What are the Best Countries for Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

What are the Best Countries for Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

1. Introduction

BJJ is a submission grappling combat sport. Its modern form originated in Brazil and later reached other countries. It teaches self-defense techniques to practitioners. BJJ instructs how to submit your opponent by using joint locks and chokeholds without punching, kicking, or slamming the opponent. BJJ practitioners learned the art and the Gracie pioneers modified and revolutionized BJJ. This modernization of Jiu-Jitsu art is still continuing to happen.  For example, Eddie Bravo is the founder of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. After defeating Royler Gracie, Eddie’s technique got famous and he opened his own 10th Planet institute in San Francisco, which is the epitome of Modern Jiu Jitsu in the 21st Century.

BJJ immobilizes your opponent through the application of submission techniques, joint locks, and choke holds. It teaches how to submit to an opponent who is bigger and stronger.

BJJ institutes were very limited at the start. But with the passage of time as the Black Belts became masters, they started opening their own institutes and started teaching BJJ in different countries. Due to the widespread popularity and adoption of BJJ gyms and institutes, BJJ is now among the most popular martial art sports.

2. Best Countries for Learning BJJ

There are some countries where the best BJJ instructors can be found. It is because those institutes or gyms are formed by some of the famous Black Belts and former World Champions.

Head coaches set the tone of the training. Many students enroll in BJJ gyms due to the good reputation of head coaches and instructors. Being part of a famous and eligible gym significantly improves the overall BJJ game of the students.

2.1. Brazil

It is home to many iconic academies and famous black belts who are still training in BJJ. In relation to BJJ, the Brazilian fighters are very competitive. In the spirit of the martial art competition, no country can be compared to Brazil. Even the in-house BJJ organizations of Brazil are so competitive that they are treated as tournaments.

Rio De Janeiro

  • Master Carlos Gracie Junior founded the very first “Gracie Barra School” in Rio de Janeiro in 1986. He is an 8th Degree BJJ Coral Belt. Due to Carlos Gracie Jr and the successful students, Gracie Barra School is considered the best institute for learning BJJ. The goal of this institute is to teach Jiu-Jitsu to everyone and propagate effective BJJ techniques across the world.
  • “Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy” was founded by Carlos Gracie in 1925. This was the first BJJ academy by Gracie Family.
  • “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” was founded in 1925 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was the very first BJJ School. Guido Jenniges is an IBJJF Hall of Famer from this academy.
  • “The Nova União Academy” trains not only BJJ but also MMA fighters. It was founded by Wendell Alexander and Andre Pederneiras. This institute teaches grappling techniques very effectively.

All these BJJ institutes had the luxury of great BJJ masters, especially the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It was the first school started by BJJ pioneers of BJJ i.e Gracie's. These institutes offer the sublime teachings of BJJ under the supervision of BJJ Masters.

São Paulo

  • In 1993, “Alliance Jiu-Jitsu” was founded in Sao Paulo by Romero Jacare Cavalcanti and his students Fernando Gurgel, Fabio Gurgel, and Alexandre Paiva. This institute has over 300 BJJ academies around the globe and teaches BJJ and MMA techniques and is considered among the top BJJ institutes. Its fighters have won the most Titles in World Championships. Master Fabio Gurgel is the head instructor at Alliance Jiu-Jitsu and has a 7th Degree in BJJ Coral Belt. Romero Jacare Cavalcanti is an 8th-degree Red and White Coral Belt.
  • There is a Gracie branch in Sao Paulo with the name “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu São Paulo”. The training environment is elite and professional.

2.2. United States

After Brazil, BJJ became famous in the United States. Rolls Gracie, Rorion Gracie, Royce Gracie, and many more settled in the US and invested their lives in the training of Jiu-Jitsu.

San Diego

  • Paulo Fernando is the owner of “San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts”. His admiration for BJJ led him to build a coaching career in BJJ. He is a 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt. In his academy, he teaches students gentle art in a professional and inspirational environment. They train the fighters in self-defense techniques. Paulo Fernando Augusto is an IBJJF Hall of Famer from this academy.
  • Fabio Santos is the founder of “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fabio Santos” in San Diego. He is a 7th-degree BJJ Coral Belt. He graduated as a Black Belt under Rickson Gracie. He was one of the first BJJ Black Belts who came to the US. He is a US Open Champion, and Pan American Champion and holds many World Titles. In his institute, he teaches the integrity and sublime BJJ skills that he himself was taught by the Gracie family. Alvaro Robin Romano Jr and Serge Verne are IBJJF Hall of Famer from this academy.
  • “Atos Jiu-Jitsu” is a very famous BJJ academy by Andre Galvao. He is considered one of the top Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the world. Andre Fabiano Silva Barbosa and Bruna Noemi Ribeiro are IBJJF Hall of Famer from this academy.
  • “Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu” is an institute that belongs to Xande Ribeiro and Saulo Ribeiro. They both have won almost 13 World Championships. Rafael Lovato Junior is a student in this school. Saulo Mendonca Ribeiro Filho and Kristan Jr. Magers are IBJJF Hall of Famer from this institute.

New York City

  • Marcelo Garcia is the founder of “Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy” in NYC. He is an IBJJF Hall of Famer. He is a 4th Degree BJJ Black Belt. In his academy, he excels with his students in BJJ techniques. If any BJJ practitioner wants to become a master in this sport, he should enroll in this academy.


