of these books are an afterthought.

In contrast, this book will allow the beginner player as well as the higher level player to apply and improve in groundwork techniques in a scientific way that can even help a player (who also trains regularly and systematically with a qualified instructor) essentially skip much of the usual “trial and error” that is the norm. The book utilizes the vocabulary of the geometry and biophysics of ground techniques (newaza for judoka) to explain core principles that are intuitive and muscle memory to high level athletes and martial artists — but are often very difficult to explain to students or to even understand for oneself why these techniques work the way they do — or why certain subtle mistakes make all the world of difference, for example, between a strong pin and simply getting swept. This book is definitely a must read for all competitive judoka who are interested in improving their newaza ground game or cross training in BJJ. As a student who is still undergoing this transition myself, I have learned that the slower pace and increased time to make decisions in the BJJ ground game compared with judo increases the margin for error for these slight adjustments described in the Science of Submission. These subtleties make all the difference between for example holding one’s guard and being passed; between getting pinned and sweeping one’s opponent; between being submitted and submitting. When applied in judo newaza this can be the difference in a match where all one needs is a 10 second pin for a yuko and where escaping a pin or holding guard for a few seconds can avoid a score.

The subtle principles that are described in this book can be applied to a judo tachiwaza (standup) game as well. In a recent conversation with the author Professor Jen, we were discussing the proper application of Osotogari , the major outer reap throw of judo. I had always been taught and taught others to throw the throw at the 90 degree angle, and not 180 degrees towards the back of the opponent because it simply worked better that way and I knew this intuitively from many years of motor memory and trial and error. Then it dawned on me that the same biophysics principles in the Science of Submission applied here as well. This book gave me the vocabulary to be able to articulate that “why” of this technique. It also allowed me to explain a set of combinations off of Osotogari for more advanced players that I had known to work, but I did not have the verbiage before reading Professor Jen’s book to explain why these particular combinations worked in tandem with each other due to a skilled opponent’s inevitable responses.

In summary, this is a must purchase for advanced BJJ and judo players alike who really want to know why they do what they do; and for beginners and intermediate players who would like to accelerate their progress in a knowledgeable and scientific manner. It is also a great reference guide for instructors that will lend them additional vocabulary to explain to students why things work or don’t work based on solid biophysical and force vector principles.”

– Christopher Savoie, Judo black belt and BJJ blue belt

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