BJJ is an amazing martial art that you can use for self-defense or compete in tournaments. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that the best BJJ documentaries have come out. Here are 10 of the best BJJ documentaries so far!
The best BJJ documentaries provide an in-depth look at the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, from its origins to the modern day. These best BJJ documentaries also cover a diverse range of martial arts disciplines and styles that have helped shape this amazing sport into what it is today! The best part? You don’t need cable or even a streaming service to watch these best jiu-jitsu docs. They’re all available online for free – so let’s get started watching some great content!
ROLL: Jiu-Jitsu In SoCal
This is a really crazy great documentary and one I just had to start with. It’s beautifully put together, has some of the best BJJ practitioners in South California (and their names are Chris Haueter, Buchecha), as well as plenty more who you might not know about! In contrast to that, it was Torrance where Rorion Gracie opened up his first garage, so this geographic region played an integral part when spreading Jiu-Jitsu worldwide from there on out – which gives valuable insights into everything related to both these elite athletes AND your everyday practitioner like me.
“The Gentle Art of Travel” – BJJ Globetrotters Documentary
Stay active and happy on the road! Traveling is full of beautiful moments, but it can be hard to stay focused. Sometimes you need some downtime to relax and re-energize. The Gentle Art of Travel – BJJ Globetrotters Documentary is for people who love traveling, training Jiu-Jitsu, camaraderie at camps all over the world, partying (sorry about that), or want to learn more about this crazy world that only a few of us will ever see with our own eyes.
Choke – A Rickson Gracie Documentary
Choke is a documentary that follows BJJ legend, Rickson Gracie as he prepares for and competes in the 1995 Vale Tudo Japan competition. It explores his mindset, preparation, and training leading up to the event while also following him during the competition. Choke provides some valuable insight into Rickson’s philosophy on life, combat sports, and everything else in between.
Jiu-Jitsu vs. The World
The Jiu-Jitsu vs. The World documentary gives a deep intro to the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and what it can do for you, whether that’s for self-defense, competition, or living the BJJ lifestyle. The purpose of jiu-jitsu is to differentiate itself from other forms of grappling arts like Judo because, unlike Judo, which focuses primarily on throwing an opponent to the ground, Brazilian jiu-jitsu uses “submissions” as its focus with full intention wasn’t worrying about pinning an opponent to the mat. Renzo Gracie, Rigan Machado, and Eddie Bravo all make appearances in this renowned classic.
Eddie Bravo: Building An Empire
Eddie Bravo is the innovator behind the Rubber Guard and the founder of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. Building An Empire gives you an inside look into his thoughts on jiu-jitsu, MMA, and what drives him to do all that he does.
While the other two parts of this documentary are only available on the FloGrappling website, this first episode is still a great watch.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – The Great Ego Destroyer
Workout your mind and body through the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where personal growth is just as important as fitness or combat. Discover why BJJ is addictive for people looking to push their limits and explore new ways of living. Turn fear into bravery, rejection into understanding, violence into compassion towards others and oneself. The ego destroyer will show you new techniques to let go of the bad habits that are holding you back in life, showing up at class each week to train with other like-minded individuals who share similar goals and ambitions that make way for synergies.
This documentary by David Torres Labansat talks about personal growth through jiu-jitsu. Unlike many of the other documentaries on this list, it explores the everyday practitioners who train each week and discusses their experiences with BJJ, including learning, competing, ego, and the philosophy of BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), all to see why trainers like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or “the gentle art that has been captivating us for centuries!”
Franjinha and the House of Paragon
Everybody loves a good underdog story. This documentary about the life of Jiu-Jitsu coach and competitor Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller is an inspiring one: from his early days in Brazil to his move to the USA and co-founding Paragon Academy, we get a glimpse at how he has overcome various challenges. A must-see for any martial artist, aspiring athlete, or career changer, this inspiring film is loaded with interviews from students who share their thoughts on Miller’s unique teaching style and successful coaching techniques.
Renzo Gracie Legacy
Renzo Gracie is one of the most iconic figures in martial arts, not only because of his immense skill but also for the legacy he’s left on the sport. This documentary explores how Renzo Gracie became so respected in MMA circles. Learn about his relationship with brother Ryan, who unfortunately passed away due to a gunshot wound, and encounter some of his most legendary matchups, including Pride 1 & 2, Pride Bushido, and International Fight League.
