History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Theory & Technique. An Book Published in 2001, Renzo and Royler’s title on their family’s style of Jiu Jitsu is one of the best in print.
Largely thanks to the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has seen a considerable surge in recognition within recent years. This is in no small part the work of the Gracie family who took on all-comers. The UFC was actually the brain-child of the Gracies, who used it as a showcase for their skills. Of course, despite being a group of incredibly tough fighters, the major weapon in the Gracie’s arsenal was of course their style of Jiu Jitsu.
Thankfully, for those interested, Renzo and Royler Gracie published a number of their techniques within the title, “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Theory and Technique.” It is a collection of skills that can be made use of in any grappling match. It is organized as follows:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Theory
This section of the book provides a concentration on the evolution of BJJ and how it has come to dominate the grappling world.
- The Current Revolution in the World of Martial Arts – this section explains that the fundamental question asked in all Martial Arts style is how to defeat an opponent that is bigger and stronger. Although there are many answers to that question, the only real way to know is to test each style against each other. This gave rise to the popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts) competition. In these competitions, it quickly became obvious that grappling was far more useful than striking.
- History – this section explains how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came to exist, explaining how Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Judo were exported from Japan and made their way to Brazil, where techniques blossomed under the guidance of the Gracie family.
- Training – explaining the BJJ approach to training is no simple matter but this book does it very well. There are four belt levels in BJJ, and the requirements for each of them are explained, as are the expectations of a student in a regular class, and some of the principles a student will be learning.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Technique
The real meat of the book is held within the technique section. Many skills are laid out in simple English with useful pictures. It’s very easy to understand what is being communicated and the authors never fall into the trap of saying that any one technique is a solution for any particular problem.
- Blue Belt – providing a lesson in basics, this part of the book demonstrates break-falling (rolling) as well as simple chokes, grab escapes and throws. These are the skills that make up the foundation of Jiu Jitsu.
- Purple Belt – once a fighter advances to a purple belt, they can begin to work on more advanced techniques. The book explains transitions, some more challenging sweeps, self-defense techniques and of course, a fair share of counters.
- Brown Belt – at this point, the fighter has quite a bit of experience. This part of the book explains techniques that require more co-ordination to pull off.
- Black Belt – at the most senior level, the BJJ expert will have the skill to use advanced and challenging techniques against an opponent that won’t give in. This part of the book concentrates on some advanced technique, but doesn’t pretend to really explain what a Black Belt is all about.
If one is looking for an introduction to what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all about, or is an expert looking for additional insight on techniques they already know, this book is a fantastic choice. Consistently humble, always concise but detailed, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Theory and Technique is a great publication that should sit on the bookshelf of any Martial Artist or MMA aficionado.