David Sirlin is a game designer and former profesionnal Street Fighter player. He wrote a fundamental article called Playing To Win that was so successfull he eventually wrote a whole book on the subject. You can read it for free on his website but — and I’m going to spoil the review right here — it’s so good that you should buy the hardcover. Especially if you like the introductory article.

What is this book about?

Playing To Win is a manual to get the right mindset for winning in competitive games. No, Jiu-Jitsu is not mentionned a single time. The examples are taken from war, chess and video games. Yet among the 20+ chapters in the book, there is exactly one that I couldn’t relate to BJJ. One.

The book is essentially divided in 3 parts. The first part starts with the original article and is some kind of manifest for the Playing To Win mentality. The second is a condensed version of Sun Tzu’s the Art Of War which I’m glad I don’t have to read anymore. The last part contains an analisys of playing styles & advices for advanced players.

There’s honnestly not much more to be said. The book is packed with great advices and food for thought, it’s not a very long read and the price ranges from free to 30$ for a hardcover copy. Go read it.