Book Review of Jiu-Jitsu University By: Saulo Ribeiro
I have read a lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructional books and in my opinion one of the best is Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. Many books on the market are jam packed with different submissions, which is a good thing if you already know a bit about jiu-jitsu, however if you are just beginning then you really don't need to know submissions yet.
Jiu-Jitsu University is different from other bjj books, because the first section (white belt chapter) only covers surviving the different positions you will be put in during your training. Ribeiro talks about how a white belt is going to have to learn to survive each and every day in class, so that's why the first chapter focuses on this topic.
The second chapter of the book (blue belt chapter) only covers escapes from the various positions. In the beginning of this chapter he talks about how "survival leads to escape". Learning to escape is very important as a beginner, because it is guaranteed that the upper belts are going to get you in the various positions and as a beginner you are going to want to know how to escape so you can achieve a better position.
The next chapter (purple belt chapter) covers the various guards found in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Students will learn the mechanics of the different guards and how to sweep and control their opponent in order to improve position.
The brown belt chapter is all about passing the guard. If you cannot pass your opponent's guard then you cannot improve your position and submit your opponent or escape harm (should you need to). This chapter is one of the largest in the book and covers a lot of information.
Finally once you have reached the black belt chapter you will get into submissions. I really like this, because while reading I was focused on the more intricate and technical aspects of the art and not just learning a cool new submission. This chapter is quite small, but that's okay, because it covered the fundamental submissions that one should learn prior to getting into the more difficult ones.
This book is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great manual they can use over and over again. As with any book, it is not a substitute for proper, qualified instruction. Books are great tools to supplement your training, but you should always search out an instructor.
Jiu-Jitsu University can be purchased at most book stores. If you buy it new you are looking at paying around $45. I would recommend going to Amazon.com or Half.com and trying to find it on sale.