Advice on a grappling book

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by ippons sting, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. ippons sting Brown Belt

    Mar 8, 2006
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    Northern England
    Could anyone advise me as to a good book that has no-gi and gi'd jujitsu techniques in?

    Recommendations would be appreciated. thanks for your time.
  2. slideyfoot Artemis BJJ Co-Founder

    Mar 4, 2004
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    Bristol, UK
    I've got a few book reviews (although not all instructionals) up here: will be adding to that later.

    Main one I'd suggest if you're a beginner is Mastering Jujitsu by John Danaher and Renzo Gracie. I've been careful with purchasing any supplemental material for my BJJ training, because I'm conscious of not wanting to get ahead of myself. So a few months into BJJ, Mastering Jujitsu was perfect for me - it doesn't cram a load of techniques down your throat, because it isn't really an instructional book intended to take you through a bunch of moves step by step (though there are a few basic techniques towards the end).

    Instead, I think it works well as an introduction to the sport, doing a good job of explaining the main principles and history. Its always cool to learn more about something you enjoy - I listen to podcasts (especially the Fightworks Podcast) for the same reason. I find that personalising a sport through the acquisition of background knowledge acts as great motivation, which is exactly the function Mastering Jujitsu has served for me.

    In terms of full-on instructional books, then Ed Beneville has produced three excellent volumes: Passing the Guard, The Guard and Strategic Guard. That has plenty of material suitable for beginners, such as the stuff on shrimping at the start of The Guard. The best feature of Beneville's work is that its very well laid out, with multiple angles and logical progressions. Interview with him here.

    You may often hear Eddie Bravo's Mastering the Rubber Guard suggested as an instructional book, and like Beneville's work it is also well laid out. I haven't bothered much with it yet, as its more advanced than the stuff I'm interested in. However, if you've got the basics down and want to add to your nogi game, I'm sure you'll get plenty out of Bravo's book.

    Also, with books and DVD, you need to keep in mind a proviso: they're supposed to supplement training, not form its basis. Especially for beginners, its essential to have an instructor present.

    Unlike a DVD/book/video, an instructor can correct your mistakes (which otherwise you'll continue making and thereby entrain bad habits) and modify their advice depending on your particular situation: bodytype, experience, strength etc. Not to mention you could potentially injure yourself and/or others if there isn't an experienced eye supervising.

    So, your instructor should always be your first port of call if you've got a question: after all, that's what you're paying them for. Always better to get hands-on advice rather than a book/DVD.

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