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Jiu-Jitsu University Paperback – November 17, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Saulo Ribeiro is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. Ribeiro, along with his jiu-jitsu achievements, is a lawyer and judge and now head instructor at the world-famous University of Jiu-Jitsu based in San Diego, CA.

Kevin Howell is a political science professor based in Huntington Beach, CA. He holds a brown belt in judo and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing; First Edition edition (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981504434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981504438
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fairly comprehensive survey of the basics, covered in a belt-by-belt perspective. The photographic quality is emblematic of the new style of MA tutorials, with clear pictures, and techniques portrayed from multiple perspectives in a top-down, linear fashion. It's the same style used in Couture's "Wrestling for Fighting" and several other recent works.

There are scads of GJJ books on the market, so I will only cover what makes this one different from the rest. One noticeable difference is in the belt pedagogy. In the Gracie books, the techniques assigned to belt levels (if at all) are often apparently randomly selected and organized. Ribeiro, on the other hand, assigns a principle goal of each belt, and then organizes techniques in accordance with the goal. The main thing to realize is that many (most?) classes put defensive techniques and offensive techniquest together at each belt level, with proficiency, as well as learning some advanced techniques, being the key to getting the belt. Ribeiro, on the other hand, groups like techniques. Therefore, the reader's class will likely be out-of-step with this book. Ribeiro is presenting a pedagogy, not an encylopedia of techniques, so if you're considering this book, keep that in mind.

Amazon won't let you see the TOC yet, so I will break the chapters down.

White belt: The goal is "survival," which seems completely reasonable to me, at least as a focus. This chapter covers the correct positions to attain and to hold while you're under another player's mount (top, side, back, etc.). Ribeiro lists the mistakes he thinks players typically make when defending against submissions in these positions, and some of his techniques are slightly different from what I've seen taught elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
I have not much basis of comparison with other bjj books, however, I have seen plenty of instructionals and done my share of googling.

The thing I love about this book is Saulo's core premise - get good at defense first. In fact, get good at knowing what to do in the very worst positions first (e.g. under mount, under side control, under knee on belly, etc). After you know how to survive under those positions, learn how to escape. After you know how to escape those, learn what to do from guard (the best of the worst positions). After you know what to do from guard, learn how to pass it. After you can laze around all day in a superior position, learn how to submit. Hell, as long as you have dominant position and can hold it, you will win on points. In a real fight, you would be pounding on your opponent anyway, requiring little real finesse.

I came to this realization very early in my bjj career - I hated being smothered, I hated that it was difficult to escape, so it was crucial to learn how to escape. I did not even make the connection that there were survival skills to learn (e.g. what SR covers in his white belt section, or how to not get submitted while under dominant positions and spend minimum energy doing so) other than escapes. But now thanks to this book I realize that these skills have a fundamental importance - even more so than escapes. So it is gratifying to read something from a several time world champion who says basically the same thing, and extends my understanding.

Get good at the defense, and you will be like one of those weighted punching balloon dolls, always somehow rising to the top, causing your opponent endless frustration and demoralization.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a decent blue belt when I was told about this book,,,,
I studied the white and blue chapters religiously
then my defense got solid, the other whites. blues. purple browns could no longer finish me, only the good black belts.
This opens the door to ESCAPING!!
I then worked on escapes and sweeps, NO LONGER WORRYING about being tapped out. The escapes, sweeps and counters got better and then I was in position to submit others.
I am now a purple on the verge of getting a brown, in less than 4 years, training with world, adcc, pan am champions.
The GAME is now at my feet, it is so much fun and only getting better
This book is great in its ability to define what each belt needs to be working on, I call it the "BJJ Job Description", tell me my job in detail and i will work my ass off...

THANKS you to Saulo!

BUY it and study it daily, and you to will see how much fun BJJ can be,
best part is I am 45 years old. hanging with the younger stronger kids...lol
Black is now a reality...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If this is not the best book on Jiu-Jitsu then I want to buy whatever is better.

Everyone has pretty much given the run-down on this superb book so I will just touch on a few points that are of particular importance to me:

The breakdown by CHAPTER==BELT COLOR==GOAL, e.g., white=survival, blue=escape, is ESPECIALLY useful for those just starting jiu-jitsu or those teaching.

The white belt "survival postures" and the blue belt escapes from those postures are worth the cost of the book alone. Saulo Ribeiro has managed to keep the survival postures to a minimum (even for side mount where there are numerous top pinning styles and arm positions) and they all seem to work off the same principals and even a similar pattern.

Frequently, Ribeiro shows a better (according to him and his also multi-time world champion brother Xande [shandee]) way to do common techniques, and also shows the common mistakes including what is wrong with the usually given methods for that same technique.

This book immediately made me almost happy to have my back taken (by a similarly experienced and sized opponent) since the very simple defenses and escapes to those positions worked on the first try even though I messed up some of the details. (Really! -- my training partner is a bit stronger, heavier, younger than I am and he has quite a bit of judo training, but he can no longer hold me FROM THE BACK.)

Although the book stands alone, it is especially useful if you have any of Saulo Ribeiro's Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 1 or 2, or Freestyle Revolution DVD sets.
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