To learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you need to get yourself to the mat and practice. There’s no getting around that. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t get great information from some of the best BJJ books.
There’s a lot of Jiu Jitsu masters who imparted their knowledge and experience in writing. Reading their tips in your downtime can help you catch mistakes you didn’t notice before or pick up a new technique.
These are my picks for the best Jiu Jitsu books to improve your game.
- Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro
- Mastering Jujitsu (Mastering Martial Arts) by Renzo Gracie
- Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Paulo Guillobel
- The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter by Christian Graugart
- Opening Closed-Guard: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil by Robert Drysdale
- Mastering Triangle Chokes by Neil Melanson
- GRACIE JIU-JITSU by Helio Gracie
- Non Stop Jiu-Jitsu by Brandon "Wolverine" Mullins
- The Black Belt Blueprint by Nicolas Gregoriades
- On Jiu Jitsu by Chris Matakas
All of these books bring something different to the table. Some are more focused on history, and others on techniques. Still, I find that reading both angles can enrich your perspective on the sport.
Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro
Guru’s Choice: Best Overall
This book is comprehensive, to-the-point, and covers some of the biggest misconceptions about Jiu-Jitsu. In my opinion, both a new Jiujiteiro and a black belt can learn great techniques from it.
What I Love
- Helps every Belt
- Highlights Do’s and Don’ts
- User-friendly language
Jiu-Jitsu University is one of the most comprehensive guides to the sport out there. It emphasizes both foundational knowledge, and the role of each belt. For example, it gears the white belt’s techniques toward survival and self-defense. You could reread this any time you get a higher belt, and learn something new from it each time.
A lot of people who previously struggled with making the same mistakes started seeing major improvements after reading this book. As one of the most organized and experienced books for BJJ, I highly recommend it no matter what stage you’re in.Check Price
Mastering Jujitsu (Mastering Martial Arts) by Renzo Gracie
Best for: Theory
This book covers the hidden implications for different Jiu-Jitsu positions. If you only know the “how”, this will give you the “why.”
What I Love
- Teaches the history of BJJ
- Theoretical Approach
- Real Fighter Case Studies
Renzo Gracie and John Danaher made this less of a picture manual and more of a theoretical framework. You can learn about the history of BJJ from its Japanese origins and its development in Brazil.
The book puts extra emphasis on self-defense concepts. There’s some mention of strategies and techniques, but you’ll come out of this learning more about the mindset to motivate you going forward.
If you practice BJJ along with other Mixed Martial Arts sports, you’ll enjoy this book. Gracie draws experience from other MMA fighters to give you a diverse, informed approach to understanding the BJJ.Check Price
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Paulo Guillobel
Best For: Motivation
This quick read breaks down BJJ to 21 key elements to focus on your training. It offers a unique perspective to help you see the big picture of the sport past the details.
What I Love
- Down to Earth
- Adaptable Tips
This is one of the best Jiu-Jitsu books because it’s so adaptable to different situations. For example, one of them is The Wet Rug principle, which guides you to use flexibility instead of rigidness to your advantage.
Guillobel’s writing style is approachable as if you were talking to a friend. I’ve heard of a lot of BJJ practitioners who feel like this book has remarkably helped improve their game.
It always helps to keep refreshing your Jiu-Jitsu fundamentals, and this is a great resource to look back on those at any time.Check Price
How To Choose the Best BJJ Book
A great BJJ book can fill in the gaps and blind spots from your gym practice. You can start your search by thinking of what you want to improve on, like grips or positions. Then, find a book from a black belt who specialized in that technique or style.
Different athletes have different approaches, and they can all be right. It’s good to have more than one book handy so you can test different moves and find which works for you. Chewjitsu has a great YouTube video showing you how he uses his favorite BJJ books.
3 Important Factors to Consider when Choosing a BJJ Book
If you’re looking for extra Jiu Jitsu books to fill your library, use these key features to guide your search.
There’s a reason that many practitioners use online videos to learn new techniques. Having a good visual reference is essential to helping you get a grip, sweep, or submission right. If you want a book that’ll give you timeless value, see how many pictures it includes. The more, the better to see the different angles and reasons some moves work.
The best BJJ books will have tips to help you no matter where you are. See if you can find what belt a book’s reviewers are wearing. If they’re all from say, a purple belt, it’ll be easier to gauge if it’ll also fit you.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a challenging sport and it can be frustrating to keep losing against stronger opponents. Some of the best books focus on both the mental game and philosophy of BJJ, in addition to practical techniques. This is great as a motivator for those stretches where it’s just hard to find the energy to train.
Other BJJ Books You Might Consider
Are you looking for something more specific or niche? These books will offer some fun and creative perspectives for your training.
The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter by Christian Graugart
The BJJ Globetrotter is an original, personal journey. It’s one of the most inspiring books on this list.
