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2023 Top 10 IBJJF BJJ Academies

2023 Top 10 IBJJF BJJ Academies

1. Gracie Barra

Gracie Barra is one of the oldest BJJ academies founded in 1986, though the first Gracie school’s foundation was laid in 1925. Founded by the Gracies, the academy focuses on the principles of BJJ laid by the Gracies. Carlos Gracie Jr. is the founder of Gracie Barra. Today, Team Gracie Barra holds first place in the 2023 IBJJF Academies rankings. It was the key efforts of Carlos Gracie Junior that BJJ became the national sport of Brazil. Gracie Barra is focused on the training of its students in such a way that the BJJ lifestyle is incorporated into the lives of the practitioners.

This year Servio Tulio and Austin Baker’s performance was worth watching. Austin Baker competed at the 2023 IBJJF Los Angeles Open and won the finals via submitting Mateus Rodrigues via Choke. Baker ended the match in just 5 minutes by a slick takedown followed by the submission.

Servio Tulio, a BJJ Black Belt under Felipe Pena, is another great member of the Team Gracie Barra, who won the Curitiba Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship by winning the final against Thiago Silva via points. Despite having the top fighters in 2023, Gracie Barra has always dominated every championship its team participates in, and the tournaments of the year 2023 would be no different. Not only did the team aced in 2023 but since its formation, the students of Gracie Barra have created history. Romulo Barral and Braulio Estima are the two fighters who have represented Gracie Barra internationally and today they are running their own Gracie Barra Institute.

Event Position
Campeonato Brasileiro de Jiu-Jitsu 2nd
Miami International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Salvador Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Campeonato Português de Jiu-Jitsu 1st
Sydney International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Rio Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Los Angeles Kids International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Dallas International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Tampa International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Memphis International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
London International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Austin Winter International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Rio Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Master Male
Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 1st
Master Female
Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 2nd
Novice
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Master
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd

In the 2023 IBJJF World Championship and European Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Gracie Barra’s female team was leading the charters. The female team achieved fifth position in both championships. The most fabulous performance by the team was at the Campeonato Brasileiro de Jiu-Jitsu 2023 where the male team occupied the 6th position and the female team, 3rd.

2. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

Professor Leonardo Vieira is the founder of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu, and is a 6th-degree BJJ Black Belt. The academy is ranked no.2 on the IBJJF 2023 academies rankings. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu was formed in 2008 with the sole aim of instructing BJJ techniques to the true followers of the gentle art.

At first, the founder of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Leonardo Vieira was associated with Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Later on Leonardo Vieira decided to form his own BJJ team. The main reason behind the formation of a new team was the difference of opinions between Master Fabio Gurgel and Professor Leonardo Vieira. Professor Leonardo Vieira wanted the team to compete in tournaments that offered more money but Master Fabio Gurgel wanted the team to compete in IBJJF competitions. And that’s how this academy came into being. And today, its ruling over the BJJ World.

In the 2023 IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Jansen Gomes Ramos claimed the second place in the Black medium heavyweight category. Jansen Gomes Ramos is a BJJ Black Belt under Antonio Carlos, who recently won first place at the IBJJF European Open Championship. Adam Wardzinski secured the first position in the heavyweight division. He is one of the most accomplished fighters of the CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu team. Following is the list of championships in which the CheckMat team stood out:

Event Position
Campeonato Brasileiro de Jiu-Jitsu 3rd
Miami International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Santa Cruz International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Charleston International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Salvador Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Dublin International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Curitiba Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Los Angeles International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
London International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Atlanta Winter International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Master Male
Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 2nd
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Master Female
Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 3rd
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Novice
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Master
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st

3. Grappling Fight Team

Grappling Fight Team (GF Team) was founded in 1993 by Professor Gama Filho. After Professor Gama Filho’s death, the academy went into the hands of Julio Cesar who is the head coach of the academy. Under his leadership, the academy has grown and achieved success and won multiple World Championships. In 2023, the academy is ranked at number 3 in the IBJJF 2023 academies ranking.

This year Patrick Gaudio, Thais Souza, and Dante Leon played exceptionally and dominated over other fighters. Dante Leon competed at the Tampa No-Gi Open and won the finals via Guillotine Choke. Being a well-rounded fighter, Dante Leon has perfection over every BJJ move. In the Grappling Industries BJJ Tournament, Dante Leon lost the final but his overall performance in the tournanet made him eligible for the Silver medal.

From the female team, Thais Souza competed at the 2023 IBJJF Sul Brasileiro De Jiu-Jitsu in the female open class. She aced the Gi championship and took home a Gold medal.

Patrick Gaudio demonstrated tremendous skills at the 2023 IBJJF Sul Brasileiro De Jiu-Jitsu, and became a gold medalist in the Gi category. Gaudio also managed to bag gold medals at the 2023 Curitiba Summer Open and Curitiba Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Event Position
Campeonato Brasileiro de Jiu-Jitsu 1st
Rio Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Oklahoma City International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Rio Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Master Female
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Master
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd

4. Alliance Jiu-Jitsu

Alliance Jiu-Jitsu was founded by Master Romero Jacare Cavalcanti, Fabio Gurgel, Fernando Gurgel, and Alexandre Paiva in 1993. It was a joint action by the legendary BJJ championships to create a historic academy. It is the success of Alliance academy that today it is present in the IBJJF 2023 BJJ top academies list at number four. Team Alliance has brought home more than 12 World Championship titles with multiple medals.

