Roger Gracie is the undisputed BEST competitor that we have seen in BJJ competitions from the humble beginnings in Rio de Janeiro to the big stage in Long Beach California. Watching Roger dominate opponent after opponent, many spectators were left wondering, how can he make his techniques work against the toughest guys in the world - time and time again?
Unfortunately, Roger hasn't released much in the way of books or instructional DVDs, but we do have Roger's FIRST black belt - Nic Gregoriades who has put together a comprehensive BJJ book titled The Black Belt Blue Print.
Before I spend any time on a book I consider who the author is. There are a lot of book out there that are a total waste of time. That's not the case here. Roger doesn't just give out black belts, but here's the shocking part:
Nic received his black belt from Roger Gracie in only FOUR short years.
How is this possible? Well, Nic pretty much lived at the dojo, training all day. Of course any one can learn BJJ well if they train with that level of dedication, but you throw the ROGER factor on top of that and you end up with someone who really understands jiu-jitsu at a deep level. Nic now also leads a martial arts community the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood.
Who can benefit from this book?
I can honestly say that students of ALL levels will benefit from Nic's book. The brand new beginner will benefit from the chapter introducing the history of the art while intermediate and advanced students will glean a lot from some of the concepts of BJJ positions.
The color choice in the pictures makes it clear to see what detail is being pointed out.
As far as the technique instruction goes, I want to point out that they aren't taught step by step (as they are in other books such as Jiu-Jitsu University). Instead, Nic focuses on the general concepts that you should keep in mind. I think this will be helpful for a broad range of students.
There are plenty of books that talk about BJJ techniques, but one thing that is unique about The Black Belt Blue Print is that Nic writes about topics such as breathing and awareness. These are vital attributes that I feel not enough BJJ athletes are exposed to. It doesn't matter how good your technique is, if your breathing becomes shallow when you get excited, you're going to get tired and won't be able to perform at your full potential.
More than the chapters on techniques, concepts, and diet, what I enjoyed most was learning more about Nic's life story. It was nice to hear about Nic's life changing experience at Gracie Barra HQ in Rio in 2005 and how that completely changed his perception and approach to BJJ.
At 176 pages, The Black Belt Blue Print is sure to keep you busy for a while and give you a lot of new ideas about the art that has the potential to transform your life - Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Get The Black Belt Blue Print HERE and look for Nic on an upcoming episode of This Week in BJJ!