T Nation

Martial Arts books?

Any books you guys reccomend? I was thinking of getting one of Wally Jay’s small circle jujitsu books, because hes studied jujitsu, judo, and many other art forms to create SCJJ, and we use some of his stuff at the kempo club I train at.

I don’t know anything about Wally-Jay first hand, but everybody I trust in matters like this would definitely NOT recommend buying his books.
What are you specifically looking to improve? You do realize that you are not going to learn how to fight just from reading a book right?


Never mind, I didn’t see that you trained in Kenpo.


Why do they suggest not to read his books?

actually, he said he trains in kempo, with an m, not kenpo with an n. There’s a difference.

Some of the grappling books by the Gracies are decent. Also, some of the “forms” books that detail forms you do are good because you can reference them.

how about Musashi’s book of Five Rings, or the Tao of Jeet Kune Do? Depending on how long you’ve been training, some of Bruce Lee’s books have some interesting ideas for training the body for more effective striking. Honestly in my experience you cna’t get much out of a bok on grappling without experience in grappling beforehand. Even then, it seems to me that the most you can get out of a book on grappling is tips and pointers to make your techniques more effective. You won’t know if it works though until you try to put it on a real struggling opponent.

If your looking in the judo/jiujitsu direction then I’d check out the late Don Draeger’s bks on Judo.

Written more than 25 yrs ago but reprinted recently. This guy lived and trained with the best in Japan and was highly respected.

If its technical info on takedowns/throws & jointlocks then check also Renzo and Royler Gracie’s bks are worth a look.

In my experience small joint manipulation that Prof. Jay uses are extremely hard to actually use.

I’d spend my time training throws, strangulations and elbow/knee locks.

Bas Ruttens Big Books of Combat Vol 1&2.

Bas Rutten is a Dutch kickboxing champ, former King of Pancrase and former UFC Heavyweight champ. His books cover striking and grappling, fight training and conditioning as well.

He’s also go a new DVD about streetfighting techniques. Bas is the man give his books a shot.

Pick up a copy of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do from Bruce Lee, or anything by Dan Insonato,James Lew or Jim Lau.

Mastering Jujitsu
by Renzo Gracie, John Danaher


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique
by Renzo, Royler and Kid Peligro

I have both and I can honestly say they are brilliant.

The first is more of the use of BJJ in MMA and the three phases of a fight (any fight). It has techniques from submissions to striking. When and where to use them. It is not a self-defense volume but aimed at competitive MMA.

The second is a selection of the most effective techniques in BJJ syllabus. From blue to black belt. There is everything from submissions to escapes and sweeps. This is more of a how to do the moves. Step by step.

I would say the two books compliment each other perfectly.

If you get the feeling I hold BJJ in high regard well you might be right. I myself do Vale Tudo but have alot of respect for BJJ as alot of the techniques we use are based directly from BJJ techniques.

Good to see some MMA folk on here.

Outlaw: Would you say Bas’s bk is really worth the money?

and yeah, the Gracie bks are really good.

Theres also one called “the Gracie Way”, a history of Gracie JJ thats a fun read. Great pics.

Off topic, when I lived in Toronto I was looking for a training centre so I looked in the Yellow Pages. I found one calles “Crazy Bob’s House of Death” s’pose any parents send their kids there?!?!?! sorry, just thought I’d share that

Tao of JKD is good, not sure about the others. good luck

Creed, Outlaw and Kuri have given you some great recomendations!

I will only add two to the list: “The Martial Art Of Wrestling”, by Matt Furey. This book will open your eyes to how easily the collegiate sport of wrestling can be used in a streetfight.Furey also a champion wrestler and Kung Fu stylist also gives you a superb training regimen!

The second book is a must have as it is sort of an encyclopedia of Jiu-Jitsu. It is called, “Fighters Notebook”, by Kirk Jenness and David Roy. I have never seen a Jiu-Jitsu book that is so comprehensive. I hope you have a large space for this one on your book shelf.

Best Of Lukck,


I’ve been wondering if Furey is for real. I know his wrestling background, and he does have some cool drills in his books.

Nevertheless, his marketing approach just leaves one wondering…


He is sort of a throw back to the hustlers of yesteryear in his approach to marketing. Nonetheless, he is for real.

I have spoken to him by telephone on occasion and also purchased some of his tapes and books. His knowledge regarding grappling is very high level. He wrestled for Dan Gable at Iowa for a while. He later won a division 2 championship Title. He was also the only caucasian to ever win a chineese “Chin Na” world championship. This is basically Chinese grappling. He did this in China!

If you can get past his marketing approach he has some great material!

About Wally Jay, it seems that they just don’t think he has anything to offer, but not knowing his stuff I wouldn’t know.
Bas Ruttens books are supposedly very good. Some regard it as highly as the fighter’s notebook, which, incidentally, happens to rock all over the place.


As far as books go I think they are, I do think Video/DVD intructionals are better in general.

Renzo Gracie has an 11 Vol(!) DVD set.
Title boxing also has a new set of inexpensive DVD’s covering boxing fundamentals.

Kuri: what ZEB said. Matt Furey is a bit of a huckster, but he knows his shit. He also loves the history of martial arts and wrestling and has written some really interesting articles. He has written a couple of excellent articles on the history of catch wrestling and pro wrestling in North America

Try ‘Kung Fu Elements’ by Shou-Yu Liang and Wen-Ching Wu. For martials arts military strategy, look at ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu.

The only problem that I have with guys like Wally Jay, is the fact that he has no real record.

Guys like Gracie, Ruten and Furey have actually had a chance to demonstrate their techniques, either in the ring or on the street. They work! Jay, to my knoledge does not have that background.

I have even less respect for those dangerous pressure point martial artists like “George Dillman” a supposed 9th degree black belt who specializes in “lethal pressure pionts”.

I was at one of his seminars once and he called for a volunteer from the audience. He then proceeded to put the guy on the ground withering in pain. My only problem with that was the fact that the guy let him do it!

A friend of mine volunteered with this in mind. Dillman put his hand on my friends neck and my friend pushed it away. Dillman again grabbed my friend, this time more aggresively, really trying to take control. This time my friend side stepped him and pushed him away.

At this point Dillman stood there like the proverbial deer caught in the head lights. Then he says “if your not going to cooperate sit down.” My friend sat down but the point was made. These “lethal” pressure point techniques are only good if you have already dominated your attacker! Just think how “lethal” a right cross would be against anyone willing to stand there and allow you to punch him!

Sorry to go on so long. My point is, I would not purchase any books or tapes from anyone who has not proven themselves in some form of confrontation, either in the ring or on the street.