Greg Jackson’s “The Ground Game” delivers in-depth MMA grappling guide

While Greg Jackson's reputation as a master of the mental side of mixed martial arts is well-deserved, the famed trainer's latest instructional book again demonstrates his grasp of the techniques and physical approach necessary to succeed in the sport. Just as 2009's "The Stand Up Game" tackles a complete array of techniques on the feet, Jackson's newest offering, "Greg Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts: The Ground Game," covers the grappling aspect of MMA in stunning depth. Recently issued by Victory Belt Publishing and co-authored by noted MMA author Kelly Crigger, "The Ground Game" is a title suitable for a wide range of readers – from fans simply looking to better their understanding of the fight game to aspiring octagon warriors. "The Ground Game" opens with a bonus 10-page section on sports nutrition. Jackson offers advice on general nutrition principles and how to best decide overall caloric needs, as well as specific approaches to nutrition before, during and after a workout. Jackson also offers a handful of recipes suitable for professional fighters but equally beneficial (and palatable) for even couch potatoes looking to improves their overall health. But if the nutrition section is a welcome appetizer for "The Ground Game," it's the opening chapter where the perfectly cooked meat and potatoes truly begin. Chapter One sees Jackson devote nearly 100 informative pages on all aspects of the most basic position in MMA ground fighting: the full guard. While Jackson makes it clear the guard is not necessarily an advantageous position, he offers in meticulous fashion the numerous opportunities  the full guard presents. Jackson describes the various submissions, strikes, sweeps, transitions and escapes available from the full guard and then takes to the mat himself to demonstrate the techniques. The positions are then displayed in a series of full-color photographs that capture the key parts of each maneuver from two (and sometimes three) different angles. Chapter Two focuses on variations of the guard, including the butterfly guard, spider guard, sit-up guard, downed guard and half-guard. While "The Ground Game" might not stand out from similar titles as a revolutionary approach to grappling the way publications from Eddie Bravo and Marcelo Garcia are widely perceived, Jackson does an outstanding job of sharing techniques best-suited for MMA – in which competition is strictly no-gi and competitors must concern themselves with strikes, as well. "The Ground Game" also excels in describing when best to turn to the techniques detailed. Subsequent chapters of this instructional title address techniques from more advantageous positions, including side mount, rear control, rear mount and full mount. Jackson dissects each position with the same painstaking detail offered to the guard. Throughout the book, Jackson presents the techniques as individual parts of an overall approach to fighting success. It's an idea outlined in Jackson's introduction. "To me mixed martial arts is one of the most beautiful art forms," Jackson states. "I think this because it encompasses so many elements from the worlds of science, psychology, music and many other disciplines. Your journey through the martial arts is not just a journey of technique, but also a journey of understanding. "All of the techniques in ['The Ground Game'] will stand on their own as basic ways of learning physical combat. But the idea I'd really like to impart is that the techniques also represent a way to train the conceptual themes underpinning our art." Whether you're hoping to round out your skills on the mat or simply hoping to gain a better understanding of what's unfolding on the screen in front of you as you tune in to your favorite MMA events, "Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts: The Ground Game" is for you. Perhaps the most thorough grappling-for-MMA manuscript on the market today, "The Ground Game" offers real insight to battle-tested groundfighting techniques. Coupled with Jackson's 2009 striking-focused "The Stand Up Game," Victory Belt Publishing's two "Greg Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts" titles provide a comprehensive instructional how-to from one of MMA's most respected minds. Grab your copy and let me know what you think! "Greg Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts: The Ground Game" is now available at all major online bookstores, including