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  • By Britta Wetteskind
    Apr 17, 2019
    I knew John in the late 1970’s as a teenaged catholic schoolgirl who had just immigrated from Germany. I was utterly infatuated and hopelessly in love with the much older and elusive young artist. Eventually my father intervened and it ended. John Perretti’s, The Origin of a Species brought back many memories of that time , living in the loft on west 26th street. These pages vividly woke my senses, like the smell of oil paintings and vitamins. So here I read John’s memoir, forty years later. It was fascinating to learn about his interesting and complex life, a life worth writing about. He is a unique man with a magnetic personality, multi talented, fearless and passionate about all of his endeavors which is so vividly portrayed. This book was by far not an easy read. It evokes wonder, awe and emotion. John’s writing style is very descriptive, deeply poetic but gritty and complicated, as complicated as the author himself. On one hand raw, pure masculinity while at the same time... More > exposing a gentle soul hidden beneath. This is NOT a ‘chick read’. As a woman, at times it was difficult for me to understand and identify with the very detailed fight scenes and MMA jargon. I had to read certain pages more than once or twice but it was worth it. John’s resilience and persistence making him appear almost immortal is what makes the last chapter so shocking, as it is juxtaposed with his human fragility. An important book to read especially for those who want the truth about the phrase and birth of ‘Mixed Martial Arts”. Keep writing John! Britta Wetteskind< Less
  • By Paul Feinberg
    Apr 16, 2019
    As one who appreciates groan-inducing corniness, I’m tempted to say that John Perretti puts the “art” in martial arts. But as a former journalist, I loathe cliché, and it’s safe to say that Mr. Perretti is anything but cliché. He’s been a painter and a poet, a fighter and a fisherman, a scholar and a student (with equal appreciation of the value of both). Now add “memoirist” to that list. In The Origin of a Species, Perretti recounts a life that reads like a work of fiction, potentially stretching the bounds of credulity. From New York to Los Angeles and from Mexico to Japan, Perretti does more than just detail his career and travels. More important, he seeks to find meaning, a higher truth, and understanding of the places he’s been, the people he’s met and the actions he’s undertaken — along the way taking the reader on a journey of discovery. But don’t feel daunted by taking on The Origin of a Species. There’s plenty of text to enjoy sans concern for whatever subtext... More > exists. Perretti’s life at times channels Zelig or even Forrest Gump. Not with the comedic overtones of the former or the latter’s portrayal of a simpleton with a knack for being in the right place at the right time; but rather with a deft ability to note that he met with, dined with, worked with or just happened to know some of the most recognizable names in athletics and show business. These meetings – some chance, some planned – reveal themselves with a matter-of-factness that underscores how unimpressed with celebrity the author actually is — he just seems to cross paths with a lot of people whose names we know and takes the time to regale us with tales of the encounters. I don’t share Perretti’s enthusiasm for the pugilistic arts; consider me a casual fan of the most famous fighters like Ali or Tyson or maybe Bruce Lee. But this is a must-read for those with a years-long interest in boxing and the martial arts, or for newer devotees of MMA. This is a must-read for understanding today’s fight game authored by the man who wrote the rules and coined the terms.< Less
  • By Geoffrey Baris
    Apr 11, 2019
    John and I were neighbors and good friends when I lived NYC in our middle 20”s and we’ve kept our friendship since then. Hanging out with John was always an adventure and I think I could write a book about those three years we were hanging out in NY. John always dove head first into every aspect of his life and in his own unique totally committed way. Whether painting, fighting, building a boat, motorcycle, home, guns, gym, collecting skulls, growing bamboo or just hanging out you always got an education with John whom became an expert at whatever interested him. It wasn’t always safe as John used to say why does everyone want to punch my face. I learned this when a bar full of bikers in NY attacked us I learned he was right, everyone did want to punch him and being his friend meant you too. I guess in Mexico drinking twelve shots of tequila each and going fishing the next day and catching eleven marlins between us got edited out. I was pleased reading his book to see that like all... More > aspects of his life his writing style was all his own. It took a while to get into the groove as I’m a speed reader and I just had to slow down to catch every word as each page was a bunch of jabs and if I went to fast I missed the big punch. Being around 2 years older than John it brought me back to my own childhood memories. I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.< Less
  • By Gregory A. Roach
    Apr 5, 2019
    Those who knew John Perretti back in the day will find this book a fun read and a walk down memory lane. John’s alliteration and syncopated syntax is a reminder of how his mind actually works. John has never been linear; creative thought spills out in all directions. But once you find your groove his commentary on life, death, conflict, discipline, motivation, invention and accomplishment practically reads itself aloud. Highly recommended. There is much to reflect upon here. We all helped build MadisonAvenueMuscle and I appreciate the shout-out; thanks for that. Patrick Arneo, Alex Eingorn and I drained “cocky water” from those sprinklers for a month. I also remember much more. My wife at the time and I knew his folks on Long Island and in Pennsylvania. John, his Father and I strung, skinned, butchered and ate a deer in that dojo loft on west 26th street surrounded by free weights and skulls, a heavy bag and the smell of still-wet paintings. We hung and lit one of his earliest... More > downtown art shows, transporting the works in my pickup truck. A painting from that show still hangs in my home. We climbed rock and ice together, camped on a frozen lake, took thousands of photographs and we once caught a burlap bag of bullfrogs with nothing more than a flashlight and our bare hands. I’ve known John for 40 years and so it came a surprise to learn there are others now seeking to claim his legacy. John Perretti was describing his unique vision of mixing the martial arts together into a new and unprecedented form of combat-sport when we met in the late 1970’s. On anyone else claiming credit for that term, I call bullshit. We were there. Inconvenient, I know. Good read, John. Gregory A. Roach NYC< Less
  • By ggudnason
    Apr 2, 2019
    Not since I read the Tao of Jeet Kune Do have I read a more enlightening book about the arts. Anyone who wants to be a real Martial Artist needs to read this book, its a MUST READ. It sobers you up and is an antidote to `stupid` so if you are a Sensei with a school, please make all of your students read this book. Only a few people on this planet today have an insight like John Perretti into the true world or martial arts and fighting. One of my 10 best reads ever! Great job bro.... keep them coming John....
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Product Details

First Paperback Edition
John Perretti
February 5, 2019
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.26 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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