best bjj books

The Best Jiu Jitsu Books to Help You Learn and Grow in the Sport

Whether you’re a beginner or a black belt, there’s always something to learn about jiu jitsu. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best jiu jitsu books to help you continue your journey in the sport. These books will teach you new techniques, help you improve your skills, and give you an inside look at what it takes to be a successful competitor. If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, then these books are for you!

Why Read Books About Jiu Jitsu?

Why are jiu jitsu books important? Because they provide a way for practitioners to learn new techniques, improve their skills, and gain insights from those who have gone before them. Jiu jitsu books are an essential part of any practitioner’s library because they offer a wealth of knowledge that can be used to improve one’s game.

On Jiu Jitsu by Chris Matakas

On Jiu Jitsu
307 Reviews
On Jiu Jitsu
  • Hardcover Book
  • Matakas, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

In his latest book, Chris Matakas shares the many lessons the gentle art has to offer. He crystallizes the profundity of the art in a way that is engaging and lasting. This book is a must-read for any practitioner of BJJ.

I valued the fact that this book addressed a subject that isn’t covered in technique-based instructional books on martial arts shelves these days. I’m well aware of the mental side of jiu-jitsu’s importance. Not only that, but how BJJ may serve as a vehicle for personal growth and a miniature reflection of life.

Professor Chris is a very dedicated student of learning in every way possible. He has a lot of great insights on life that can’t be taught in school. He is a thinker, an intellectual, and an excellent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Throughout the book he provides great advice on how to improve oneself on the mat and as a person. His greatest strength, in my opinion, is his ability to break down his philosophy on life and make it accessible. This book is essential for those that practice BJJ. If you don’t train, this book will still have a major influence on your development of proactive behavior, efficient use of time, and overall improvement as a person.

Drill to Win by Andre Galvao

Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
110 Reviews
Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Galvao, Andre (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 292 Pages - 08/10/2010 (Publication Date) - Victory Belt Publishing (Publisher)

Andre Galvao is one of the most successful competitors in jiu jitsu history. He has won numerous titles, including multiple world championships. Even after reading all of the reviews, I still couldn’t figure out what the heck this book was about. What are these “exercises” exactly? Partner activities were mentioned by some, while others claimed it was a bodybuilding text. Huh?! So for your sake, here’s a breakdown…

It’s a conditioning book!

The exercises are meant to work the same muscles you would use when grappling. This means that there are exercises that help with balance, strengthening your core, adding speed and heightening your reflexes. You might recognize some of these exercises from class warm-ups. The goal of partner drills is to help you get used to pushing and pulling weight as you go for certain moves, like Omoplatas, arm bars, sweeps, etc.

The book would work great for instructors who want to structure their classes. The individual can do the solo drills from home or during downtime before or after class. But the partner drills require a gym and a partner. Overall, I think it is a good addition to your library.

For more on the author, YouTube the show “Rolled Up.” There’s a whole episode on Andre Galvao. You can check out his fight against Martin Suarez to see his dexterity in action.

Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro

Jiu-Jitsu University
4,086 Reviews
Jiu-Jitsu University
  • Ribeiro, Saulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 11/17/2008 (Publication Date) - Victory Belt Publishing (Publisher)

Saulo Ribero is a fifth-degree black belt and one of the most technical instructors in the world. In Jiu-Jitsu University, he shares his years of knowledge and experience in a single volume. Ribeiro is a highly respected instructor, and his book is widely considered to be one of the best jiu jitsu books available.

Ribeiro breaks down each position, providing step-by-step instructions for each move. He also offers advice on how to troubleshoot common problems that arise during training. This book is essential for anyone who wants to improve their jiu jitsu game. He covers everything from the basic principles to more advanced techniques. He provides clear instructions and helpful illustrations throughout.

Studying the book has helped me understand how to stay safe when playing defense and how to avoid making mistakes that can let my opponent score. The book is presented in a very logical, easy-to-understand way that builds on itself. This has helped me understand what my opponent is trying to do in different positions. It has also helped me understand which positions are better or worse for me. Finally, it has reinforced my understanding of what I need to do to escape my opponent’s moves. This has also given me great questions to ask when I go to class.

