Tagged: 2007

A Fighter’s Heart

a fighters heart sam sheridan grove press 2007A Fighter’s Heart: One Man’s Journey Through the World of Fighting by Sam Sheridan, 3/5

Sheridan put a lot of blood and sweat into this appropriately self-deprecating foray into the world of martial arts, which sees him train Muay Thai at the Fairtex camp, MMA with Pat Miletich of UFC fame, BJJ with Brazilian Top Team, tai chi, and boxing with Virgil Hunter and Andre Ward, before veering off-topic for a unsettlingly positive take on the sport of dog fighting and finally ending a bit lamely on a Hollywood set. While Sheridan is a thoughtful and competent writer, he is by no means an insightful one. I found it frustrating that he rarely achieved more depth than a men’s magazine article would, despite being surrounded by legends and, as a paid writer, enjoying opportunities beyond the reach of the average amateur fighter. Still, it was an entertaining read and could have been unimaginably worse if written by a less enthusiastic personality.

Why I read it: Jake from the gym recommended and lent it to me.

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American Shaolin

american shaolin polly gotham books 2007American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China by Matthew Polly, 3/5

This memoir of an American college dropout who transforms from bullied to badass by studying kung fu with Shaolin monks in China is a fun read, if a little bit less interesting, less believable and dirtier than the author’s later book Tapped Out.

[Why I read it: I enjoyed the author’s other book a lot.]