Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: Delavier's Mixed Martial Arts Anatomy by Frederic Delavier

Synopsis: From powerful blows to explosive kicks, Delavier's Mixed Martial Arts Anatomy takes you inside the action and impact of one of the world's most popular, grueling, and challenging sports. Over 230 full-color photos and anatomical illustrations allow you to go inside more than 120 exercises specifically selected for the neuromuscular demands of the sport. You'll see how muscles interact with surrounding joints and skeletal structures and how variations and sequencing can isolate specific muscle to enhance the full arsenal of combat skills. Delavier's Mized Martial Arts Anatomy features an anatomomorphological approach to allow you to choose the most effective exercise for you body type, physical conditioning, and fighting style. From boxing to ground fighting, you'll enhance your strength and minimize your weakness with more than 20 proven programs. Featuring the lasts exercises for injury prevention and foam roller techniques for muscle regeneration, it's all here and all in the stunning detail that only Federic Delavier can provide. (from the back of the book)

Review: I was surprised when I was awarded this book. As you may guess, I’m not an MMA fighter, nor have I aspirations to be. Given the subject matter of this book, I expected to be lost. I was not. The fact someone with my lack of knowledge easily followed this book speaks volumes to me. Delavier did an amazing job of keeping the text jargon-free while still making it specific to MMA goals.
Divided into three parts, this book is clear, logical and easy to understand. Detailed, specific movements are difficult to translate into written word, but Delavier does so in clear, precise terms. Between the layout of the text and the marvelously detailed anatomical drawings, replicating these movements is simple (and yes, I tried a few, much to my husband’s amusement.). In particular, the instructions helped me understand what each movement was for, not just what muscle, but what move, what goal, why it was important as a fighter. For example, page 98 is instructions for Leg Lifts on a Pull-up Bar. This is to strengthen the “rectus femoris, psoas, iliacus, abdominal muscles, and arms,” (Delavier 98). It’s under the Kicks and Knee Strikes chapter. But the author instructions you to do the leg exercise will contracting the arm muscles because when you in an actual fight, you will most likely be contracting you arms at the same time as you legs in this move. This is brilliant!
As a female, I feel compelled to add in a woman’s viewpoint. As no time did I feel this book was angled towards only male MMA fighters. Yes, most of the models were men. This makes sense. Most MMA fighters are male. But all instructions are gender-neutral and open to either sex.
Delavier included citations and reference to medical studies about muscle power, control etc. This gave me confidence in his instructions. He also included many points of warning about how to prevent injury in the gym and in the ring. While fighting is throwing a punch, it’s also about withstanding a punch, and Delavier encouraged the reader to prepare for that.
I also found the programs at the end very helpful. Part 1 is general instructions, Part 2 the individual exercise, and Part 3 puts it all together. This gave a beginner like me much confidence.  At the same time, it’s obvious an experience fighter would be able to use the instructions to create a program tailored to them. Delavier did an excellent job of writing a work that spans novice to professional with ease.
My only qualm, and it’ a small one, is that some of the male models wore shorts entirely too small for a man – I’m looking at you, shoulder-star-tattoo dude on page 88.
In the end, I would recommend this book, not only to MMA fighters (if I knew any) but to anyone interested in learning specific way to increase strength, power and endurance. While this book is most definitely written for fighters, the information is helpful to anyone looking to become more athletic.
The received this book free as part of LibraryThings’ Early Reviewers Program in exchange for my fair and honest opinion
Bookmarks: 8 of 10
Awards: None
ISBN: 978-1-4504-6359-1
Date Finished: 11-23-2013
Pages: 143

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