The Black Belt Blueprint by Nicolas Gregoriades

The Black Belt Blueprint: An Intelligent Approach to...
548 Reviews
The Black Belt Blueprint: An Intelligent Approach to...
  • Gregoriades, Nicolas (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 02/07/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform...

If you’re looking to improve your jiu jitsu game, The Black Belt Blueprint is an excellent place to start. Written by Nicolas Gregoriades, a black belt under Renzo Gracie, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the art of jiu jitsu.

Nicolas is a South-African grappler and was the first person to receive a black belt from Roger Gracie. Roger Gracie is, for those that don’t know, a legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor in the history of the sport, with more world titles than anyone else.

Nic has been called a philosopher of the jiu-jitsu world because of his thoughtful writing about the sport and martial art on the Internet. He also approaches jiu-jitsu not just as a competition or physical activity, but as a spiritual journey. I believe this is one of the finest books on learning jiu-jitsu that I’ve ever read. And yet, there isn’t a single technique mentioned in the book.

Beginning with the basics and progressing to more advanced techniques, Gregoriades covers everything you need to know to become a black belt. He also provides helpful tips on training and competing, as well as advice on how to deal with common problems.

The Black Belt Blueprint is an excellent resource for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike. Gregoriades’ clear and concise writing style makes it easy to understand even the most complex techniques, and his wealth of experience ensures that you won’t find a more comprehensive guide to jiu jitsu anywhere else.

I’ve found that Nicholas has a very spiritual and theoretical approach to jujitsu. He has clearly been influenced by some of Bruce Lee’s ideas, including Jeet Kune Do. He also believes in integrating yoga into your jujitsu training as a means of balancing out your body (something I completely agree with).

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique by Renzo and Royler Gracie

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Renzo Gracie is a world champion Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. He has won two world championships in Abu Dhabi and two Brazilian national championships. He also teaches at an elite martial arts academy. His brother Royler Gracie is also a world champion fighter. He has competed in the Black Belt ranks for 20 years and won the world title four times.

This book was a great purchase because it shows BJJ for beginners, not too technical. There are many pictures along with written explanations which allow you to see step by step how to do what is described in-depth without being overwhelmed or bored from having read one paragraph explaining the whole technique! The author also provides scenarios similar enough that if someone were watching them practice their moves on an actual opponent, this would be perfect footage of what they could expect against said bully (defense techniques such as 2 handed chokes; single-handed wrist grabs etc.). You’ll find much more than just those few examples though: he covers all levels & styles within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – even some pro tips!

I would recommend this to anyone starting out in BJJ or any other grappling martial art. It’s a great addition to your arsenal whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been training for years.

Advanced Brazilian Jiujitsu Techniques by Marcelo Garcia

Advanced Brazilian Jiujitsu Techniques
62 Reviews
Advanced Brazilian Jiujitsu Techniques
  • Garcia, Marcelo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 11/15/2011 (Publication Date) - Victory Belt Publishing (Publisher)

Marcelo Garcia is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter in the world. In his book, “Advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” he breaks down his unique system of techniques that have allowed him to be a five-time BJJ World Champion and a four-time ADCC Submission Grappling World Champion. The techniques in his system are practical and guaranteed to work on opponents both large and small.

If you are looking to improve your grappling skills, “Advanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” is a great resource. It provides clear instruction and detailed photographs to help you learn and apply Marcelo’s unique system of techniques. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fighter, this book will help you take your grappling game to the next level.

If you want to improve your standing game in BJJ, then you should read this book. The author goes over what wrestlers have been doing for a long time, but might be new information for BJJ practitioners. I’d been doing the same mistakes and ineffective techniques for a long time, but once I started reading his part on arm drags, everything changed: you’re already on his back if you get it right. Passing guard is for suckers.

As noted elsewhere, Marcelo only goes over a few techniques, but he goes into the details and variations. A mind map of his aggressive game is included. The prefaces of each chapter are nicely written and enjoyable in of themselves, elaborating on his fighting philosophy and reasoning behind his method and technique choices.

Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Paulo Guillobel

Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian...
857 Reviews
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian...
  • Guillobel, Paulo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 06/01/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform...

