With the rising popularity of MMA a vast number of popular fighters have started to reach out to their fans via various forms and various mediums.
Writing full length books is just another form for these fighters to ‘put it all’ in a book. What makes a mixed martial artist a cage fighter, a prize fighter or whatever you might call him/her is well encompassed in these fascinating reads.
The journey , we mentioned before that meta-morphs a person to a fighter, has not been explained better in any other book than by “Why I fight” by Bj Penn. The autobiography is an exact tale of how a unruly kid from Hawaii took to fighting. It was not because of a troubled childhood or any other stereotypical claim that you come to expect, but more because of lack of discipline in school that spiralled into him joining up to a local brazilian jiu jitsu centre, after having made several mistake along the way, and rest as they say is history. The journey is inspirational to all young MMA fighters, boxers or muay thai fighters and what makes it so enjoyable is that the journey is not in the way one would imagine. This is no tale of impossible success but rather years and years of struggle, staying away from family, blood sweat and tears which all culminate into making of a champion.
Truly one of the better books out there. Even if I didnt enjoy or follow the sport of MMA, I would have still enjoyed this book. One particular scenario that stands out is Bj Penn having years of bad blood with one of his earlier trainers and brazillian jiu jitsu (bjj)gyms due to what can only be called a minor miscommunication. Miscommunication that no one thought would escalate to the level that it did. Eventually Bj Penn had to fight challengers from the gym even years after moving on in life and even after making a name for himself in the UFC. This should resonate with people who no matter how much they try, are unable to rid themselves of mistakes made in their younger years.
The next book is the Randy Couture ‘Becoming the Natural’. This is very similar to the Bj Penn book with respect to the journey that the future hall of fame fighter takes but what differs is the fact that we get to know the real man behind the ‘persona’ Captain America. For several years Randy Couture was considered, and even today is considered by many, to be the figurative Captain America. The man who was perfect is every aspect of life, a role model for all children and even all men. The reality however was very different as illustrated by the book. Randy was married several times, divorced several times, his childhood was troubled and his relationship with his father strained. So apart from being an MMA book, ‘Becoming the Natural’ is an excellent point of reference for how challenges and trials make one not just a stronger MMA fighter but also a more determined human being. It shows us that while his quest to make it to the USA Olympic greco roman wrestling team ended after 12 years of struggle, his hardwork paid off in the octagon where he became a world champion in not only the light heavy weight division but also in the heavyweight division.
The last book we look at is the Forrest Griffin’s “Got fight”. Forrest is perhaps the most goofy fighters in the world of mixed martial arts. He burst onto the scene with the first season of the Ultimate fighter and went onto win the world light heavy title in the UFC. Not just a brawler, Forrest has excellent ground game and jiu jitsu to go with his excellent boxing and Muay Thai skills. The books is a comical satire which in essence looks at the comical aspect of fighting. He points out his funny encounters while growing up in the sport and at the end of the book also teaches you some techniques of hand to hand combat. On a whole though its not a fight book at all. Its a sarcastic comedy which takes you on a ride and before you know it, its over. A strong recommendation to everyone who knows Forrest Griffin and also those who just want a laugh