Rolled Up with BudoVideos is the hidden gem in the jiu-jitsu video world. It’s a series where Jake, CEO of BudoVideos, travels to interview various BJJ legends and learn from them. Whether it be technique masterclasses or just basic interviews, they are high quality at all times. The latest episodes are almost mini-documentaries where Jake learns techniques, interviews his guest, and often rolls with the guest for the episode.
As mentioned above, the guests are also world-class, with Jake filming episodes with greats like Marcelo Garcia, Royler Gracie, Robert Drysdale, the Ribeiro brothers, Braulio Estima, and many more.
Unfortunately, the last Rolled Up episode was posted two years ago, but there’s still plenty of previous great episodes to watch.
The Saint of Crackland
Imagine a documentary following a jiujitsu project in the worst neighborhood on earth. Ryan Ford is brought to Brazil and thrown straight into Cracolandia, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on Earth, where Brazilian youth are exposed to drugs and crime from an early age. Seeing firsthand how this area impacted those around him and his own spiritual journey as he learned more about the power of jiujitsu, Ryan became ultimately convinced that this was something he needed to share with the world. “The Saint of Crackland” contains footage detailing both his travels to Brazil (with English subtitles) and interviews with volunteers who work in local social programs like a redemptive sport for children living in marginalized communities throughout Sao Paulo.
It explores how the project was started and interviews Lael Rodrigues, the key instructor behind it, plus the young Brazilians who train jiu-jitsu through the project.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu In-Action Vol. I
Watch the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu story as it has never been told before. Experience all those legendary fights, like when Rorion Gracie encountered Jason De Lucia and the famous beach brawl in Rio De Janeiro that really put this style of fighting on the map. What makes these old-school battles so great is not just how intense they are (you’ll definitely sweat), but also because you get a sense of what life was like during those days: hard and gritty. And incredibly fascinating…
Invisible Force – Jiu-Jitsu Documentary
Tony Pacenski is a black belt under Rodrigo Medeiros. He covers many interesting things in his documentary, mostly in terms of the teachings of invisible Jiu-Jitsu by Rickson Gracie. Tony goes into detail about concepts like connection and how it links all aspects together and covers the story of his journey to becoming a professional grappler. Find out more about Rickon Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation and many other engaging topics with Invisible Force!
Jiu-Jitsu vs. the World
This documentary emphasizes the many regular Joe’s training around the world. It highlights schools across the US and how jiu-jitsu is changing lives for the better. The movie shows people overcoming everything from bullying to abuse or even addiction problems.
It’s a feel-good film that can be shown to parents as a fairly “safe” introduction of self-defense methods, which they’ll likely come away from feeling positive about their kids’ new hobby.
Arte Suave (Part 1 & Part 2)
Arte Suave is a documentary-style video magazine celebrating the 2000’s BJJ training culture. It was shot in two volumes and focused on the likes of Daniel Moraes, Carlos Gracie Jr., Marcelo Garcia, André Galvão, Roger Gracie, and Royler Gracie, to name but a few.
One of the best things about Arte Suave is a large amount of footage of each of these athletes rolling and training. There are also some technique videos sprinkled in throughout.
Kurt Osiander – My Goal Is Not Just To Teach You Jiu-Jitsu
Kurt Osiander is an interesting character in the BJJ world, with a colorful life and an excellent YouTube channel filled with many technique videos.
This documentary by Stuart Cooper is from 2014, so it doesn’t show Osiander’s current situation after he stopped teaching at Ralph Gracie’s academy, but it’s still an interesting watch. It’s a deep dive into his start in jiu-jitsu and his approach to teaching, his thoughts on the future of BJJ, and even his artistic side creating tattoos.
Anatomy Of A Fighter – The Way Of Jiu-Jitsu Mini-Series
Anatomy of a Fighter is a documentary about BJJ, MMA, and boxing. It is a feature-type style of movie, focusing on the fighters, their coaches, how they train, and why they love doing what they do. Expect to see the likes of Rashad Evans, Cyborg Abreu, Royce Gracie, Cobrinha, Randy Couture, Kamaru Usman, Evander Holyfield, and many more. A crazy good documentary!
Brave New World – A Short Jiu-Jitsu Film
This video is about some of the most difficult times for a BJJ practitioner. There are few things more rewarding than helping out those who have served our country and seen life in a way that not many people will ever understand, but this can also be one of the toughest things to do if you want to practice good jiu-jitsu yourself. This short film aims to cover ways BJJ practitioners can help veterans with PTSD, something I’ve always been passionate about. Watch it, and then let jiu-jitsu change your life too.