Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just got my Saulo book in the mail...

It exists! The Saulo book finally exists! This is my first jiu-jitsu book and I so happy to finally see it in my hands! Before this, I had only written magazine articles, blog posts, and academic material, and this by far was my most ambitious undertaking in writing.

First of all, let me provide some insight into the creation of this book. I owe a lot to this blog. It has served as a pretty unlikely resume and has given me introduction to a key player (and great friend) in the creation of this book, Eric Goo. After I met Eric Goo through this blog, we became very good friends and training partners (along with everyone at NTT). When I told him that I had talked with Saulo about creating this book with Victory Belt, Eric was the one who drove down to San Diego with me (because he has been friends with the Ribeiro brothers for a very long time), introduced me to Saulo, and pretty much vouched for me as a writer. I really think first impressions are everything, and Eric really helped in the formative part of my relationship with Saulo (which is of incredible importance for a relationship between writers). I am very thankful for this.

Another important player has been John Danaher. When I asked John if he would serve as my editor/technical advisor, he jumped whole-heartedly into the project and proceeded to blow my mind away. Not only did John work on the technical side of the book with me, but he really helped mentor me in my first book. Needless to say, John gave me a lot of confidence when he gave me his final approval. He is a great mind, inside and outside of jiu-jitsu. Again, I am very grateful for this.

Of course so many more that I need to thank and that will come soon.

Enough of my rant, on to the book...

For the past couple/few months I have been staring at and making changes to the monster that is my Saulo Proofs. These are single sided, photo paper quality prints of each page of the book. Along with the publisher and Saulo, we have been checking, checking, and checking that this book is the one that we wanted to send to print. One thing about these prints, this is a very big book, and because these prints are one sided, this pile is HUGE!!! I only hoped that the book would be far less than half in size (I want book stores to carry it after all!). Finally, after many weeks, we came up with our final edition, reviewed it with Saulo one last time, and sent it to the printer. Then, the waiting game.

After a couple of shipping delays, 5 books were sent to Victory Belt offices midway through this week. Some may wonder, why 5? Actually these 5 are airmailed from the printer (in China) as a benefit to the authors, while the other thousands sit in a boat that trudges across the Pacific. All I have to say is that I hope that boat is fast, because people get grumpy just as fast when deadlines are missed. This I can understand, I would get pissed too if I pre-ordered something and the advertised date changed. All that I can say is that I am very thankful for all of the pre-orders (as is Saulo), it makes it a lot easier for us to gauge its possible popularity and negotiate future books. I greatly appreciate it guys!

Regarding the shipping time, here is how the publishing process has worked for me. After submitting the final manuscript (needed approval by Saulo, me, and the publisher), the book was touched up by Haley and VB (photos lightened, etc). Then the book was sent to China for printing. After a few weeks, the printer sent us the above proof and we made our last minute changes and troubleshooting. Then we gave our final final approval. Weeks and weeks later, the finished book shows up on my doorstep. For everyone else, the book still takes this path. It moves from the printer, to customs, to a freight container and ship, takes a massive trans-Pac journey, back through customs, voyages cross country to the distributor, gets sent to the retailer, and then to you. I never knew until now how long this would take. It's crazy.

I received my book this afternoon and I am elated. As I said earlier, this is my first book and it feels very good to see so much time manifested in such a nice product. Saulo really went the extra mile here and I think it shows.

This book break down the belt system by theme. Saulo includes the necessary theme that you must accomplish before moving on to the next belt.

Here are some pics from the book opening ceremony on my shabby apartment carpets!

This book is Victory Belt's biggest book to date, and likely ever (obviously a larger/heavier book is much more expensive to produce and ship). It feels like a brick. However, if this book does well, I can continue making big ones for my next three projects (Leo Vieira, Galvao, and Dave Camarillo).

Brabo time!

At first I thought Saulo was so unorthodox in this technique until he showed me how many applications it has throughout his entire system. The leg lasso pass.


Now that Saulo is finally finished, I can dive headfirst into my other projects. I am finishing three seminar DVDs (Ricardo Vieira, Leo Vieira, and Andre Galvao), while working on my new books and keeping up my teaching and training load. For the books, I am currently writing Galvao's next one. Having trained with him for quite some time now, I really believe that this book will provide the insight into why he is so incredible in competition. Afterwards, I will finish Leo's book and then Dave's. All three are photographed, transcribed, and sitting on my externals.

If any readers have any questions, suggestions, or insights into any of my books or projects - feel free to ask!!!! I will try to respond to everything here.

Happy Training!


Pesadelo said...

When is the book actually "out"?

Kevin said...

