When it comes to learning a new skill, there’s nothing like learning from a book. In a sport like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there simply isn’t a replacement for actual training on the mats. However, adding some BJJ Books to your training regimen can prove to be quite beneficial to your learning experience.
Books have a way of speaking to us at another light. They can prove to be a training manual or a set of standards of operating procedures that we can utilize when its time to step into the mats. With BJJ Books, you can really slow down and grasp the theories and lessons behind Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You’ll really start to fully understand the mechanics of our moves better.
Often times we find ourselves training on the mats as frequently as possible, go through BJJ seminars, or watching an online instructional on how to properly execute techniques. But one thing that often neglected is some good old reading! There are a ton of reading material available for you, but they are often neglected. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best BJJ books for beginners.
Best BJJ Books for Beginners
The first on the list is Jiu-Jitsu University. Written by 5th degree BJJ black belt and 6-time world champion Saulo Ribeiro, Jiu-Jitsu University is one of the most sought out BJJ Books for beginners. If you follow BJJ, you probably know the Ribeiro brothers. Both Saulo and his brother Xande are two of the most decorated BJJ athletes and BJJ Hall of Famers. Together they run the University of Jiu Jitsu in San Diego, one of the most prestigious schools out there.
In his book, Saulo Ribeiro highlights several key aspects of BJJ to include multiple BJJ theories, techniques, and attitudes to have in your progression in the art. With over 300 pages of material, he goes into detail on what techniques to learn and focus on at each belt level.
In his guide, Saulo intrinsically goes over a plethora of sweeps and submissions you can do taken at different angles. The book is very well organized and easy to follow. This book is a must have for all BJJ practitioners. No matter your belt level, you’ll find this book to be quite informational in your BJJ Journey.
Mastering Jiu Jitsu is one of the best BJJ Books for beginners out there. Written by BJJ and MMA legend Renzo Gracie alongside one his blackbelt protégé John Danaher, Mastering Jiu Jitsu stands to be a masterpiece of its own. John Danaher is a world famous coach that teaches at the Renzo Gracie Academy in NYC. He is responsible for the infamous Danaher Death Squad, producing elite BJJ athletes like Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, and Eddie Cummings. So when him and Renzo team up to write a book, you simply sit and listen what they’ve got to say!
The book provides some solid concepts and theories in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that is simple and real easy to follow. It goes in depth, even going to great lengths talking about the history of Jiu Jitsu, Vale Tudo, and MMA. Mastering Jiu Jitsu also briefly explains Renzo Gracie’s game, strategies, and techniques that he’s developed in his career.
Danaher and Gracie put together a simple to follow instructional for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. For anyone looking to master the art of Jiu Jitsu, this book is an excellent piece to add to your training regimen. It teaches you a complete set of tactics, what to do and what not to do, the phases of combat and how to attack from each position.
If you follow the Jiu Jitsu scene, you may have heard of Andre Galvao. He has won multiple IBJJF championships and has a few ADCC Championships under his belt. He is easily one of the top BJJ athletes to date! Galvao runs ATOS Jiu Jitsu, one of the best BJJ schools out in San Diego.
The book encompasses Galvao’s message to practitioners everywhere: you need to drill to win. Galvao is a big proponent of continuous drilling of movements to the extent that it becomes second nature to you. Together with co-author Kevin Howell, they share some solid advice on how to properly train in BJJ. Howell is the co-author of Saulo Ribeiro’s University of Jiu Jitsu, and you can certainly tell the way the book is written.
Drill to Win is a perfect complement to the University of Jiu Jitsu. Whatever the book lacks, Drill to Win has got. Galvao and Howell covers some major topics in BJJ to include multiple positions, techniques, attacks, and combinations. It even covers diet, strength, and conditioning for BJJ athletes. Overall the book does a great job at highlighting BJJ in another light with easy to follow instructions.
This one's a classic! Written by the Grandmaster himself, Gracie Jiu Jitsu is quite possibly the most comprehensive BJJ Books for beginners.
Helio Gracie is highly regarded as one of the originators of BJJ. The Gracies are the most influential families when it comes to BJJ and even in Mixed Martial Arts. As you probably know, Helio’s son, Royce Gracie was able to become the first UFC champ, dominating his much larger opponents, which really put BJJ on the map!
Helio Gracie’s Gracie Jiu Jitsu covers everything you need to know about the Gracies, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and everything in between. With over 1300 pages, Helio goes in depth talking about diets, techniques, and philosophies.
Though the book may be a bit dated, as it was written in the earlier days of BJJ, you can really get a feel of the sport in all its essence. It’s truly a work of art and a must have if you are an avid practitioner or a fan of the sport!
Marcelo Garcia is often regarded as the Greatest of All Time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners. He is one of the humblest people you would ever meet, but he is an absolute monster on the mats. He is a 5 time IBJJF World Champ and a 4 time ADCC Champion. His Jiu Jitsu is a thing of beauty. He runs the Marcelo Garcia Jiu Jitsu Academy in NYC - one of the best BJJ Schools in the nation!
In his book, Marcelo covers several aspects of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, covering techniques for both large and small opponents. Advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques details many variations of techniques and how to properly execute them. From arm drags, to attacking the back, attacking the guard, to submitting your opponent, the book covers in great detail how to perform the moves efficiently.
One key highlight that makes Advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques stand out from other BJJ books out there is the takedowns. Marcelo goes in great detail on how to implement a takedown properly and chains of attacks you can do afterwards. It also does a great job explaining how to defend a takedown. Plus most of the techniques he covers easily transfers whether you do Gi or No Gi Jiu Jitsu.
If you are going to learn Jiu Jitsu, why not learn from the best? This book is a must have for those serious about the sport!
There are several ways you can learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You can train at a gym, through private classes, online courses, or through reading BJJ Books. These are some of the best BJJ Books for beginners that are available for you. Keep in mind though that these books aren’t meant to replace your training itself, its only meant as a supplement to increase your knowledge of the art!
These are some of the best BJJ books out there, full of comprehensive knowledge and philosophies by legendary practitioners. They can prove to be a great tool to have in your tool belt to really grasp BJJ as a whole.