While there are now many choices out there as well as more polished Hollywood movies that feature MMA in particular as their main subject, we’ve gone back to and picked a few of our favourites from the recent past.
Check out our three favourite MMA & BJJ documentary films below:
Rickson Gracie: Choke
While this documentary may not break any new ground when it comes to the quality of the filming, it certainly did when it came to being a forerunner in exposing MMA to a wider audience back when it was released.
For this precedent setting achievement alone, we feel that Rickson Gracie: Choke is a documentary that any MMA enthusiast should have in their collection.
The documentary follows three fighters, taking a look at their pre-fight thoughts, outlooks and fights themselves. The fighters that are highlighted are; American former footballer Todd hays, Japanese Greco-Roman wrestler and shoot fighting champion Koichiro Kimura and of course Rickson Gracie himself as the main protagonist.
Rickson offers up some wise words regarding his philosophy on martial arts and you are also offered some brief and interesting insights in to Gracie family life too.
The gruelling and in parts gruesome fight between Yuki Nakai and Gerard Gordeau also features in the documentary and the side story of the brave 5’6” Japanese fighter grabs your interest just as much as that of the main fighters.
Putting this documentary in to context along side some more modern day offerings along with today’s more comprehensive understanding of the sports it features, certainly makes for interesting and at times humorous viewing.
Day of the Zen: Mario Sperry and the Brazilian Top Team
The quality of filming of this documentary is of a higher standard than that of Choke and we also feel that the overall quality in terms of the in depth of insight gained to the mindset and training regime of a fighter is greater too.
Following Mario Sperry for a whole day on location in Brazil, you get first hand access to his intense training regime and glimpses of his private life outside of the gym as well.
This is one of those films that gives you a great understanding of the kind of dedication it takes to be an athlete at the top of your game. If you train yourself (in any sport) and feel like having an ‘off day’, get this DVD playing and we guarantee that you’ll find your motivation and inspiration in no time!
This documentary is at the top of the list for many MMA & BJJ enthusiasts and with the behind the scenes footage shown in the gym of the Brazilian Top Team, it’s hard not to be impressed by what you see.
The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr
This documentary film really gives you a candid and unashamed insight in to the highs and lows of Mark Kerr. As a fighter in his prime he was regarded as on of the best in the business, literally smashing (hence his nickname “The Smashing Machine”) his way through the competition in the PRIDE FC.
Kerr’s well document turbulent personal life and addiction to pain killing drugs made his road to success and redemption a rocky one, with some revealing and open accounts from “The Smashing Machine” himself as he talks about his mental state on the subject of his addiction and depression.
Also featuring other famous fighters such as Mark Coleman, Ricco Rodriguez and Bas Rutten, this film is another that any MMA fan should see. Bas Rutten’s influence on Kerr’s revival alone is well worth watching, not to mention footage of Rutten knocking out Rodrigo in the bonus scenes!
As you would expect some of the fight footage is raw and brutal at times and there is footage of Kerr injecting himself with painkilling drugs… just so you know what you are getting yourself in for before you tune in!