If you want to take your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills to the next level, then you need to read Paulo Guillobel’s Mastering the 21 Immutable Principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This book goes deep into the principles that underlie all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. By understanding these principles, you will be able to see the hidden details in any technique and also understand why that technique is being used.

This book isn’t going to teach you flashy moves or recent trendy submissions. It will teach you fundamental concepts that you can learn and apply to survive and grow in jiu jitsu. I’ve been able to implement many of the ideas he presents in this book to improve my defense and attacks against my sparring partners. I would suggest this book to anybody looking for a introduction into jiu jitsu before any other text full of specialized techniques. You may begin learning about space, timing, leverage, and other fundamentals before getting caught up on unnecessary details. A fantastic read.

Becoming the Black Belt by Roy Dean

Becoming the Black Belt: One Man's Journey In Brazilian...
189 Reviews
Becoming the Black Belt: One Man's Journey In Brazilian...
  • Dean, Roy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 236 Pages - 02/06/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform...

Roy Dean, a black belt who is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, goes over the difficulties he experienced in learning the advanced art. The lessons he learned are the lessons he wants to share with you, from early competition experiences in Southern California to running a world-class school and blogging about it online. For martial arts professionals and serious students of the path, this is an essential read.

This is an interesting glimpse behind the scenes of one of BJJ’s most creative and successful instructors. It will be especially interesting to anyone who is considering becoming a teacher of this art (or any martial art, really).

Many people are familiar with Professor Dean as a highly accomplished martial artist, with black belts in BJJ, Judo, and other jiu jitsu styles. This book not only recounts part of that fascinating tale, but it also offers an inside look at Roy’s other interests, including his many creative efforts. The reader will quickly comprehend that Roy’s artistic talents extend far beyond the realm of martial arts. With his experience as a professional audio and visual artist, it is no surprise that Roy’s DVDs were so captivating to watch and set new standards for BJJ instructional materials. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that Roy’s work in BJJ instructional materials forever changed the way that genre is viewed.

This book should be extremely appealing to those interested in becoming a martial arts instructor, as Roy’s tale highlights several of the unique and frequently unanticipated problems encountered while working in that profession. One would do well to read this book and draw inspiration from Roy’s unique viewpoint.

Breathe: A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie

Breathe: A Life in Flow
3,713 Reviews
Breathe: A Life in Flow
  • Hardcover Book
  • Gracie, Rickson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Although Rickson didn’t graduate high school, he has a PhD in the Game of Life. Rickson Gracie is a real Samurai, and his contribution to his family’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is one of the finest. There are so many facts about him and his family’s history in the book that I didn’t know. His book about his life will inspire you, whether you practice jiu-jitsu or not.

Breathe: A Life in Flow is Rickson’s autobiography, which covers not only his early family life and heritage, but also his MMA career and life in the United States and Japan. It also explains how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born.

There are several photographs of Rickson and the Gracie family, as well as a foreword written by Jocko Willink, one of the other authors featured in this piece.

5 Rules for White Belts by Chris Matakas

5 Rules for White Belts
371 Reviews
5 Rules for White Belts
  • Matakas, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 118 Pages - 01/31/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

This is an ESSENTIAL READ for anyone who is new to jiu jitsu or just wants to learn something different or new about teaching white belts in jiu jitsu. To be honest, this book was written with the intention of being useful to white belts, but many of the concepts discussed in it would also be beneficial to people involved in jiujitsu and martial arts. All of that sounds excellent, doesn’t it? What’s even better is that the ideas presented in this book will undoubtedly bleed over into everyday life.

If you’re seeking for a book that explains the ideal attitude of a white-belt in jiu jitsu, this is it. This is not a book about techniques or rear naked chokes. There are other volumes on the market that cover those topics. This is about developing the mindset, ideas, and perspective needed to have a successful and pleasurable j Jiu Jitsu career utilizing five simple rules.


  1. Always Remember You’re A Work In Progress
  2. Narrow Your Immediate Focus
  3. Learn To Learn
  4. Be Grateful For Your Team Mates
  5. Jiu Jitsu Is The Vehicle For Something More 

There are some concepts that will help you improve your mindset when it comes to jiu jitsu. These concepts are easy to understand and apply, but they are very important and can make a big difference.

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