Recommended Reading

May 10, 2023General News

Chroma Jiu-Jitsu Recommended Reading

The following is a list of recommended reading for Chroma Jiu-Jitsu students. It covers everything from strategy in Jiu-Jitsu to Diet to lifestyle.The rabbit hole goes far deeper than just the time spent on the mats. I truly believe that reading about grappling and the human conditions that underlie our motivations can deepen your individual knowledge of not only the sport but yourself. Enjoy!

Grappling Specific:

Jiu-Jitsu University: Ribeiro, Saulo Saulo goes into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu philosophy with this one. I recommend it for anyone beginning their BJJ journey. Gives you an overview of the moves and ideas we should be moving towards.
Zen Jiu Jitsu: The 30 Day Program to improve Your Game This quick little book can seriously improve your grappling in a short time.
Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo Jigoro Kano lays out his grand vision for individual martial artists but also for the community, and eventually a country devoted to martial arts/personal development.

Personal Development:

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. We all carry trauma with us that can go undetected and have seriously detrimental effects on our lives in the gym and outside as well. The author lays out what trauma is and how we can transcend it.
Mind Gym : An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence This is a fun little digestible read that gives you things to think about during or after training sessions.
No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness … I first encountered this book at the beginning of the pandemic. It opened me up to my own internal world and its workings. The exercises inside are worth the price of the book alone.
Thinking Body, Dancing Mind – Random House Books If I could recommend one book about competition, mental improvement in martial arts this would be the one. Using the exercises had a massive effect on my performance in tournaments and also bleed over into life off the mats.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Daniel Kahneman helps to peel back the way in which we are quick to jump to assumptions and how that informs the rest of our life. You can repeatedly dive back into this one and glean new insights everytime.
Demian: The Story of a Youth Herman Hesse is a favorite author of mine and this is (in my opinion) one of his most accessible stories. Everyone can identify with this tale and take something from it.


The Grappler’s Guide to Sports Nutrition This should be your bible during your competition season. Good solid understanding of diets, how to cut weight safely and what to look for in your meals. I cannot over state the importance of this book on your diet, and overall BJJ goals.


The Art of War by Sun Tzu A classic that still applies to modern day combat. Can be both skimmed lightly and also delved into very deeply.
The 33 Strategies of War: Robert Greene – Books Robert Greene serves up some wonderful stories about warfare over human existence. I often find myself picking this one up and not being able to put it down. Allows you to think differently about your game.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) This book changed my whole perception of things and solidified alot of what I was starting to understand about training a martial art. With lots to think about and discuss philosophically I highly recommend this one to anyone that wants to add some dimensionality to their training sessions or life.


Angry White Pyjamas People ask me what training and living in Japan was like. This book can give you a pretty accurate glimpse into what that looked like. Plus it’s fun to read about other peoples training regiments.
Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat When I first started training I loved Forest Griffin. This one has some interesting takes on fighting and a wonderful practice for letting out those pre fight jitters.
Breathe by Rickson Gracie The real story of one of the greatest fighters of all time. Rickson lays out what went on behind the scenes of some of the most important bjj fights in the last 30 years.


Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is … This one will cause you to rethink your training strategies and how to live life the way our ancestors did.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy Jenny Odell talks about birds and plants a lot but underneath the surface she’s probing what it actually means to be human in our modern age and confronts our complacency about where we are headed.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World I consider myself to be a generalist, I also believe that to be the superior way to approach martial arts. This book was the first time someone has put being a generalist so clearly, with evidence to back it up.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind Suzuki is a favorite of mine. He has a wonderful way of cutting through the muck of our brains and allowing us to contact that state of no mind.
Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo This one is another quick read. It deals with playing an instrument but the lessons go beyond that and definitely apply to martial arts training.