Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts

Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts

5.0 5
by Matthew Polly
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The author of American Shaolin tells a hilarious and fascinating insider's account of mixed martial arts, the fastest growing sport in the country.

Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, mixed martial arts (MMA) has punched, kicked, and wrestled its way into the public's consciousness. MMA is an often brutal sport that combines

Overview

The author of American Shaolin tells a hilarious and fascinating insider's account of mixed martial arts, the fastest growing sport in the country.

Since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, mixed martial arts (MMA) has punched, kicked, and wrestled its way into the public's consciousness. MMA is an often brutal sport that combines any and every unarmed fighting technique with pure grit. Today, the gross yearly profits of Ultimate Fighting Championship-the sport's premier professional league-exceed that of professional wrestling, boxing, and even the Boston Red Sox. In Tapped Out, Matthew Polly gives readers his on-the ground take of training and fighting in MMA.

At the age of thirty-six, Polly was out of shape and totally unprepared for what was ahead: a grueling journey through leading MMA training facilities in Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Las Vegas. After being utterly beaten down and built back up, he fought his first match against a fighter nearly fifteen years younger-and not only won, but sent his opponent to the hospital. Polly intersperses his own narrative with the history and background of fighting and interviews with top UFC stars such as GSP, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture, and Gina Carano. Evocative of George Plimpton's classic Paper Lion, Polly's honest, funny, and eye-opening account of his experiences will appeal to the millions of devoted MMA fans who are as hardcore as the sport itself.

Editorial Reviews

Matthew Polly is a Princeton University graduate and a former Rhodes Scholar, achievements not generally associated with the down-and-dirty sport of mixed martial arts. Thus, conversations stopped and eyebrows arched when the 36-year-old, out of shape Slate travel editor announced his intention to become a MMA fighter. To achieve this odd goal, Polly underwent grueling training in the coming months at MMA training facilities in Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York, and Las Vegas. His accounts of that rigorous preparation and his matches give readers a pain-free, sometimes hilarious view of a multi-billion dollar international sport. (P.S. Tapped Out also includes interviews with top Ultimate Fighting Championship athletes.)

Publishers Weekly
When Polly, a longtime MMA enthusiast and travel writer for Slate, told his editor that he wanted to write a book about mixed martial arts, he was given the go-ahead on the condition that he train and compete himself. Polly spent the next two years getting punched, kicked, and slapped by some of the best coaches in MMA, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. A gregarious and charming protagonist, Polly comes across as self-deprecating, yet his enthusiasm and passion for martial arts are unmistakable. Readers familiar with MMA will be gratified to hear how affable their heroes are and will recognize themselves in the author's shoes. Those who previously lacked knowledge of this modern craze will respect both Polly, for undertaking this odyssey, and the fighters whose grueling training regimens he followed. His story ends with a single fight-an amateur bout that he wins against a man 15 years his junior-proving that even an Everyman, if trained well enough, can have his glory.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Slate travel writer (and former Rhodes scholar) Polly took up mixed martial arts at the creaky age of 36 and trained worldwide, winning his first match though his opponent was years younger. Okay, not my thing, but for the four million students studying at 30,000 martial arts schools nationwide, this should be catnip. And American Shaolin, Polly's wide-ranging account of his time spent in China, studying with a bunch of fighting monks, sold over 70,000 copies.
From the Publisher
“Polly earned my respect. He's got a ton of heart. He did the work and played the part.” — Randy Couture, former UFC heavyweight champion

“Matt Polly's Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.” — MMAConvert.com

“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.” — TheSweetScience.com

“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.” — New Hampshire NPR

 “Hypnotic…Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as “human cockfighting” by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.”

The New York Times

“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.”

—TheSweetScience.com

“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.”

—New Hampshire NPR

“The Best MMA Book of 2012.”
—The Bleacher Report

 “A vivid, breezy read.”
Sports Illustrated

“Polly’s self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.”
—ESPN.com

“It is safe to say that if George Plimpton, the fellow who embodied participatory sports writing by pitching to Major League Baseball all-stars, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and otherwise humiliating himself, were still alive, he’d cringe at Polly’s endeavor.”
—The Boston Globe

“Polly takes his training seriously, but as a writer, he never takes himself too seriously, which is one reason why his book works as well as it does.”
—Bill Littlefield, NPR’s "It’s Only a Game"

“A gregarious and charming protagonist, Polly comes across as self-deprecating, yet his enthusiasm and passion for martial arts are unmistakable. Readers familiar with MMA will be gratified to hear how affable their heroes are and will recognize themselves in the author’s shoes. Those who previously lacked knowledge of this modern craze will respect both Polly, for undertaking this odyssey, and the fighters whose grueling training regimens he followed.”
Publishers Weekly

“Polly is hilarious as a narrator. He gets beaten, tossed, choked, and twisted like a dishrag on every page, yet maintains a humble sense of humor that is both charming and unique. Tapped Out is so in-your-face good you’ll check your jaw for bruises.”
—CultureMob.com

“Polly’s memoir of a middle-aged, thoroughly out-of-shape couch potato’s quest to become a UFC-style cage warrior is one of the funniest yet most insightful books that I’ve come across in quite a while.”
—SecondAct.com

Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport’s most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport. It may even inspire you to start training. I say buy it and read it. You won’t be disappointed.”
—OpposingViews.com

“In between throwing up on the subway following training sessions and getting yelled at by Xtreme Couture coaches for his terrible diet, Polly actually learned a great deal about this sport and its denizens, and the book is a must-read for any MMA fan.”
—Ben Fowlkes, MMAFighting.com

Tapped Out has a big heart that will make you enjoy its quirks as much as its virtues. It’s a delight to read and has a much greater mass appeal than most of its contemporaries. This book is a must-read for the MMA fan and a probably-should-read for everyone else.”
—TheFightNerd.com

“Matt Polly’s Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.”
—MMAConvert.com

“Polly earned my respect. He’s got a ton of heart. He did the work and played the part.”
—Randy Couture, former UFC heavyweight champion

MMAConvert.com

“Matt Polly's Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.”

TheSweetScience.com

“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.”

New Hampshire NPR

“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592405992
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/17/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Hypnotic…Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as “human cockfighting” by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.”

The New York Times


“You have to give credit to the author for making a huge investment in proper training, the opportunity cost that he could have spent on more lucrative gigs, as well as the emotional pain Polly endured on the road to glory.”
—TheSweetScience.com

“He’s a fighter. Not just a writer.”
—New Hampshire NPR

“The Best MMA Book of 2012.”
—The Bleacher Report

“A vivid, breezy read.”
Sports Illustrated


“Polly’s self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.”
—ESPN.com

“It is safe to say that if George Plimpton, the fellow who embodied participatory sports writing by pitching to Major League Baseball all-stars, playing quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and otherwise humiliating himself, were still alive, he’d cringe at Polly’s endeavor.”
The Boston Globe


“Polly takes his training seriously, but as a writer, he never takes himself too seriously, which is one reason why his book works as well as it does.”
—Bill Littlefield, NPR’s "It’s Only a Game"

“A gregarious and charming protagonist, Polly comes across as self-deprecating, yet his enthusiasm and passion for martial arts are unmistakable. Readers familiar with MMA will be gratified to hear how affable their heroes are and will recognize themselves in the author’s shoes. Those who previously lacked knowledge of this modern craze will respect both Polly, for undertaking this odyssey, and the fighters whose grueling training regimens he followed.”
Publishers Weekly


“Polly is hilarious as a narrator. He gets beaten, tossed, choked, and twisted like a dishrag on every page, yet maintains a humble sense of humor that is both charming and unique. Tapped Out is so in-your-face good you’ll check your jaw for bruises.”
—CultureMob.com

“Polly’s memoir of a middle-aged, thoroughly out-of-shape couch potato’s quest to become a UFC-style cage warrior is one of the funniest yet most insightful books that I’ve come across in quite a while.”
—SecondAct.com

Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport’s most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport. It may even inspire you to start training. I say buy it and read it. You won’t be disappointed.”
—OpposingViews.com

“In between throwing up on the subway following training sessions and getting yelled at by Xtreme Couture coaches for his terrible diet, Polly actually learned a great deal about this sport and its denizens, and the book is a must-read for any MMA fan.”
—Ben Fowlkes, MMAFighting.com

Tapped Out has a big heart that will make you enjoy its quirks as much as its virtues. It’s a delight to read and has a much greater mass appeal than most of its contemporaries. This book is a must-read for the MMA fan and a probably-should-read for everyone else.”
—TheFightNerd.com

“Matt Polly’s Tapped Out succeeds where all other MMA-related books fail: it tells a fight story for both the male and female reader.”
—MMAConvert.com

“Polly earned my respect. He’s got a ton of heart. He did the work and played the part.”
—Randy Couture, former UFC heavyweight champion

Meet the Author

Matthew Polly is an award-winning travel writer for Slate. A Princeton University graduate and Rhodes scholar, Polly has also written for Esquire, Playboy, and The Nation.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Tapped Out 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ShaynaGunn More than 1 year ago
Polly's book is entertaining, intriguing and equally informative. For a female who had no prior interest in MMA, I found myself enthralled with both the sport and Polly's journey. This is a phenomenal read for anybody already interested in MMA, but also for those looking to develop a new hobby. Definitely recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*moans and thru.sts against you*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H.umps you...then licks your vj...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago