As you train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one question you might start to wonder is where should you train BJJ? What are the best BJJ Gyms out there? It’s a time old question for anyone looking to be the best at their craft – it’s natural.
These days you can find just about BJJ gym just about anywhere. With the ever-growing popularity of Mixed Martial Arts, BJJ has really gotten some attention – especially after seeing how effective it has been in MMA matches.
But what makes a gym really stand out from the rest out there? In this guide, we take a look at some of the best BJJ Gyms in the world.
These days, there’s no need for you to travel to Brazil to find a good gym. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grows very quickly, and now there’s a ton of choices out there. But how do we know which one's are the best?
Based on our research and a few additions from the BJJ community, we came up with the list below of the Top 11 Best BJJ Gyms in the World!
Factors to Consider When Looking for The Best BJJ GYMS
The Instructors and Coaches
One of the most important part of finding the right gym is finding the right instructor who has extensive knowledge of the martial art as well as the right mentality and good personality that will help you grow as an athlete. A good instructor will teach you proper technique and also correct bad habits. Finding a good coach whose goal is to make the students better and not just to make money out of them is better.
Having great training partners that can be beneficial for your growth as a practitioner or a competitor would be perfect. When we say great training partners, that means someone who aren’t lazy to drill these techniques with. Having competitive training partners is good, but if they just keep on smashing everyone in training, especially the lower belts in training, it would be very difficult for everyone to improve their skill.
The Mats and The Environment
Who wouldn’t want a nice looking gym with great equipment and awesome environment? Training with fresh and clean mats would really put you in that mood to train even harder. A gym that makes you feel comfortable where the people are friendly, patient and welcoming would be awesome. Most successful Jiu Jitsu gyms in the world have a good reputation and they attract both competitors and hobbyist grapplers.
Top 11 Best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gyms
Renzo Gracie Academy - New York City, United States
First on our list of the Top 11 Best BJJ Gyms in the World is the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York. Renzo Gracie, as we all know, is a BJJ and MMA Legend. The Renzo Gracie Academy in Midtown Manhattan New York started 1996. If you have followed John Danaher and his typical long posts along with his elite grapplers like Gordon Ryan, Garry Tonon, Nicky Ryan, Nick Rodriguez, Ethan Crelinsten, and Oliver Taza, then you would know the Blue Basement. MMA Legend George St. Pierre also frequently comes in to train at Renzo’s.
The Renzo Gracie Academy in New York is one of the world’s leading schools in martial arts, and you get to train with absolute killers and talented athletes with top-notch classes. Training at Renzo’s will make you improve due to techniques being taught at the highest level as well as rolling with skilled training partners. They say that during classes, aside from John Danaher, they have two to three black belts or assistant coaches walking around to help with the 20 to 40 people in a class.
ATOS Jiu Jitsu HQ - San Diego, California, United States
Atos was founded by Ramon Lemos and Andre Galvao way back 2008 and now has multiple affiliates worldwide.
The Atos Headquarters is now headed by the team’s co-Founder and multiple-time world champion, Andre Galvao. They are one of the most successful teams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today.
The team has produced several known and accomplished Jiu-Jitsu athletes such as Angelica Galvao, Josh Hinger, Michael Lieira Jr., Lucas Barbosa, Dominique Bell, Mike Carbullido and Rolando Samson.
They offer classes from Fundamentals to Advanced as well as Kids and Women’s only class.
Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy - New York City, United States
The academy is owned by Marcelo Garcia, a Black Belt under Fabio Gurgel, and also holds a record of five-time World Champion and four-time ADCC Champion. Marcelo Garcia opened the academy in New York way back in 2009.
Classes are handled by Marcelo Garcia himself, and you get to train with some of his well-known Black Belts such as Paul Schreiner, Marcos Tinoco, Matheus Diniz, Joel Burgess, Scott Kaplan, and Jordan Blevins.
They offer classes all week from Gi, Nogi, Fundamentals, Advanced and Women's Only class.
According to the academy’s review, The Marcelo Garcia facility is large, bright, clean, and well-run. The training area is large enough to accommodate a class of over 60 grapplers, and they also have window benches where spectators can sit and observe the class or sparring sessions. Members, as well as staff, are incredibly friendly, outgoing, and welcoming that even Marcelo Garcia himself would sign you an autograph.
Checkmat Headquarters - Signal Hill, California, United States
Checkmat was founded in 2008 by Leonardo Vieira, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti along with his brother Ricardo “Rico” Viera. Checkmat is one of the most successful among the top teams of BJJ and has multiple affiliates worldwide.
Checkmat HQ in Signal Hill California is headed by Leonardo Vieira, who is two-time ADCC Champion and is known for his famous roll to back take technique.
Checkmat HQ is known to be home for several well accomplished black belts such as Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Luiz Panza, Jackson Sousa, Michelle Nicolini, and Patricia Fontes.
They have classes for beginners and intermediate, and during competition season, affiliate members drop in to join training camps.
Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy - Costa Mesa, California, United States
The Art of Jiu-Jitsu (AOJ) Academy was founded in 2012 and was a collaboration between the Mendes Brothers and PM Tenore of RVCA.
The Mendes Brothers, Rafa, and Gui are multiple World Champion titleholders. Rafael Mendes is a six-time World Champion and two-time ADCC Champion, while his brother Gui Mendes is a four-time World Champion.
Their facility consists of a total of 6,400 square feet of two separate padded mat areas, men and women’s locker rooms with showers, guest lounge, and laundry service that is open for both students and visitors.
According to one of their reviews, the academy is one of the cleanest and friendliest schools, the instruction was top-notch, the facility is world-class, and the entire staff was very gracious as they made every attempt to ensure the students had a good time.
They offer classes from Basic to Advanced, Kids, Women's’ Class, and they do both Gi and Nogi.
This gym was home of champions such as Johnatha Alves, Tainan Dalpra, and Jessa Khan, and with the quality of training they provide, this gym deserves a spot at our Top 11 Best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gyms in the World.
Absolute Mixed Martial Arts - St Kilda, Australia
Home to two of the most accomplished Australian Grapplers, Lachlan Giles and Craig Jones.
Lachlan Giles is an active competitor who has placed in tournaments such as the IBJJF World No-Gi Championship, Pan Pacific Championship, Boa Super 8, Eddie Bravo Invitational, and ADCC. In the last ADCC 2019, Lachlan shocked the BJJ world by proving that smaller guys can compete in the open weight division. He submitted Patrick Gaudio, Kaynan Duarte, and Mahamed Aly, all with a heel hook.
Craig Jones is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Lachlan Giles and made himself known during the 2017 ADCC when he submitted Leandro Lo and Murilo Santana.
According to Lachlan’s Reddit comment, most of the people that train at Absolute MMA St Kilda don't train for competition, and there are select classes for people who compete, and they have a strong competition team, but most members train as a hobby, and there are loads of fundamentals classes.
They offer Gi and NoGi classes from Fundamentals to Advanced as well as Kids Classes.
Carpe Diem Brazilian Jiu Jitsu -Hiroo, Tokyo, Japan
The Carpe Diem Hiroo Branch is the flagship of the three branches in Tokyo. You’d be receiving top-level instruction from their black belt instructors that rotate through. Carpe Diem was founded by Yuki Ishikawa in 2013 and has a strong competition team tearing through local and international competitions. The Hiroo Branch Head Instructor is Tomoyuki “Passport” Hashimoto, who is known to have won gold at the 2016 IBJJF Pans Championship and 2020 IBJJF European Open.
This branch frequently has visitors as its foreign/expat-friendly, and classes are typically bilingual. According to a review, the best thing about this academy is the family-friendly vibe. There's a small area for your kids to hang out while you train. If you like to train jiu-jitsu while you travel, this should be on your checklist of things to do in Tokyo.
You can rent a gi for the day, or use their laundry service to clean your own. Their location is convenient being a block from Hiroo train station.
Roger Gracie Academy - London, UK
Roger Gracie is highly regarded as Jiu-Jitsu’s Greatest of All Time, having won ADCC, IBJJF Worlds, IBJJF Pans, IBJJF European Open, and several other competitions. He is known for having the ability to take basic techniques to the highest level and has beaten legends of the sports such as Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Xande Ribeiro, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
Expect high-level instructions from Roger Gracie himself or his father, Mauricio Gomes. If ever you visit London and plan to train, the Roger Gracie Academy should be on your list. Aside from Roger and his father, the academy has several Black Belt Instructors such as Luciano Cristovam, Bruno Zancaner, A. Henriques Junior, Joe Lennon, Uyi Agbontaen, Dean Barthelemy, Joanna Ziobronowicz, Oscar Gugala, and Nina Navid.
They offer Gi and NoGi classes from Fundamentals to Advanced, as well as Kids, Youth, Ladies Only, and Private classes.
University of Jiu Jitsu - San Diego, California, United States
The University of Jiu-Jitsu was founded by the brothers Saulo and Xande Ribeiro in 2007. Saulo Ribeiro is a six-time IBJJF World Champion as well as a two-time ADCC Champion. His brother Xande is a multiple time IBJJF World Champion as well as IBJJF Pans Champion.
Both Saulo and Xande are also Judo Black Belts, and they are known for their superior takedown game.
They offer Gi and Nogi from Beginner to Advanced classes, Kids, Teens, and Private classes from Monday to Sunday. They also offer Judo Classes.
Evolve MMA Far East Square, Singapore
Aside from the Far East Branch, Evolve MMA has three other branches in Singapore, there’s one in Orchard Central, Clarke Quaye Central, and KINEX.
The Far East Branch is regarded as the best MMA Gym in Asia, it is not cheap, but everything would be worth it. They have over 20,000 square feet of training space, an Octagon if you also do MMA, HIIT Area, members lounge, locker rooms, shower units, and a Juice Bar and Protein Shake counter. Evolve MMA ranks amongst the most beautiful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academies in the world.
They offer training seven days a week, and you’d be receiving instructions from Champion instructors such as Rafael Dos Anjos, Bruno Pucci, Shinya Aoki, Alex Silva, Joao Shinzato and more.
Gracie University - Torrance, California, United States
To complete our list of the Top 11 Best BJJ Gyms in the World is the home to Helio Gracie’s grandsons, Rener and Ryron Gracie. If you have watched the Gracie Breakdown videos by Rener and Ryron on YouTube, you’ve probably seen the tour to their facilities as well.
Brian “T-City” Ortega, UFC Fighter, started training Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 13 at the Gracie Academy under Rorion Gracie and his sons Rener and Ryron. He soon later received his Black Belt under Rener Gracie.
Their class schedule is from Monday to Saturday and consists of Gracie Combatives Classes, Women Empowerment Programs, and Kids Classes.
Finding the best BJJ Gyms is no easy task – there are just a ton of options out there! We have rounded up some of the top tier schools to choose from. Any one of these schools can have a claim to the throne. They have world class instructors and top of the line facilities. If you are serious about Jiu Jitsu, be sure to drop in – the level of BJJ you will get out of it is simply next level stuff! Train Hard! Roll Safe!