Nicholas Meregali’s performance this year was definitely to be seen. At the IBJJF Pan American Championship, Meregali won three fights out of four via submission. Known for his Lasso Guard, Meregali then transitions to his desired submission and wins the tournaments. He won the championship in the absolute as well as ultra-heavyweight category.

Event Position
Chicago Spring International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Nashville Spring International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Charleston International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Curitiba Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Los Angeles International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Memphis International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Atlanta Winter International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Oklahoma City International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Master Male
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Master Female
Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 2nd
Master
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Juvenile
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd

5. Dream Art Project

Dream Art was a project started by Isaque Bahiense in 2018. It's been a few years since its formation but today it is ranked 5th on the 2023 IBJJF top academies list. Dream Art was a part of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu but then broke up in 2018.

“Our structure and the way we do things is different from the Alliance business model. We always tried to complement one another, even with the aches and pains that naturally come with these mergers.” - Dream Art Team Management

Rafael Paganini is one of the most decorated fighters of the Dream Art team. He won six fights at the IBJJF Sul Brasileiro 2023 in a row.

6. Atos Jiu-Jitsu

Atos Jiu-Jitsu was founded by Andre Galvao and Ramon Lemos in 2008. Since its inception, the academy has been producing world renowned fighters. One of the most prominent names is Keenan Cornelius.

Another seasoned fighter, Kaynan Duarte aced in the IBJJF European Open Championship 2023 by winning all the seven fights. His final was against Vinicius Liberati, which Kaynan won via Armbar submission. That was the epic fight of the whole championship. He obtained the first position in the super-heavyweight category at the championship.

Lucas Tres won two fights out of three in the 2023 IBJJF Rio Summer Open Championship. At the 2023 IBJJF Sul Americano Championship, Lucas Tres won 4 fights in a row via submission. At the European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023, Atos Jiu-Jitsu’s male team scored the third position.

Event Position
Charleston Spring International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Curitiba Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Adult Male
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Adult Female
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Juvenile
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st

7. Nova Uniao Academy

Nova Uniao was founded by Wendell Alexander and Ander Pederneiras in 1995. The academy’s headquarters are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The academy is dispersed in different continents. Its affiliated schools are present in the USA, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, the Philippines and many more.

The Juvenile team of Nova Uniao aced at the IBJJF European Open Championship 2023. In the Black Belt division, Alexssandro Sodre’s performance was worth watching. In the featherweight division, he stood second. Diego Sodre topped at the 2023 IBJJF Pan American Championship. Espen Mathiesen was an important figure at the IBJJF Dublin Open.

Event Position
Salvador Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Rio Fall International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Rio Summer International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd

8. Carlson Gracie Team

Carlson Gracie Team was founded in the 1960s with the sole purpose of creating a family-like academy where practitioners can train as well as look out for each other. As evident from its name, the establishment  was led by Carlson Gracie. The academy is based on the principles of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The principles of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu includes patience and stability in every aspect of life. Self-defense is the main point of focus for the instructors of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

In the Chicago Spring International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Huthayfah Penney led the male champion in the Black featherweight division.

Event Position
Chicago Spring International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd
Miami International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
Los Angeles Kids International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2nd

9. DreamArt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy

DreamArt Jiu-Jitsu’s female team aced at the IBJJF Pan Championship 2023. Giovanna de Souza won the first position in the Brown belt open weight class category. Male team was also in the charters at the top position. Erich Munis was placed first in the super-heavyweight category. In the featherweight division, Ana Cristina Rodrigues earned the first position. Ingridd Alves de Sousa and Izadora Cristina Silva also emerged as prominent figures in the championship.

Event Position
Adult Male
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Adult Female
Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st

10. Lead BJJ

LEAD BJJ, formed on the principle of “Live Everyday to Achieve Your Dreams”, is a BJJ academy founded by Bruno Bastos in 2016. LEAD BJJ is ranked 10th in the 2023 IBJJF rankings. The impressive IBJJF ranking achieved by the institution within seven years proves the quality and position of the academy in the BJJ world.

At the 2023 Austin Winter International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship,  Emily Elizabeth Fernandez stood out and obtained the first position in the female Black lightweight and open class category. Raphael da Costa Cadena was the Black Lightweight Champion.

Event Position
Dallas International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
Austin Winter International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st

11. FAQs

11.1. Isn’t Renzo Gracie Academy One of the Most Popular BJJ Academies?

Renzo Gracie Academy is ranked at number 13 in the IBJJF 2023 academies rankings. It is one of the best BJJ academies led by Renzo Gracie.

11.2. From Which Academy Does Pablo Lavaselli Belong?

Pablo Lavaselli represents the Renzo Gracie Academy on an international scale. He is one of the top lightweight fighters of the Renzo Gracie Academy.

11.3. How is the Gym Atmosphere at Art of Jiu-Jitsu BJJ?

Art of Jiu-Jitsu provides the best environment to its practitioners. It was founded by PM Tenore and the Mendes Brothers in 2012. The academy is given 10/10 by its practitioners who daily train there on the basis of the environment they daily experience. The academy conducts separate classes for females and the overall environment of the gym is encouraging for the practitioners.

12. Conclusion

There are certainly many other world-class BJJ academies, but only the above-mentioned academies topped the IBJJF charters in 2023. Gracie Barra was on the top of the list with an IBJJF ranking of number one. Marcus Almeida is one of the top fighters CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu has ever produced. Alliance Jiu-Jitsu is also one of the leading BJJ teams. It is important to look for the rules and regulations before enrolling in any academy. Instructors’ performance is one of those things. You can look at which academy aced this year to get a better view of which one to join.

Photo Credit: @IBJJF

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