Originally Posted on Book Dads this past Wednesday, please check out this and all the other reviews by dads who love to read and to share that love of books with their kids.
My brother and I are a little more than two years apart and my boys are a little less than two years apart. Perfect ages for high quality sibling smackdown potential. Old enough to give the older brother a distinct advantage but not too old to make it completely unfair. There has to be something extra given to the first born and I know that even as my brother grew older and bigger there was still that psychological boundary of being the youngest that kept him from taking over. While reading Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown by Daniel H Wilson, PhD I thought back to a lot of the battles my brother and I had growing up and the ones that are playing out now with my boys and will continue to play out for all of us.
The Sibling Smackdown knows no end date and like the introduction of Bro-Jitsu points out, in a world that has “become more safe, more evolved, and much more politically correct” children have not followed suit. Children and specifically siblings are as rough and mean as ever. Raising two boys and looking after various other kids I have seen this first hand and while we try to keep them safer they do a fairly good job of finding danger, or inflicting it on each other.
Daniel H. Wilson, also the author of How to Build a Robot Army, Where’s My Jetpack, and How to Survie a Robot Uprising, breaks down the 126 techniques for Family Domination into three categories: Offense, Defense, and Psychological in his funny, though often times violent book. There has been some talk in reviews about how violent this book is but as a brother and dad of two boys I have no problem with it. Neither of my kids can read and there fore have picked up no ideas from this book and yet they are already doing terrible things to each other. The book is meant to be humorous and those that complain about the violence miss that point. Bro-jitsu is a funny and nostalgic book with great illustrations and even better write ups on the various moves. I would recommend this book for anyone that fondly remembers the sibling battles they had growing up.
During a recent family vacation we sat around the table passing the book and telling stories of the battles we had, and the moves we used to dominate our family. There was talk of car rides where we all did the “Not Touching you” game of putting your hand as close to your sibling without actually touching them. Or the well placed kicks to the back of the heel when walking behind. It was a fun conversation and we picked up some good ideas from the pages of Bro-Jitsu. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did and I would love to hear the ways in which you tortured your siblings in the comments below.