Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Theory and Technique by Royler and Renzo Gracie - January, 2006

The best thing about this book is that it really doesn't date as I suggest in the review. It stays a great reference and introduction for the beginner to become acquainted with BJJ. And, it's by (probably) the two most respected competitors in the Gracie family.


For All Beginners and Intermediates

This book is just beginning to get a little dated, now. However, it is still a great resource for the beginner or intermediate jiu jitsu practitioner. Or for the new coach who needs some help knowing what to teach and when.

Royler and Renzo getting together is a great thing. These Gracies are cousins and from different schools. Renzo from the Carlos Gracie / Gracie Barra lineage and Royler fromn his father Helio's school. Nowadays, these schools seem to have a different focus from one another, but the book shows the common ground present in the fundamentals.

The book opens with discussions of history and philosophy. The whys of the book and the value of jiu jitsu to the practitioner. Honestly, this information is largely available elsewhere on the net and is not the reason to buy this book.

The beginning of the technical section discusses rank and how and when it is attained. Again, this information is a little dated, if not inaccurate.

The section that is really worth it, is the technique section. The fundamental techniques are shown in the order they should be learned. This is accomplished in a fashion that would help the reader remember what they learned in class, as opposed to learning the techs for themselves. This is due to the lack of details and lesser photography than you'll find in the newer books.

The book is designed with the idea of showing techniques typical to each of the belt levels. The intent is not delivered as the later techniques are still learned by white and blue belts. I suppose, though, that it is at the purple and brown belt levels that the student really finds his or her way with them. I'll let you know when I get there.

As a new coach, I find myself referring to this book to assess where my students are and what they should be working on. It is a fantastic resource for session planning and the technique explanations remind me of just what needs to be concentrated on when teaching.

The book gets 4 stars as the market has moved on to bigger and better things. That said, the book is well worth your attention.

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