The Best BJJ Books

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.

Product
Guru's Choice
Jiu-Jitsu University
Best for Theory
Mastering Jujitsu (Mastering Martial Arts)
Best for Motivation
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The Ultimate Handbook for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Students
Product Name
Jiu-Jitsu University
Mastering Jujitsu
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles
Guru's Rating
10
9
9
Guru's Choice
Product
Jiu-Jitsu University
Product Name
Jiu-Jitsu University
Guru's Rating
10
More Information
Best for Theory
Product
Mastering Jujitsu (Mastering Martial Arts)
Product Name
Mastering Jujitsu
Guru's Rating
9
More Information
Best for Motivation
Product
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The Ultimate Handbook for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Students
Product Name
Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles
Guru's Rating
9
More Information

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.

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.

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Jiu-Jitsu University
Jiu-Jitsu University is a training manual covering more than 200 techniques. Author Saulo Ribeiro is a six-time BJJ World Champion sharing his methods for the first time in this book.

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.

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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.”

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Mastering Jujitsu
Renowned Jiu-Jitsu coach Renzo Gracie teaches you the theory of great BJJ practitioners. You'll learn key strategies to improve your practice from the best.

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.

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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.

Mastering The 21 Immutable Principles Of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Black belt Paulo Guillobel shares key principles he's discovered over 26 years of training in BJJ. These principles are memorable for long-term practice.

What I Love

  • Brief
  • 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.

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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.

Pictures

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. 

Your Belt

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.

Philosophy

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.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Globetrotter
After losing a training partner, Graugart takes a 140-day journey around the world. Through his story, he sheds light on the mind and community unifying the love for BJJ.

What I Love

  • Inspirational Narrative
  • Funny 
  • Adventurous 

What’s Meh

  • 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.

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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.

Opening Closed-Guard
Learn about the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from their primary sources. Opening Closed-Guard is the story behind a documentary in progress.

What I Love

  • Well-Researched
  • Objective History
  • Diverse Perspectives

What’s Meh

  • Complex

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.

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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.

Mastering Triangle Chokes
American Sports Coach Neil Melanson teaches you how to master the triangle choke submission in any situation. With 2000 photos and colorful language, it'll entertain and prepare you for the next level.

What I Love

  • Comprehensive
  • Closed-Guard Focus
  • Visual Aid

What’s Meh

  • 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.

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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.

GRACIE JIU-JITSU
One of BJJ's first creators shares his techniques, diets, and mindset in this comprehensive book. You'll learn moves to develop the most simple but effective tools from a strong legacy.

What I Love

  • Covers the Gracie Diet
  • Plenty of Visual Guides
  • First-Hand Account 

What’s Meh

  • 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.

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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.

Non Stop Jiu-Jitsu
BJJ World Champion Wolverine and Black Belt Stephan Kestan offer a fresh, comprehensive guide to BJJ practice. Ideal is a practical book for both beginner and advanced Jiujiteiros.

What I Love

  • Great Visuals
  • Practical Tips
  • Modern Manual

What’s Meh

  • 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.

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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.

The Black Belt Blueprint
The Black Belt Blueprint boils complex BJJ tricks down to its fundamentals. Gregoriades touches on how mental tools like breathing can help you succeed.

What I Love

  • Focus on Breathing
  • Training Tips
  • Newbie-Friendly

What’s Meh

  • 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).  

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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.

On Jiu Jitsu
On Jiu Jitsu is 116 pages that reveal how BJJ is a tool for personal development. It gets straight to the heart of the sport with values that both the practitioner and observer can learn.

What I Love

  • Great Perspective
  • Quick Read
  • Applies to All Belts

What’s Meh

  • 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.

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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.

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