In this final installment of the 2012 GiReviews Holiday Gift Guide, we’ll chat about one of my favorite Instructional tools: BOOKS!
I’m also a giant supernerd and reading is probably my favorite thing in the world besides training Jiu Jitsu.
In case you missed our Gift guides for gis, nogi bjj gear, or bjj DVDs, make sure you check them out!
Without further adieu, here are some amazing BJJ books that I’d highly recommend you check out:
And be sure to check out the bonus section at the end for a few amazing books that aren’t directly BJJ-related, but have made my life infinitely better!
Jiu Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro
In my opinion this is the best primer on the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have found the way the curriculum is organized, as well as the theory behind the organization, to be essential to the proper development of a BJJ student.
An insane amount of colorful photos and some of the best instruction I’ve ever seen in text. Also, Jiu-Jitsu University is filled with a lot of great stories and was a great continuation of the awesome stuff that I saw of Xande and Saulo in the Arte Suave documentary.
Drill to Win by Andre Galvao
I think once you’ve been training BJJ for 6months+ you start to realize that drilling is the key to success. Sure, rolling is great, and a necessary part of getting better, but if you really want to get better, you must drill. And you must drill intentionally.
To date, the best resource I’ve found for drills has been this book. I still constantly pull from it and use it to run my early Saturday morning drilling sessions.
My favorite part is that it includes partner drills, but also a LOT of solo drills that I have found to really make a difference in a part of my game that I didn’t even know was lacking: balance!
BJJ Globetrotter by Christian Graugart
I followed Christian’s BJJ Globetrotter blog from it’s planning stages until the final day. The book includes all of those adventures and more. It’s an amazing read for anybody looking to make their BJJ dreams a reality. It also really sheds some light on everybody’s fear of travelling abroad, especially people afraid to stay with strangers. I’m sure some crazy things happened with Christian during his travels, but this book serves as a guide AND a VERY entertaining read! I haven’t gotten there yet, but I can’t wait to read about his training with Marcelo Garcia!
Cauliflower Chronicles by Marshal Carper
I think Marshal is a very entertaining writer and this is another great book, along with BJJ Globetrotter, that really inspires me to live life to the fullest. He has a ton of other awesome articles online and I’m a huge fan of his writing and this book stands out as some of his best.
Other books that I’d highly recommend:
Please note: These books have little to directly do with BJJ, but everything to do with being awesome. I would be remiss if I made a book gift guide and didn’t include these!
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – amazing, almost timeless, text about how to treat people.
Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck – Highly recommended not only by me, but by Bear from SYR as well.
4 Hour Work Week / 4 Hour Body / 4 Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss – Health, Wealth, and Wisdom in 3 amazing books. Plus Tim’s a huge BJJ fan (4 Hour Chef, a book more about how to learn than about cooking, is color coded by difficulty blue-purple-brown-black-red) and he’s worked a lot with Dave Camarillo in the past.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell argues that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. It gave me amazing insight as to why hero worship, training like the last BJJ Mundial champion is wrong, and aspiring to be like an outlier is wrong.