Our Favorite BJJ books
BJJ books can act as a great supplement to your training on the mats. It’s clear nowadays that rolling and drilling aren’t the only ways to get better at bjj.
Just as practicing yoga for bjj can help the body move through space more efficiently, and eating properly can help muscle recovery for bjj, jiu jitsu books can help boost the mental side of your training.
These BJJ books are packed with techniques, concepts, and advice from high-level bjj black belts who know a thing or two about developing a killer ground game. These books are put together in such a way that the information is easy to read, easy to use, and easy to reference later on if necessary.
So, what are you waiting for? Scroll down to read more about our 5 favourite BJJ books!
1. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter by Christian Graugart
Imagine you woke up one day and decided you needed a change. Tired of the mundane and fed up of working a passionless 9-5 job just for the paycheck, you choose to take a leap into uncertainty and, as some would say, irresponsibility. You quit your job and choose instead to travel around the world to pursue your passion: Brazilian jiu jitsu.
That’s exactly what bjj brown belt Christain Graugart did in 2011. Starting from his home in Denmark, Graugart embarked on a 140-day long trip around the world. During his travels, he passed through 24 countries, where he trained at 56 different gyms.
This book is basically a detailed journal, where the author tracks the observations and happenings of a globetrotting martial artist. Graugart’s raw descriptions of visiting some of the more dangerous parts of Europe, as well as his observations on his competition experiences while abroad, are very refreshing. Although English is not Graugert’s first language, the author’s writing is engaging and clear.
The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter offers interesting insight into the life of a travelling martial artist. This book strays from the traditional formats of most BJJ books, which are mainly technique instructionals and autobiographies.
Check it out for a light, refreshing read on Graugert’s experience as a bjj globetrotter.
2. Mastering Jiu Jitsu by Renzo Gracie, John Danaher, and Carlos Gracie Jr.
It was about time someone wrote a jiu jitsu book like this!
Mastering Jiu Jitsu begins with an overview of the history of jiu jitsu within the context of judo, Japanese jiu jitsu, and other martial arts.
Unlike other BJJ books that list as many techniques as they can squeeze onto the pages, Renzo Gracie and John Danaher provide select technical and conceptual frameworks to understand each position. So not only will you learn how to perform certain moves, you will develop a more complete understanding of why certain positions are effective and how to control and manipulate them to your advantage.
The authors also include case studies on various fighters whose specialities are not only jiu jitsu. For the sake of understanding fighting in general, individuals such as Mark Coleman and Wanderlei Silva are highlighted to give the reader a more comprehensive understanding of the qualities of different martial artists.
This is one of the best BJJ books available because it provides an engaging history of the art, a more conceptual way of understanding positions and techniques, as well as some useful case studies for even more learning.
3. BJJ Techniques To Defeat Bigger Stronger Opponents by Dan Faggella
Dan Faggella has produced one of the best jiu jitsu books we’ve read to date. The first instruction-based book on our list so far, BJJ Techniques to Defeat Bigger Stronger Opponents is brilliantly put together and is an absolute must-read.
Rather than simply list techniques, Faggella focuses on dividing the book into concepts instead. These larger concepts are easier to understand, and subsequently easier to apply in training and in rolling or competition. Each section, and therefore each concept, has a series of techniques associated to it as well, so you get a good mixture of concept and technique to learn from.
Even though the concepts and techniques are from the point of view of a smaller grappler against a bigger stronger one, the information in the book can be used by grapplers of all sizes in both gi and no-gi.
Improving your ground game by reading BJJ books is one of the best ways to get an edge on your training partners and opponents. The valuable technical and conceptual information you will find in this book will give you an advantage over anyone and everyone you will face on the mats. Get your copy and see what all the hype is about!
4. Jiu Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro
Nowadays, many jiu jitsu practitioners are learning about techniques from instructional videos online. Although videos can be a great medium for relaying information about techniques and concepts, there is something about a well-crafted jiu jitsu book that just can’t be rivaled by any form of instruction.
Jiu Jitsu University is an example of this type of ultra-valuable jiu jitsu book. Saulo Ribeiro and his brother, Xande, demonstrate and explain the intricacies of many fundamental movements, techniques, and positions in a clear and engaging manner.
Techniques build upon each other as the book progresses, offering an easy-to-follow and logical progression from fundamental to more advanced teachings. Additionally, each chapter ends with a brief section called misconceptions, where common mistakes of each position are explained so that you can save time when you try it out for yourself on the mats.
The clear structure and engaging descriptions make this one of the best technical jiu jitsu books available. Don’t just watch videos to improve your ground game – take advantage of what’s available and get your hands on this book!
5. Jiu Jitsu Unleashed by Eddie Bravo
For the intermediate to advanced jiu jitsu practitioner, finding new techniques and positions could be the key to opening up your game and allowing you to have success where you would otherwise stagnate.
Jiu Jitsu Unleashed is a great place to start if you want to learn about Eddie Bravo’s unique style of jiu jitsu. Detailed explanations of innovative techniques such as the lockdown from half guard, rubber guard, and the twister separate this from the rest of the BJJ books on the market.
However, one criticism we have of the book is it being printed in black and white. Because of this, the pictures for each technique come off as less clear, and it was more difficult to stay engaged as a reader. Likewise, this book is quite a bit shorter than most other popular jiu jitsu books written nowadays.
All in all, this is a great book and we highly recommend picking up a copy so that you can learn more about Eddie Bravo and his 10th Planet jiu jitsu system, and so you can have one more resource to help you improve your ground game while you’re away from the mats.
Bonus BJJ Book: The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan
A bonus on our list is The Fighter’s Mind, where brilliant writer Sam Sheridan draws parallels between literal fighting and the adversity and challenges that humans encounter every day. In a sense, everyone is fighting, he explains.
Although not strictly a BJJ book, this text is filled with insightful interviews with famous mixed martial artists such as Marcelo Garcia, Randy Couture, and Dan Gable, among many others.
We highly recommend picking it up if you’re looking for a more cerebral read about fighting in general.
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