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"Street Stoppers: The Martial Arts' Most Devastating Trips Sweeps and Throws for Real Fighting" by Mark Mireles and Loren W. Christensen is a good book. I applaud the two for writing about a subject that has not been addressed like this, even though it is such a very important subject when it comes to fighting and self-defense.
Both authors are accomplished martial artists with impressive backgrounds in real-life violent encounters. In other words, they have been there and done that, and I recommend anyone wanting to learn more about the real-life application of martial art moves listen to them.
That brings me to my complaint about this book, and why I feel it is good, but maybe not great. I wanted more information from these two extremely knowledgeable men. The book is just over 280 pages, but the major of the book is filled with pictures. As far as pictures go for illustrating throwing techniques, they are done well. They are black and white and clear enough to easily see what the author's intended for you to view in them. However, the accompanying text is fairly basic and minimal. And that is not just a complaint about this book, but any book explaining martial art techniques through pictures and text. Knowing a bit about publishing books and videos, I understand the fine balancing act that goes on to ensure you put just enough and stay within the parameters of page length and so on. There are a lot of little things and finer points that make these techniques most effective that the authors did not have the space to include, or were not as detailed as I did have they wished they would put in the written portions.
With that out of the way, let's look at the good things about this book, and there are many. It is definitely a book I recommend for your self-defense library, and one that I think you will learn some valuable information and techniques from. (That is if you actually get out and practice what the authors show, and feel how to do the trips, sweeps, and throws them illustrate.)
Chapter One: Mechanics of Trips, Sweeps and Throws discusses topics such as sport vs. self-preservation, 6 areas of attack on the human body, and some basic positions along with some other practical advice.
Chapter Two: Trips covers what the authors call the Navy Seals of martial art techniques, trips. They are powerful, masked in stealth and deception. After a brief description of physical and psychological aspects about 14 trips are illustrated through pictures and short descriptions.
Chapter Three: Sweeps covers a few standing sweeps, a few hand sweeps, and some ground fighting sweeps. Again, all of these are illustrated with photographs and brief explanations of written text.
Chapter Four: Throws features about fifteen variations of throws and how to execute them. All are shown with the same type of photographs with accompanying text.
Chapter Five: Spins is a short chapter illustrating a couple of spinning type moves that put your opponent on the ground.
Chapter Six: High Amplitude Throws: The Greco Roman Model focuses on a couple popular moves from Greco Roman wrestling. After showing how to train to do the back arch, instruction on the salto and suplex are shown.
Chapter Seven: Combinations is my favorite chapter of the book. Many times when you go for a trip, sweep, or throw, something goes wrong. Regardless if it is your fault or if your opponent is countering, being able to flow into a different technique is extremely important. Practicing the combinations in this chapter might just save your butt one day.
Chapter Eight: Falling had some good general information on falling for those that do not train in an art that throws and how to take some of those falls on the street. (I say for arts that do not practice throws, because if your art practices throws, you have most likely learned to fall.)
Chapter Nine: Law & Ethics contained a few pages on legal considerations and fighting ethics. With both authors having backgrounds in law enforcement, I expected this chapter to be a bit longer, but it still contained some practical advice.
There is a short conclusion and that is the end of the book. As I stated, I think this is a good book and describes a place in your martial art / self-defense library. However, I do wish the authors would have included more text and explanations in some areas. I have a Judo and Hapkido background, so I've done my share of throwing and being thrown, and this includes real situations on the street. I do like that the authors covered the topic from the street and not competition, and even with my experience I definitely learned a couple new things from these two tremendously experienced instruors. I'm going to practice some of this book with training partners to make my throwing even better, and I encourage you to do the same.