In Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts, Matthew Polly intersperses entertaining anecdotes from his own stint in mixed martial arts with the history and background of the sport. He interviews stars like as Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture, and includes his own honest and eye-opening account of training and fighting at some of the top facilities in the world.
All sorts of writers have endured all sorts of pain and suffering in order to better know their subjects, but most of them haven't had to get punched in the nose. Or kicked in the knee.
Matthew Polly decided that he couldn't write knowledgeably about mixed martial arts and those who engage in same without training to climb into the octagon and then actually fighting somebody who was trying to beat him up. Tapped Out presents the story of his journey into at least the outer fringes of "the world of MMA." ("The outer fringes," because he didn't gobble steroids or suffer brain damage in pursuit of the story.) He was better equipped to go there than most men on the cusp of middle age. He had trained years earlier with Shoalin Monks in China…men who beat their shins against trees in order to render said shins better weapons when they kicked Matthew Polly.
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.
This segment aired on December 10, 2011.