Several times a week, people ask me for resources for beginning BJJ players, or those who are just getting started. I am still a beginner myself, working on strengthening my own fundamentals, but I did manage to narrow down the plethora of BJJ books, DVDs and blos out there to five. In no particular order, here are my personal tried-and-true favorites that are both accessible and detailed.
This list is by no means comprehensive, so if I missed your favorites feel free to add them in the comments.
Jiu Jitsu University is an excellent book written by six-time BJJ World Champion Saulo Ribeiro. The excellent thing about this book is that it’s divided by belt, with the earlier sections of the book focusing on merely survival. The book also illustrates common errors and remedies. It is accessible yet detailed, and will change the way you look at jiu jitsu. A classic.
Roy Dean’s Blue Belt Requirements DVD set. This is an excellent instructional DVD set focusing on fundamentals. Roy Dean, a black belt under Roy Harris, instructs with clarity and precision. He covers positional escapes from mount, escapes from sidemount, follow-up techniques and high percentage sweeps. He also delves into submissions, including many chokes and several armbar variations as well as follow-up strategies. Dean also covers guard passes, base and posture. The second DVD discusses ukemi (or falling/rolling), throws and takedowns–as well as some guidelines. The DVD ends with demonstrations from blue belt tests, competition footage and basic combinations.
Grapplearts is an incredible website, with tons of articles and interviews, a collection of step-by-step techniques, a blog and photos. It is run by Stephan Kesting, a BJJ black belt who’s been practicing martial arts for 25 years.
Beginning BJJ is Kesting’s other blog, in which he provides a free e-course and e-book to help understand the fundamentals of BJJ. Kesting also sells a variety of DVDs and kits (which include DVDs, audio CDs, e-books and more) for beginners or intermediate-level players who want strong basics.
The Gentle Art, by Cane Prevost, is an interesting and free blog focusing primarily on fundamental positions. Prevost is a BJJ coach who lives in Portland, Oregon and trains at Straight Blast Gym. He’s also a high school teacher and very interested in evolving as a coach as well as a student.