Michael "Bolo" Jen review(BJJ blackbelt, instructor, and DVD producer):
"Passing the Guard: Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Details and Techniques" was written by BJJ brown belts Ed Beneville and Tim Cartmell. I know Ed as he is under Joe Moreira. I have never met Tim, however, he is under Cleber Luciano.
Chapter 1 covers the the basics of posture and opening the legs from the knees. Chapter 2 covers passes from the knees. Chapter 3 covers standing passes. Chapter 4 covers defenses and counters to common sweeps and submissions that you opponent may attempt when you are in their guard. Chapter 5 covers passing the half guard. Chapter 6 covers submission you can do while in your opponent's guard. Chapter 7 covers attacking the turtle position as the opponent sometimes turns to his knees when you pass his guard. Chapter 8 covers solo drills.
Production: EXCELLENT. Printed in full color with one person wearing a blue gi and the other person wear a white gi, the pictures are clear and easy to understand. The layout is neat and easy to follow. The text is laid out in a manner that it is clear which picture it refers to without making things look cluttered.
Organization: EXCELLENT. Anyone how knows my teaching style knows that organization and structure is very important to me. This book follows a very simple and logical path the leads you from the absolute basics of passing the guard to countering an opponent's various positions or attacks. This book is not just a collection of techniques throw together.
Techniques: EXCELLENT. I believe this book can be beneficial to the beginner and intermediate BJJ student. The authors cover many of the most common positions/techniques you are going to face when in your opponent's guard. All practical and high percentage techniques, not flashy eye-candy.
Details: EXCELLENT. This book includes many great details on guard passing techniques. What is great is that the book doesn't contain long boring descriptions that make you fall asleep when reading. The clear pictures, close-up pictures, pictures from alternate angles, cirlces and arrows highlighting details, and summaries of the complete sequence make it really easy to understand what is going on.
When it comes to how techniques are presented in a book, this book has truly set the standard. You can tell a great of thought was put into producing this product. Gene Simco, Royler/Renzo, John Will, and Rigan Machado's book all have different areas of focus in comparison to this book (as this book is mainly just guard passing), however, when it comes to the ability of the presentation and layout to teach techniques, this book is definitely at the top.
If a person want to learn how to pass the guard, I would probably recommend this book over most instructional videos on the market. If this is how they presented guard passing, I think everyone should look forward to these authors covering other aspects of the game.
Stephan Kesting's review (BJJ black belt, DVD producer, GrappleArts.com proprietor):
I received my copy of "Passing the Guard" by Ed Beneville and Timothy Cartmell and it rocks!
The book is very logically laid out and covers every aspect of guard passing (including opening the guard, standing passes, kneeling passes, counters to your opponent's reactions when you try to pass the guard). There are lots of little tricks showing how to remove hooks from your arms, get past stiff-arming, etc. All this is laid out using color photographs, often from more than one angle, and easy to understand text.
Then, just when I was impressed with the book, I became VERY impressed with the book. Tim and Ed go into the most common guard sweeps and attacks and how to effectively counter them. This counters section is very useful because your opponent isn't just going to be lying there when you are trying to pass his guard - he will be attacking you.
Then as if this isn't enough they go into attacking the turtle (in case your opponent flips to turtle when you are almost past his legs) and drills to improve your guard passing.
I believe this book to be representative of a new breed of instructional material: material where the authors take a relatively small aspect of grappling and really try to thoroughly explore it. By buying this book for less than half the cost of a private class with a BJJ blackbelt, you basically get the most thorough treatment of guard passing I have ever seen anywhere.
Like I said, check it out at www.grapplingarts.net
There is a new Bjj book called "passing the guard" (incidently it has more than passing the guard techniques, but passing the guard is its major focus) written by two brown belt who have training experience with Cleber Luciano and Joe Moreira.
This book is excellent in all respects. I love the way this book is formatted. It is structure in such a way were plenty of detailed information is provide from both the written text and the photograph sequences.
Different photo angles as well as photo sequence taken from video are in this book to help clarify and explain important points.
I just love the way this book is put together.
The technique aren't too basic but actually quite intermediate. BUT important basic principles and concepts are highlighted and place in the book in such a way that they reader can easily see and understand them.
Not only is the book good in terms of helping one with their techniques it is also a good reference book.
Now this comment is based on my personal observation, the style is similar to Joe Moreira's style. I mean that many of the same techniques, principles and concepts Joe teaches on some Roy Harris'seminar tapes and some of Bolo tapes are in this book.
This book is a great compliment to any of the videos produced by Roy Harris, Bolo, and obviously Joe Moreira.
This book is how other books should be formatted.
Passing the Guard by Ed Beneville & Tim Cartmell
This is just a great book, very high quality, jam packed with illustrations and a good bang for the buck.
The whole method of presentation does set a new standard. A minor point, but each section is color-coded that you can pick out even from the outside binding. For example you can open the book to the half-guard section by color.
Each techinque is shown from a couple of angles in high-resolution pictures and then, like a flow-chart, shows different outcomes depending on the opponents reaction. Key points are highlighted in the pictures and arrows show direction of movement.
They show many guard passes from different types of guards. They show counters to sweeps and whatever offence or defence your opponent might try while passing. They also look at the big picture and show directions of attack and overall strategies. They show fundamentals, guard passing drills, passes from the knees and standing, half-guard, defences and counters, ankles and leg attacks and even attacking the turtle position. I'm not a BJJ player so there are better people to comment on the effectivness of the techinques taught but never once did I feel that "that would never happen". A lot of tapes that I have for example show a lot of fancy techniques that are very low-percentage.
Also the book reminded me of the value of a book over video tapes. You can go directly to whatever section you want, you can linger on the pictures, re-read the words as needed and move at your own pace; take a moment to visualize it and imprint it in your mind before moving on. You can savour it like a fine wine. Of course a book is also portable. I keep in on my bedtable and read a little each night. Then I drift off to sleep and kick everyone's ass at the Mundials :)
Definitely a recommended book for any judoka wanting to improve his/her ground game.
YOU GUYS ROCK!
I just got my copy of Passing The Guard Vol.1
I thought the Royler/Renzo book was the bible of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With that in mind, I feel like I just got a hold of the NEW TESTAMENT!
You can put me at the top of your mailing list for any future volumes! I love the way the book is layed out. You guys did one heck of a good job!
I'm a new blue belt myself, so for me this book is one of the best investments I've made. I can only hope that you guys continue to produce such materials.
One of my grappling buddies made the comment once, that Jiu-Jitsu is like an arms race. Little does he know,I now have a secrete weapon! I can't wait to drop the new bombs that you guys gave me!
I guarantee your book won't be a secret long!
I just wanted to let you know that I am one happy customer!
Keep up the good work!