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Must Read Jiu-Jitsu Books

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

As many of you may know, I am a big reader. I love the written word and how it's used. Additionally I love history, so much so that any time I find a good book about the history of the art or action in general, I'm all for it. When it comes to the personal history of our legends, there just isn't enough out there, so I'm personally starving for more.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite Jiu-Jitsu and Judo books. Not all of them are history based, but Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are themes for each of these books.

If any of you have any that you'd add to the list, please let me know.

Breath: A Life in Flow by Rickson Gracie

I don't normally get super excited about book release dates. I generally read a book when I get to it. This was one of the few that I actually counted down the days for. I am a massive history fan and really wish more Jiu-Jitsu figures would release either documentaries about their lives or write books.

Rickson's strength in the book is that he doesn't paint himself in a great light all the time. He addresses some of his failings are a person, lets you peak into his heartbreaks, and the behind the scenes of the accomplishments that he's become known and respected for.

Fantastic book!!

Worth Defending by Richard Bresler w/Scott Burr

I absolutely loved this book. Not quite sure how I came across it but I was happy to come across it. If you're a fan of history and Jiu-Jitsu history specifically this is a fantastic read. In the book, Grand Master Richard Bresler documents his life studying under Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Rorion Gracie. Taking us through the early garage days all the way up to the early UFC.

If you only choose one from this list, I highly suggest you pick this one up.

Richard is definitely one of the pillars of Jiu-Jitsu in America" - Grandmaster Rorion Gracie

The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin

The Combat Codes is written by Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Alexander Darwin. It follows the journey of young Cego who lives at a time where countries have warrior representatives that resolve national disputes. Try to think of the Roman Coliseum or the UFC Octagon but with national interests being the implications. It's a fantastic book and series.

Falling Hard by Mark Law

Falling Hard follows journalist Mark Law and his adventure through the art of Judo. He picks it up at the age of fifty and falls in love with the sport and it's beautiful culture. The author has a fantastic way of bringing you through the history of the sport and even touches on the art reaching the Gracie family in Brazil.

It's a short fun read, definitely worth getting.

If there are any other book that you would recommend, please do. I'm always looking for more and would love a more recommendations.

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