Talked to Erich and he expects it before November 17th (the date on Amazon). Erich, Saulo, and I are all hoping for November 10th, but I won't commit to that - people get mad and I am just an author - not a distributor. I know VB has been pushing the printer hard to get this book to market.

Ben said...

Will the seminar dvds be coming out this year?

Also what topics is Leo going to be teaching in his book?

Kevin said...

I'm finishing up the Ricardo DVD as I type this. I would expect this late this year. The Leo DVD will be released at around the same time. As for Galvao, I still want to get some more footage of him. We have a lot, but I want to make it a very indepth high quality documentary as well as seminar.

All seminars include sparring footage.

As for Leo's book, it is a submission wrestling book on guard passing strategy. He shows many types of guards and how he takes them out of their comfort zones. He even went into specifics into how he beat certain guys using tailor made strategies. It's very cool. Leo is easily the most talented fighter/jiu-jitsu player that I have ever seen.

Right now my externals look like a jiu-jitsu lover's dream. I can't wait to get more of this released.

toalciaran said...

nice to see you back, I enjoy your blog. That's awesome project to be involved in, I'm so jealous!


Hondo said...

Looks like a great book, I ouw and this would a great addition to our web site. Feel free to send me an e-mail at

Sorin said...

Hi, I am just a white belt and I have been training for a little bit longer than one year. I write about my new experiences on my blog ( and I just want to say that what you did is for me just amazing. Not only knowing, meeting and talking with such BJJ people like Saulo but actually writing books with them. Congratulations to this first one!

Capitol Combat Sports said...

I have Saulo's DVDs and they are incredible. What's covered in the book that's different from his DVDs?

Ryan said...

Is this still on schedule for November 19th release, Kevin?

Looking forward to it.

Kevin said...

ryan - Actually, it is out right now and available at most online retailers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.) and some have already found it in stores. You can check the (Atama BJJ) and jiujitsugear forums for some early reviews.

Ryan said...

Oh man! I preordered mine at Budo and they say that they're not shipping any till the 19th.

Going out of the country next week it would've have been a nice read on the trip.

X man said...

SIIIIIIIIIIICK! You da man! Keep updating your blog. I love reading your jiu-jitsu adventures. I train with Dave Camarillo and its so cool you'll be working with him on his new book. Good luck!

X man said...

SIIICK review. Please update your jiu-jitsu blog more often. I really love reading about your jiu-jitsu adventures. I train with ?Dave Camarillo so I'm psyched to see you're going to be working with Dave on the new book. good luck!

brian said...

Dear kevin
As a big victory belt fan, and have been begging all at VB for a while about saulo's new book can I say what and amazing book you have written with the prof. it truelly is the best book on BJJ period.

Ok I asked the lovely folks a while ago if there would be a andre galvao dvd to go with the book will this be the case and when will we see the book on the shelves.

Great news about leo and ricardo.. Ricardo gave a great seminar here in Wales in the Uk a few weeks back.
Will the books be no gi or gi related.
and thank you Kevin for your great work now just have to wish Santa for that Andre galvao book.

brian said...

when will we see the new andre galvao book and will the dvd's be for victory belt as well.???? and have a great xmas Kevin

Kevin said...


Currently, I'm working on the Galvao book while I serve as a technical editor/advisor for the new BJ Penn book.

The Ricardo and Leo seminar DVDs are a private project and are not related to VB. We are also shooting a Shawn Williams, Williams Guard instructional as well.

Hopefully the Galvao book will be ready for the first quarter of 2009. As for Leo, I am aiming for summer. Camarillo is further down the road, but all have been photographed and are sitting contently on my army of hard drives.

Kevin said...

brian -

I forgot, I also have a ton of Galvao footage - him training with me at my house and friend's academies, privates, seminars at Rey Diogo's, training for the Mundials, and judo training. We're planning on putting together a seminar/mini doc with all the footage in the near footage.

As for the DVD/book package, it probably won't be happening in the near future. It is very expensive and people tend to steal the DVDs as they browse.

Ryan said...

Awesome book by the way. I look forward to the next one.
Just a thought, would there be any projects with John Danaher?

That would be awesome. Thanks.

thesionnach said...

Kevin, I have in my expanding library all of the victory belt books and indeed some others after being bitten by the BJJ bug 3 years ago and I would just like to thank and commend you (and Saulo of course) for producing what is, in my lowly opinion THE BEST book on BJJ I have ever read. Hopefully I might make it over to train with the Ribeiro Bros some day. I'm really looking forward to Galvaos book too. Thanks Again. Paul Fox, Dublin, Ireland

Hilda said...

i know it's a little off topic, but let's see some pictures of Bonzi! -hilda