Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts
ISBN 9781592405992 | 304 pages | 17 Nov 2011 | Gotham Books | 9.25 x 6.25in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Tapped Out Summary of Tapped Out Reviews for Tapped Out An Excerpt from Tapped Out
The author of American Shaolin tells a hilarious and fascinating insider's account of mixed martial arts, the fastest growing sport in the country.Praise for American Shaolin:
Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, mixed martial arts (MMA) has punched, kicked, and wrestled its way into the public's consciousness. MMA is an often brutal sport that combines any and every unarmed fighting technique with pure grit. Today, the gross yearly profits of Ultimate Fighting Championship-the sport's premier professional league-exceed that of professional wrestling, boxing, and even the Boston Red Sox. In Tapped Out, Matthew Polly gives readers his on-the ground take of training and fighting in MMA.
At the age of thirty-six, Polly was out of shape and totally unprepared for what was ahead: a grueling journey through leading MMA training facilities in Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Las Vegas. After being utterly beaten down and built back up, he fought his first match against a fighter nearly fifteen years younger-and not only won, but sent his opponent to the hospital. Polly intersperses his own narrative with the history and background of fighting and interviews with top UFC stars such as GSP, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, and Gina Carano. Evocative of George Plimpton's classic Paper Lion, Polly's honest, funny, and eye-opening account of his experiences will appeal to the millions of devoted MMA fans who are as hardcore as the sport itself.
"An original and insightful book, moving beyond mere fish-out-of-water territory to become a story of personal redemption that's never a drag... Polly's winning memoir manages the near impossible: maintaining a careful balance between acute observation and forthright views of his Chinese hosts without condescension."
"Since he never loses his sense of humor when describing his grueling training, the shortcomings of Communist medicine, or the specifics of "iron crotch kungfu," Polly is an easy amateur to root for."
"A sensibility more alien to my own than Matthew Polly's is hard to imagine. I consider foreign cultures to be really...foreign. I don't spiritually quest; I go to church. As for the martial arts, I own a gun. But I loved American Shaolin. Reading it was like being abducted by an alien-a brilliant, funny, and hospitable alien who took me to another universe of sensibility. There I enjoyed myself immensely."
"I picked up American Shaolin and read it straight through. It is first rate. Polly's book tells more about what's going on in China and has more insights into the real China than anything in recent years. It is a wonderful true-life story with profound, behind-the- headlines observations about Chinese life. A tip of the Stetson to Matthew Polly."
-Kansas City Star
"Delightfully wry... Polly writes with admirable verve and humor that comes at his own expense."
-National Geographic Adventure
"A nicely developed narrative."
"Fun and fascinating stories... Polly breaks the stereotype that competition prevents us from knowing inner peace."
"A funny, offbeat tale of a man and a nation coming of age."
-J. Maarten Troost, bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals
"Re-enter the dragon-Matthew Polly's gerbil style will totally defeat your dragon style! Just call him a hard-boiled egg: white on the outside, yellow on the inside. The most Asian of Kansans will Wu-Tang you into the apocalypse."
-Mark Oppenheimer, author of Thirteen and a Day
"A lot of people talk about becoming a real live ninja and don't do a thing. That's bullcrap. But this guy actually did it! In conclusion, Matthew Polly is the complete opposite of a wimpy baby."
-Robert Hamburger, author of REAL Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book
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