Believe you me, I have expertise in this area due to my obsessive behavior when it comes to knowledge. I went through a phase where I was buying a new Jiu Jitsu book or DVD instructional every week. I couldn’t wait for a new one to show up on the shelf at Barnes and Noble so I could be the first to snatch it up.
It took me years to realize that this isn’t the best way, for me at least, to improve. Instead, I usually just filled my head with technical options, advanced moves, or trick plays, which rarely if ever worked against a skilled opponent. So I went on a binge and sold or gave away most of what I had acquired over many years and many dollars. What was left after the dust cleared were only my top, all-time, most useful, informative, and proven instructionals I came across so far in my journey. Here they are:
#4 Andre Galvao’s Drill To Win
This book is a fantastic resource for daily drills and concepts. What I like best is that in doing the exercises you also gain insight into the specific details that allow a technique to work. A must have.
#3 The Essential Guard
What can I say, thanks to Kid Peligro (I love that name), my guard improved by leaps and bounds. I like how they break down each position and show close ups on the details. This book helped me most because of the concepts explained, not just the actual moves. Does your guard suck? Buy this!
#2 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
My first ever Jiu Jitsu Instructional, thank God. This isn’t a bunch of random techniques thrown together, it’s the (pardon the expression) meat and potatoes of the art itself. Renzo and Royler explore the foundations of BJJ while also showing how they can apply to street self defense, the original purpose of it all. Get this before you explore the tricky stuff.
#1 Jiu Jitsu University
Saulo is one of my heroes. I knew I had to get this book the minute I saw how it was laid out. He begins with only defense and doesn’t even touch submissions until the back few pages. My game shot up tenfold after the first chapter alone. The only downfall is that you can’t hear Saulo’s accent while learning from him out of a book.
#4 Cesar Gracie
Cesar strikes fear in me with his hard-ass teaching demeanor. I love it! Watching these DVD’s early on in my Jiu Jitsu journey helped me understand the aggressive nature of combat. It got me ready for so many things including how to pressure the opponent from all positions. This DVD set will bring out your inner badass.
#3 Demian Maia’s The Science Of Jiu Jitsu
This DVD is worth its price just for the Triangle chapter alone. I started landing tri’s with ease after learning from him. The name says it all, the SCIENCE is what you will learn. This means using your mind instead of brute force to make your Jiu Jitsu experience much more pleasurable while making your opponent miserable.
#2 Saulo (again!)
Jiu Jitsu Revolution is another must-have set. I like how close he is with Rickson and Royler and since we’ll probably never get a Rickson instructional I feel it’s the closest thing to it. Saulo shows both his humorous and his badass side in these DVDs. I personally like the half guard section the best but I get better with each time I explore any of these gems.
#1 Gracie Combatives
Rener is probably the best teacher I’ve ever had in the virtual world. He has a certain demeanor that exudes excellence, confidence, knowledge, and humility. The reason this is number one is because everything you learn in this series WORKS! I urge you to go to their online academy and try the free sample on how to secure the mount. You’ll see your game tighten faster than a Rickson Armbar. -Mike Geronsin