- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Victory Belt Publishing; First Edition edition (November 17, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780981504438
- ISBN-13: 978-0981504438
- ASIN: 0981504434
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 550 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jiu-Jitsu University Paperback – November 17, 2008
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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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Overall the book is beautiful, printed on thick paper with large color photos. The book is divided up by belt and the techniques Saulo associated with each belt:
White - Survival, just concentrate on not getting tapped.
Blue - Escaping
Purple - Guard Positions
Brown - Passing the Guard
Black - Submissions
I think his rationale is genius. Everyone's natural talents and skills differ, but I know for me, I spent a whole lot of time in inferior positions when I first started and rarely got the chance to even try for a submission. So reading from a Pro that the art of survival was worth mastering in of itself gave me a great perspective, helped with motivation and setting expectations. It became that much more fun to go train with an eye on mastering survival first and paying my dues before expecting that I would hit submissions and reversals.
His rationale in a nutshell for mastering your survival positions: Once you are confident your opponent cannot tap you, you are more relaxed and this frees up your energy and time to concentrate on escaping, passing, positioning, and submitting.
Saulo points out many details about his survival positions: your preemptive position so that you can safely chill out while in an inferior position - or at least really make the other guy work for the tap.
When I first started, I grappled nearly exclusively in no-gi. Yet, while this book is 100% gi, I would say most of the book's concepts do well for no-gi, save for the submission section which is gi focused of course. The basics are valid for no-gi and gi. For example, escaping with no-gi is just like with gi - it's even easier since there is less friction.
I have to say, some of his points are subtle and are hidden in the photos - I wish these were a little clearer. For example, in his section covering bottom mount survival, he lies slightly on his side [instead of completely on his back] - at first glance, this was imperceptible to me, perhaps because the gi is naturally baggy and so that subtly is lost. That point and other similar points could have been more explicit, perhaps with no-gi complementary photos or written in text. I wish there were bullet points of key points, that would have been great. Overall though, you can glean a lot of information from the photos if you go over them again and again. It's all the little things!
The book is huge. There are many positions and techniques that have never even presented themselves to me yet - he gives you a whole lot to think about and work on week after week.
At least one time in the book, the Point of View of instruction changes from Saulo to his brother - this was VERY confusing to me until I figured out what was going on. In other words, for most of the book, the text is describing what Saulo is doing or should do - then in another technique it switches to Xande's perspective. That's fine to switch it up, but there was no notice to the reader that I can recall. No biggie if you know this.
Now that I've had a bit more experience and have, hopefully, learned a few things, I know some of the techniques taught in the book do not work for me, or just aren't my specialty and I've found other tools that better suit me. Everyone's game is a little different. For example, there are more than a few ways to escape side mount or get the clock choke [ all the little things] and everyone has his favorite particular way that works for him. So Saulo is showing what works for him but it might not work for you. I wouldn't expect any book to show me THE definitive way to do BJJ, but this definitively a worthwhile foundation. My personal example here is that Saulo emphasizes the bridge a whole bunch for his escapes. If you are bottom side mount he would say to bridge, hip escape to make room, then recover guard. I've found this can be difficult if your opponent is a reasonable size bigger than you and really know has to weigh down. The solution is to combo your escape techniques, not just depend on the standard bridge.
Prefacing each chapter is some great writing on his fighting philosophy and some nice stories - great addition to the book and really gives it character and intimacy.
Overall, a solid book. I would give it 5 stars if there were more text on individual techniques in the form of bullet points and the switch between Saulo and Xande was absent.
The Survival chapter is worth the price of the book itself. Beginners would do well to get this book just for that section.
Chapter 1 (White Belt): Survival
Survival from the back, all fours, mount, side control, knee-on-belly. Give little details that make huge differences. Also talks about common misconceptions on each.
Chapter 2 (Blue Belt) Escapes
Escapes from chokes, joint locks, and positional escapes.
Chapter 3 (Purple Belt) The Guard
Breaks down all types of guards, butterfly, spider, cross grip, de la riva, sit -up, reverse de la riva, and half
Chapter 4 (Brown Belt) Guard Passing
Pasig closed guard, guard from standing, core open guard passes, butterfly guard passes, and many more.
Chapter 5 (Black Belt) Submissions
Shows all types of submissions from every position
Chapter breakdown does it no justice, because there is so many details that's missed. This would be great for white and blue belts, but even the upper rank belt would benefit as a reminder of the small technical details that we forget. If you're like me, if im not doing something everyday I'll forget, so this is what I turn to along with YouTube. If you're interested in this book, buy it. I put it off for about a month before I bought it, but I can tell you wholeheartedly this is a fantastic book and 100% satisfied that I bought it.