Best BJJ documentaries

This week Netflix announced that they are currently developing a film that will explore the origin story of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The film is set to be directed by José Padilha who is best known for creating the hit drama series Narcos.

The movie entitled ‘Dead Or Alive’ will tell the story of two mixed martial artists, Mitsuyo Maeda and Rickson Gracie, who helped pioneer Brazilian jiu-jitsu and will trace the how sport transitioned from Japan to Brazil.

With this announcement it got us thinking about what other BJJ documentaries are out there. When doing our research we realized the best of these movies are freely available on Youtube.

Have a look at the list below and let us know if you think we missed any.

  1. Choke

CHOKE follows Rickson Gracie as he prepares to defend his title in a one-night, single elimination no-holds-barred tournament where the winner will fight 3 separate fights over five hours.

The film gives a fascinating insight into the Wild West days of No holds barred fighting before the UFC refined the sport into the slick and shiny product that we see today. It also helps us to see more of the personality of one of the most revered figures in BJJ. There are also plenty of scenes of Rickson’s unorthodox training and spiritual routines which makes for some interesting viewing.

The coolest thing about the movie for me is just how proud Rickson is of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and his families honor. His willingness to put his own and families reputation on the line by fighting some of the toughest dudes on the planet is really fascinating.


  1. ROLL: Jiu-Jitsu in SoCal

There is no doubt that Southern California has played a key part in the evolution of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Many of the top Brazilian fighters have chosen this area as their home and the sport’s biggest tournaments are regularly held there. As a result there is now an established BJJ community and culture that seems to fit with the SoCal lifestyle.

Filmmakers Dan Lewis and James Tighe jump into this community to get their thoughts on the history, politics, and trends that they are seeing in the martial art in southern California.

The movie passes along at a nice pace and is a very pleasant way to spend 76 minutes.

  1. Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle Vol 1 & 2 Arte Suave

This is a really cool little video magazine style film that has some quality footage of some of the best ever practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Ricardo Vieira, Ronaldo Jacare, Andre Galvao, and Roger Gracie all feature in the film which showcases technique, sparring, theory, technique and interviews.

For non-Brazilians it gives us a fascinating insight into the culture of BJJ and the mystique that it holds.