My Blog

My Blog



May 28, 2014

BRUISES by Michael R. Simpson



Journey to Blackbelt
A Memoir
Volume One
Michael R.Simpson
Illustrated by:
Joy Skaw

Bruises: Divorce, Crazyland, Jiu-jitsu...a Memoir (Journey to Black Belt)
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN: 0989715442
  • Publisher: Story Merchant Books (November 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G8L2W1K
(from Amazon)
Mike was trapped in *Crazyland——that’s a term he’d coined for that place between marriage and divorce. He was spending too much time at the bars, in the beds of strange women, on “spring break” in Mexico…and in his own head. This thirty-six-year-old yuppie was every kind of messed up. And it wasn’t like he didn’t know it. He was smart——an engineer running his own company, a father of two and he had been married for over ten years. Then one day he “blinked” and went from blending in beautifully in blissful suburbia to becoming the mayor of Crazyland (yes, the vote was unanimous).
Somewhere in between watching news stories of regular guys stopping crime with their bare hands and his small, teenage cousin using Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to dominate him in a “friendly” grappling match in front of his kids, Mike decided it was time to fight his way out of Crazyland. Within a week he had signed up at the nearest Brazilian Jiu-jitsu studio. Unknown to Mike at the time, it was run by a BJJ legend.
On the mats of this dojo, Mike began enduring ass whippings like never before. But a metamorphosis of mind, body and soul had started to occur as well. He discovered that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu wasn’t just a sport, it was a club, a religion, a therapy session…and the people in it were his new family.
“…Looking down at the splay of bruises decorating my body as if Jackson Pollock had gone apeshit with scads of paint and a dozen brushes made me aware of one, simple fact: I could never quit or stop practicing jiu-jitsu. I couldn’t go through this twice.”
Apparently a few good BRUISES were exactly what he’d been looking for.
*Crazyland is a place where anyone going through a divorce must pass. There are no exceptions. If you are getting divorced, your passport will get stamped in Crazyland, it is the law. You cannot reroute your trip to avoid this stop no matter how sane you attempt to be. My advice: get in and get the fuck out. The
longer you stay, the less chance you have of ever leaving.
Evidence that you might be residing in Crazyland may include, but is not limited to:
- Over indulgence in alcohol and/or drugs.
- Over indulgence in sex. Men could have accidental encounters with fat chicks while wearing skinny jeans. Middle-aged women could suddenly have their ass crack peeking out from between the waist of a pair of low-rise jeans and their muffin top.
- Tattoos suddenly appear out of nowhere.
- Jumping out of, or off of, any fast moving object indicates that you’re in Crazyland. And...
- Traveling to Mexico for Spring Break in your thirties—— which is where we are in this story——is a red flag that you’re there. You might even be the honorary mayor at that point.

"In these brief moments of sparring, I find something inside of me possessing a superiority, not over man, but over mind and matter, over my own mind and physical body. That is the reason I am here challenging myself, that is what I am seeking to gain: dominance over my own manly limitations, so that I may grow above myself in the face of a challenge. And whether the outcome is win or lose, maybe it’ll lead me to the warrior within."
Excerpt from the Prologue

(from Amazon Five Star Reviews)
"Any guy over twenty-one should read this book!" 

"A brutally honest, funny and insightful read." 

"Mike is a hilarious and engaging writer and made me want to become one of the trained."
I found this read to be fun and enjoyable. The author has a great sense of humor. I liked the way he used the humor when telling of his own failures and experiences.  I didn't want to put the book down. I found myself turning the pages, not wanting to stop.
The author describes the fascinating  world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  The author didn't hesitate to tell it like it is.  He wasn't afraid to come right out and tell of the difficult issues that most men face.  The best thing I got from the book was that you have to keep focused and keep going forward to reach your goals.  The book also includes a glossary of techniques. 

I was given a complimentary copy of BRUISES from the author, Michael R. Simpson for my view of the book.
No other compensation took place.

I would give this book 4 BARS.

Cover and book design:

No comments: