Wrestling
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ultimate Fighting
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ultimate Fighting
Paperback      ISBN: 1592576559

Today's regulated and televised version of mixed martial arts (MMA) is one of the fastest growing professional sports in the US. And co-author Rich Franklin is one of its biggest stars. In this guide to ultimate fighting, he and his co-author introduce new fans to the world of MMA and the basic techniques used in the sport.

Controversy Creates Cash
Controversy Creates Cash
Paperback      ISBN: 1416528547

The exciting no-holds-barred autobiography of former WCW president and current WWE Raw General Manager, Eric Bishoff--the only person who was able to beat Vince McMahon and the WWE at their own game.

Eric Bischoff has been called pro wrestling's most hated man. Booed, reviled, and burned in effigy, he's been struck by everything from beer bottles to fists. Though industry critics have scorned his spectacular rise and fall at World Championship Wrestling, Bischoff's influence still resonates. For years, Bischoff kept quiet while industry pundits distorted the truth about the infamous Monday Night Wars, basing their accounts on rumors and innuendo. Finally, Bischoff tells what really happened.

Beginning with his days as a salesman for the American Wrestling Association, Bischoff exposes the industry's inner workings, from the real numbers behind WCW's red ink to the devastating impact of the corporate mergers. Among his revelations: How WCW became a national brand and revolutionized the industry. How Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, and Steve Austin shaped WCW, and how corporate politics killed it. And how he found his inner heel and learned to love being the guy everyone loves to despise.

Reflecting on his childhood, his family, and the pressures of notoriety, Bischoff tells how he found contentment after being unceremoniously sent home. Love him or hate him, readers will never look at pro wrestling the same way again after reading Eric Bischoff's story in Controversy Creates Cash.
Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules
Crazy Is My Superpower
How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules
Paperback      ISBN: 0451496671
The New York Times Bestseller

Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks is a powerhouse--strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn't always the case. With humor and tremendous heart, she opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.

Everything I was told should be my greatest insecurities and weaknesses, everything that I've been labeled--SHORT, NERDY, SKINNY, WEAK, IMPULSIVE, UGLY, TOMBOY, POOR, REBEL, LOUD, FREAK, CRAZY--turned out to be my greatest strengths. I didn't become successful in spite of them. I became successful because of them.

Growing up AJ was a quiet girl trying to act "normal" when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, and was inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn't until she discovered pro wrestling that she learned superheroes could be real.

Determined to become the superhero she'd always admired, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to achieve her dream of wrestling professionally. Yet she quickly faced industry pressure to play the role of the damsel in distress and to dress more provocatively to cater to male fans. But she fought back and created an ass-kicking alter ego that was a genuine representation of herself: nerdy, enthusiastic, and a little bit crazy.

With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the mental illness diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspira­tion for her superhero persona, shattering the stigma attached to mental illness.

Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to an empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an un­flinchingly honest story and brave confessional about her long road to self-acceptance.
Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness
Cross Rhodes
Goldust, Out of the Darkness
Paperback      ISBN: 1439195161

A compelling portrait of one of the most famous families in the history of the WWE as told by Dustin Rhodes, the first son of legendary figure Dusty Rhodes and the older brother of emerging star, Cody Rhodes.

He first burst onto the scene in the nineties, covered in gold face paint and exhibiting a one-of-a- kind flamboyant style that bewildered his foes and thrilled his fans. Inside the ring, Goldust is as tough as they come, known for using outrageous mind games and taking down his opponents with unparalleled ruthlessness. It's no surprise, then, that wrestling is in his blood; Goldust is the son of Dusty Rhodes, "The American Dream."

What is it like to be the son of a wrestling icon and follow him into the same profession? In this no-holds-barred account, Dustin Rhodes speaks frankly and openly about his journey. He talks about being a young boy who desperately missed his dad. A young man who only wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and threw aside a football scholarship to eke out a meager existence in regional wrestling. A green wrestler struggling to prove to his peers that his work, not his name, had gotten him to where he was. Rhodes describes how, in the midst of a painful five-year estrangement with his father, he finally made a name for himself as Goldust and then let it all go, tumbling into a descent of self-medication that led him away from a red-hot career as a WWE Superstar and nearly cost him his life.

When he finally hit bottom, Rhodes knew where to look for help from the family he always had: his father and World Wrestling Entertainment. When he got clean and sober and was offered the chance to wrestle for WWE, he snapped up the offer. The everyday existence of life on the road, working with and watching the new Superstars-- like his brother Cody Rhodes--has reminded Rhodes of why he loves being a wrestler.

Cross Rhodes is an intimate portrait of one man's road to redemption and a unique glimpse into one of the most famous families in WWE.
Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!
Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!
Hardcover      ISBN: 1934170089

"...Hilarious...You couldn't write better insults than these if you tried, and it's easy to understand why Kaufman just couldn't let them go."--Pop Candy for USA Today

"It is not just the letters that help to make Dear Andy Kaufman a complete success. The grainy graphics and often hilarious images ultimately tie the entire book together, making it something heftier than a coffee table book but no less engaging to thumb through."--LAist

"Collecting hundreds of angry letters written to the provocative star of Taxi and SNL, the coffee table-style book Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts is a suitably ironic love letter to the oft-misunderstood comedian."--Flavorpill

"Andy saved and organized all of the letters and photos he received and now his widow, Lynn Margulies, has released them as the exact sort of book you would want to own."--Vice

Famous for his role as Latka Gravas on television's Taxi and for his appearances on Saturday Night Live and his own variety show, the legendary eccentric performer Andy Kaufman provoked a national outrage in 1977 by taunting the women of America and challenging them to wrestle him live on television. Taking on an aggressive and ridiculous personality based upon the characters invented by professional wrestlers, he offered a $1,000 reward to any woman who could pin him.

Thousands of fired-up females (and a few males) responded to the call, and Kaufman received a torrent of impassioned challenges, hate mail, and love letters from would-be wrestling contenders.

These fascinating and sometimes bizarre handwritten letters, photographs, and illustrations from would-be contenders are here assembled into an astonishing Rorschach of the late '70s liberated female psyche.

Kaufman's girlfriend at the time of his death, Lynne Margulies, provides an introduction. Bob Zmuda, Kaufman's cohort and longtime friend, writes the foreword.

The Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bestselling Classic -- Revised and Expanded
The Death of WCW
10th Anniversary Edition of the Bestselling Classic -- Revised and Expanded
Paperback      ISBN: 1770411755

In 1997, World Championship Wrestling was on top. It was the number-one pro wrestling company in the world, and the highest-rated show on cable television. Each week, fans tuned in to Monday Nitro, flocked to sold-out arenas, and carried home truckloads of WCW merchandise. It seemed the company could do no wrong.But by 2001, however, everything had bottomed out. The company -- having lost a whopping 95% of its audience -- was sold for next to nothing to Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. WCW was laid to rest.What went wrong? This expanded and updated version of the bestselling Death of WCW takes readers through a detailed dissection of WCW's downfall, including even more commentary from the men who were there and serves as an object lesson -- and dire warning -- as WWE and TNA hurtle toward the 15th anniversary of WCW's demise.

The Essential Karate Book: For White Belts, Black Belts and All Levels in Between [Online Companion Video Included]
The Essential Karate Book
For White Belts, Black Belts and All Levels in Between [Online Companion Video Included]
Paperback      ISBN: 480531494x
The Essential Karate Book is an informative, illustrated guide to the techniques, philosophy and practice of karate.

With 20 chapters covering practically every aspect of karate, this in-depth reference will assist students and instructors as they plot their course through karate instruction, benefiting those at all levels. The Essential Karate Book contains 200 diagrams mapping out moves with 300 step-by-step photographs and companion videos, making it a comprehensive general karate reference for Western audiences.

Readers of this karate guide will learn about:
  • Stances, blocks, strikes and kicks
  • Preparing your body through warm-ups, stretching, and conditioning through karate-specific exercises
  • Kata grading and fighting (kumite) techniques and competition rules
  • Martial arts weapons (kobudo), and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) applications
  • The origins and history of karate
  • Required behavior, clothing and etiquette, as well as the fundamentals of karate and the different styles that share them
The Essential Karate Book is a must-have for any martial arts enthusiast, from beginners to black belts
A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting
A Fighter's Heart
One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting
Paperback      ISBN: 0802143431

In 1999, after a series of wildly adventurous jobs around the world, Sam Sheridan found himself in Australia, loaded with cash and intent on not working until he'd spent it all. It occurred to him that, without distractions, he could finally indulge a long-dormant obsession: fighting. Within a year, he was in Bangkok training with the greatest fighter in muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) history and stepping through the ropes for a professional bout. That one fight wasn't enough. Sheridan set out to test himself on an epic journey into how and why we fight, facing Olympic boxers, Brazilian jiu-jitsu stars, and Ultimate Fighting champions. Along the way, Sheridan delivers an insightful look at violence as a career and a spectator sport, a behind-the-pageantry glimpse of athletes at the top of their terrifying game. An extraordinary combination of gonzo journalism and participatory sports writing, A Fighter's Heart is a dizzying first-hand account of what it's like to reach the peak of finely disciplined personal aggression, to hit--and be hit.

Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland
Four Days to Glory
Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland
Paperback      ISBN: 0060823194

Somewhere beyond the circle of money, glitz, drugs, and controversy that characterizes professional sports in America, remnants of an ideal exist. In Iowa, that ideal survives in the form of high school wrestling.

Each a three-time state champion, Jay Borschel and Dan LeClere have a chance in their senior year to join the sport's most elite group: the four-timers, wrestlers who win four consecutive state titles. For Jay, a ferocious competitor who feeds off criticism and doubt, a victory would mean vindication over the great mass of skeptics waiting for him to fail. For Dan, who carries on his back the burdens of his tiny farming community, the dreams of his hard-driving coach and father, and his own personal demons, another title is the only acceptable outcome.

Four Days to Glory is the story of America as told through its small towns and their connection to sport the way it was once routinely perceived: as a means of mattering to the folks next door.

Gaijin Yokozuna
Gaijin Yokozuna
Paperback      ISBN: 0824830431

At the age of eighteen, Chad Rowan left his home in rural Hawai'i for Tokyo with visions of becoming a star athlete in Japan's national sport, sumo. But upon his arrival he was shocked less by the city crowds and the winter cold than by having to scrub toilets and answer to fifteen-year-olds who had preceded him at the sumo beya. Rowan spoke no Japanese. Of Japanese culture, he knew only what little his father, a former tour bus driver in Hawai'i, had been able to tell him as they drove to the airport. And he had never before set foot in a sumo ring.

Five years later, against the backdrop of rising U.S.-Japan economic tension, Rowan became the first gaijin (non-Japanese) to advance to sumo's top rank, yokozuna. His historic promotion was more a cultural accomplishment than an athletic one, since yokozuna are expected to embody highly prized Japanese values such as hard work, patience, strength, and hinkaku, a special kind of dignity thought to be available only to Japanese. He was promoted ahead of his two main rivals, the brothers Koji and Masaru Hanada, who had been raised in the sumo beya run by their father, the former sumo great Takanohana I. Perhaps the defining moment of the gaijin's unique success occurred at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, when Rowan, chosen to personify Japanese to one of the largest television audiences in history, performed a sacred sumo ritual at the opening ceremony.

Gaijin Yokozuna chronicles the events leading to that improbable scene at Nagano and beyond, tracing Rowan's life from his Hawai'i upbringing to his 2001 retirement ceremony. Along the way it briefly examines the careers of two Hawai'i-born sumotori who paved the way for Rowan, Jesse Kuhaulua (Takamiyama) and Salevaa Atisanoe (Konishiki). The author shares stories from family members, coaches, friends, fellow sumo competitors, and of course Rowan himself, whom he accompanied on three Japan-wide exhibition tours. The work is further informed by volumes of secondary source material on sumo, Japanese culture, and local Hawai'i culture.