Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luis Preto redux

I'm pretty sure some of my readers will readily remember the name of Luis Preto, as his book on Jogo do Pau was my first review on this blog. The book at issue, however, was unavailable in the meantime, but Luis has come up with the new edition of the "Jogo do Pau: The ancient art & modern science of Portuguese stick fighting", or version 2.0 if you like it more, that way. To see my review, go here:

OK, so, what's the big deal?

Well, the big deal is how he did it. In stead of just re-printing what had already proven to be a good thing, Preto actually added some new material, rearranged some of the previously existing, added some new photos etc, and all in the honest effort to improve the book and offer his readers the best possible service on his part. In other words, he did not simply set on cashing in on his old work, but actually strove to keep on improving. From that standpoint, I really think Luis raised the bar to an admirable level in setting the standard for other authors to reach in this regard. 

All that said, another thing that makes me love Preto's work so much is his never-ending drive to help the qualitative evolution of martial arts. It means liberally sharing some hard-won knowledge and wisdom related to the actual training methodology and pedagogical process in this field, instead of training a handful of great fighters and then selling seminars with just a grain or two of those things. In the process, Luis does not refrain form slaying a sacred cow or two and/or questioning some commonly taken for granted "knowledge"...or calling things their real names, even if that will mean "defensive action" from the people with their own established "realms" of reign. 

As if not enough, Preto came up with a whole line of books, meant to improve your training in martial arts, each very well done and to the point - good stuff in it, irrelevant discarded. The one I'd like to especially point to is his "Understanding physical conditioning: a movement based approach". If you are a person with a daily job/duty, but still passionate about taking your training to the highest possible level on your limited time, this one is a must! You can read the review at my friend Spyro's blog, but let me just tell you that it brings to end the dictum of training programs made by and for elite level professional athletes, especially those in cyclic  sports that may not transfer to your needs all that well. with this one, you will learn to identify you own training needs and then how to work on "satisfying" them.

In the end, I would like to extend my gratitude to Luis Preto for doing the good work and wish him the best of luck in future endeavors...particularly if he will continue allowing us to enjoy the labors of it as he has done so far :-)

To learn more about the man and his work, go to

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