What I Love
- Inspirational Narrative
- Writing Style
- No Techniques
This inspiring adventure can remind you of why you love BJJ. Graugart does a good job of highlighting some of the most frequent worries that new practitioners might have. For example, it covers thoughts like “am I too old to just start practicing?”
It has a stream-of-consciousness style of writing that might be hard for some to follow. But it makes up for it with a motivational, fun story.Check Price
Opening Closed-Guard: The Origins of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil by Robert Drysdale
Opening Closed-Guard cuts through legends to get to the real, detailed history behind BJJ. It also gives you a view of grandmasters’ perspectives with interviews.
What I Love
- Objective History
- Diverse Perspectives
A lot of people know the narrative of how the Gracie family developed BJJ. They don’t know about all the other figures who were when it began, though.
In this book, you can read interviews with different grappling stars from that era. The research is so meticulous that Drysdale leaves in interviews where people contradict each other’s narratives.Check Price
Mastering Triangle Chokes by Neil Melanson
Don’t look any further for the best book on triangle chokes. This is a go-to book for blue belts and up.
What I Love
- Closed-Guard Focus
- Visual Aid
- Not for White Belts
This book is true to what it’s advertising. I wouldn’t recommend it for white belts because it requires you to have some rolling jargon terms down packed.
Still, it has a world of details to help you visualize the triangle against even your stronger opponents. It does a great job of teaching you one of the most devastating moves in BJJ. Even if you have shorter legs, you can benefit from this.Check Price
GRACIE JIU-JITSU by Helio Gracie
A guide that will make you feel like you’re training under Helio Gracie himself. With 1,000+ images, you’ll have a hand in refining your practice.
What I Love
- Covers the Gracie Diet
- Plenty of Visual Guides
- First-Hand Account
- Presents one philosophy
You may know Helio Gracie as the Godfather of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He passed away in 2009, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from his work. Reading it starts to feel like you’re studying under the grandmaster himself.
This book has tons of illustrations of his own career-making techniques. You can learn about the Gracie Diet in this, alongside tips for how to have courage. We recommend this book to get to the roots of one of BJJ’s biggest figures.Check Price
Non Stop Jiu-Jitsu by Brandon “Wolverine” Mullins
Non Stop Jiu-Jitsu is a newer book with clean, detailed instructions. It approaches fights as game plans instead of isolated techniques.
What I Love
- Great Visuals
- Practical Tips
- Modern Manual
- Text Blocks
A lot of great books on BJJ are more than 15 years old. It’s good to learn from the original masters, but this book offers a modern approach. It has tons of visuals on different techniques from different angles. You’ll get both the most fundamentals and the nitty-gritty covered.
There’s one downside. Some sections have walls of text that are hard to follow. Still, it shows techniques as part of game plans, making it more fun and applicable.Check Price
The Black Belt Blueprint by Nicolas Gregoriades
Nicolas Gregoriades becomes your trainer in this personable, easy guide. Learn about the techniques to train your body to its best instead of overworking it.
What I Love
- Focus on Breathing
- Training Tips
- Only Basics
Nicolas Gregoriades was Roger Gracie’s first black belt, so he uses a lot of his experience to give a personal approach to teaching. It provides a lot of tips to help you train smart, not hard. Those tips include guidance to practice yoga and breathing alongside fundamental BJJ ideas.
It doesn’t explain things like the path through different belts. So, it’s not the best fit for someone advanced in BJJ practice. But if you want to start on something easy and approachable, this is a good blueprint (pun intended).Check Price
On Jiu Jitsu by Chris Matakas
This offers a short read on how to apply BJJ virtues to your life. Chris Matakas offers practical tips to succeed.
What I Love
- Great Perspective
- Quick Read
- Applies to All Belts
- No Technique Guides
This book takes knowledge from the best practices for Jiu Jitsu and looks at how you can use them to become a better fighter and person. For example, you’ll read about ideas like time management, patience, and proactivity.
Chris Matakas is the Black Belt who wrote this book and he imparts more knowledge on his YouTube channel below. In his channel, he covers popular BJJ doubts like “am I too old for this” or “should I quit BJJ”.
If you need mental and spiritual motivation for your practice, this will add a lot of value.Check Price
Online Jiu Jitsu Training
In addition to books, supplementing your BJJ training on the mats with online training sites is very popular these days. Check out my breakdown of the best online BJJ training sites to find one that fits your skill level and budget.
Closing Thoughts on Jiu Jitsu Books
Maybe you were drawn to BJJ because you wanted a fun, competitive sport to stay fit. Or, maybe you wanted to get stronger. For a lot of people, BJJ becomes something that helps them master both technique and their minds.
All of these books give different perspectives from people who have spent years in practice. So if you need something to give you a push, I think you’ll find more than enough from these picks of my best BJJ books.