A couple of years ago I made some suggestions for BJJ themed Bedtime Reading. In a few weeks I’m jetting off on holiday so it makes sense to revisit my list and make some suggestions for what to pop on your kindle, e-reader or even get in paper format!
Last time I did suggest a bunch of technique based book as well as some lighter reading but let’s be honest in the internet age technique books aren’t really fashionable beach reading. Especially as some of classic texts such as Drill to Win by Andre Galvao are worth a fair amount of money now they’re out of print!
Books about BJJ
Don’t Wear Your Gi to the Bar: And Other Jiu-Jitsu Life Lessons – Darryl Cozza and Marshal Carper
I’ll be honest I haven’t read this yet but its on my bedside table ready to go! It’s a few years old now but aims to off a tongue in cheek guide to life on and off the mats.
On Jiu Jitsu – Chris Matakas
This is book that looks at BJJ from a personal development perspective. This book isn’t so much about how to get better at Jiu Jitsu but more about how you are shaped from doing BJJ.
Motivation: Stories on Life and success from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelts – Chuck Rylant
This is a collection of conversations about motivation with twelve black belts, through their achievements but also how they overcame adversity in their life and in BJJ.
Live as a Man. Die as a Man. Become a Man – Enson Inoue
Enson Inoue is a 4th degree black belt in BJJ and has an extensive MMA career including submission victory over UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. This biography tells his story, motivation and shares his on philosophy on life in general. I’ve really enjoyed reading it.
Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor and Me: A Trainer’s Journey – John Kavanagh
I’m not recommending this book due to Connor McGregor but more John’s experience as a BJJ coach and instructor at Straight Blast Gym in Ireland. This book us filled with stories about both him and his fighters journey through the world of MMA.
The Martial Apprentice: Life as a Student of Japanese Jiu Jitsu – Roy Dean
Roy Dean may be better known to readers as a BJJ Black Belt but this book goes back to the start of his BJJ journey as a 16 yr old exchange student in Japan, living in the dojo as an apprentice to a Japanese Jujutsu and Aikido master. It covers what he learnt during that time including his introduction to BJJ. (Plus at the time of writing its available for free on kindle)
Lifestyle / Mindset
The Fighters Mind: Inside the Mental Game – Sam Sheridan
In my last post I mentioned a Fighters Heart which I loved so its no surprise that I’d also recommend the sequel which look more at mindset and secrets of mental strength
Own the Day, Own Your Life: Optimized Practices for Waking, Working, Learning, Eating, Training, Playing, Sleeping and Sex – Aubrey Marcus
I’ll be honest this is on my reading list so I haven’t gotten around to reading it (yet!). Aubrey is the owner of Onnit and the book promises a range of easy reading and entertaining tips and tricks that are simply enough to implement in your daily life.
Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice – Matthew Syed
This book has been around a while but its doesn’t stop it being a good book! Using psychology and science the book explores a range of questions such as “is talent more important than practise?” whilst meeting a range of personalities to try and understand what makes a champion?
I Want Something Different!
Some people want to switch off from the mats too (myself included) so other great reads include:
World War Z – Max Brooks
World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation. (The Zombies Apocalypse!)
The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
The clue is in the title. This book explores both the concept of Psychopaths from a range of perspectives including how to spot them. A surprisingly fastinating read.
Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen – Christopher McDougall
Before I discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I was heavily involved in athletics and trust me there as tribal as any gym of grappler and with similar parallels in their pursuit to improve (both professional and amateur alike)! This book focuses on mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world; in 1993, one of them, aged 57, came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing just a toga and sandals. The author tells his own story whilst asking what it takes to be an incredible runner.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this years selection of book but feel free to share any you’d think my reader or myself would enjoy. I always love to expand my reading list!
NB – in full disclosure the links to these book are Amazon affiliate links and any purchases will support the BJJ Minion blog.