  • Rener and Ryron Gracie founded the “Gracie University of Jiu-Jitsu” in California. This university was opened in Brazil by Master Carlos Gracie. After gaining fame in Brazil, Rener and Ryron Gracie founded it in California. This university provides BJJ classes to children, men and women. This university not only teaches Jiu-Jitsu but also offers many courses to give a comprehensive understanding of this gentle art. It is the world’s most famous institute for self-defense instructions and training.
  • Tenore founded the “Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy” in July 2012. Here the gym partners, and instructors and the atmosphere is safe and encouraging. The aim of this institute is to spread the art of BJJ by offering world-class training.

2.3. Singapore

  • Chatri Sityodtong is the founder of “Evolve MMA”. It was opened in January 2009. It not only offers training for BJJ but also for MMA and UFC Championships. It is the largest gym in Singapore. Instructors of Evolve MMA are some former World Champions. Almiro Barros dos Santos and Lee Jingpei are the IBJJF Hall of Famer from this academy.
  • “Jean Jacques Machado BJJ Singapore” (JJM BJJ) is the first Jean Jacques Machado affiliated institute in Singapore. Jean Jacques Machado is a 7th-degree Red/Black Coral Belt. This institute aims to promote BJJ and Jean Jacques’ legacy in Singapore. Brandon Culbreth and Reynaldo De Leon are the IBJJF Hall of Famer from this institute.

2.4. UK

The United Kingdom is very famous and versatile with regard to BJJ institutes and gyms. The UKBJJA is the official National Governing Body for BJJ in the United Kingdom. It promotes BJJ as well as protects the integrity of its ranking system.


  • The legendary Roger Gracie established the “Roger Gracie Academy” in Kensington London. He is a 7th-degree Red and Black Coral Belt holder. He now resides in London and instructs the students in his academy. Mauricio Motta Gomes and Oliver Leys Geddes are the IBJJF Hall of Famer from this institute.
  • “The Roger Gracie Academy of Bolton” was established in March 2017. Roger Gracie is the head instructor here. This academy is very strict in terms of discipline just like other top BJJ academies.

2.5. Japan

Classic Jiu-Jitsu has its roots in Japan. Japan is famous for martial arts because of its discipline, compassion, and loyalty to the sport.


  • Rickson Gracie and Takamasa Watanabe founded “Axis Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” in Tokyo. It is one of the biggest institutes for BJJ in Tokyo. The instructors here work on the personal development of the BJJ practitioners.
  • Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa is the founder of “Tri-Force Jiu-Jitsu Academy” in Tokyo. He established it in 2004. Tri-Force is the abbreviation of the triangle which means ‘inner power’.

2.6. South Africa

As BJJ black belts settled in different parts of the world, this art traveled and started building its roots in every corner of the world.

Cape Town

  • “Renzo Gracie Academy Cape Town” was established in 2006. It is one of the first BJJ academies formed in South Africa. The instructors here teach self-defense techniques that directly came from the Gracie family. They have a flexible class schedule.
  • Helio Gracie founded the “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town” in the late 1920s. It is the only certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu center in Cape Town.

2.7. Denmark

Denmark is also famous for BJJ. It has many gyms and academies which promote BJJ.


  • Professor Joao Pedro Santos is the founder and head instructor at “Choke BJJ Copenhagen”. He is a 3rd degree BJJ Black Belt under Carlson Gracie’s disciple, Sergio Bolao Souza. It was established in 2004. Here BJJ is taught in a traditional style.
  • “Hive BJJ” is a ‘Checkmat’ affiliated institute in Copenhagen. Shanti Abelha is the head coach here. She is a 2nd degree Black Belt. She has also won many medals in BJJ.
  • Professor Joao Pedro Santos is the founder and head instructor at Choke BJJ Aarhus in Denmark. He himself is a BJJ Black Belt from the same Choke Academy.

2.8. Australia

Australia is not as evolved as Brazil in the sport of BJJ. But it is still progressing with the presence of some of the best BJJ institutes and instructors.

  • “The de Been” is Australia's first Jiu-Jitsu academy established in 1993. It consists of more than 50 Black Belts. The instructors here focus on the BJJ techniques taught by the Gracie family.


  • Ivan Voronoff is the head instructor at the “Melbourne Jiu-Jitsu Academy”. He is a 2nd degree Black Belt who has been training BJJ for 23 years. The other instructors here are also black belts.
  • Professor Alexandre dos Santos is the founder of “Alexandre Santos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu”. He has competed and taught at an international level.

2.9. Thailand

Thailand is known for its training in martial arts. In recent years, a very significant number of gyms have opened in Thailand.


  • “Bigfoot BJJ” is a learning center for BJJ in the heart of Bangkok. It was established in June 2016. Professor Lee is the head instructor here. Here the instructors teach self-defense techniques to submit a larger opponent by takedowns and submissions.
  • “Q23 Academy” in Bangkok is run by Professor Adam Shahir Kayoom. It teaches BJJ and Crazy Monkey Self-Defense.

3. FAQs

3.1. Which Country is Best to Learn BJJ?

Brazil being the root of BJJ is considered the best place to learn BJJ. Now even the US has the best gyms and instructors to teach BJJ.

3.2. Which Country has the most BJJ Fighters?

Brazil is called home to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is because this sport literally originated in Brazil. That is why the majority of famous black belts belong to Brazil.

3.3. Where was BJJ Originated?

Basically, Jiu-Jitsu originated in Japan. BJJ is an advanced form of Jiu-Jitsu. It originated in Brazil from the Brazilian Gracie Family.

4. Conclusion

BJJ is a worldwide famous submission grappling sport. Its old origin is in Japan and is now recognized by the name of Brazil, which is why many famous black belts belong to Brazil. Many championships are also organized in Brazil. There are many countries in which BJJ can be best learned. For example, the United States, Australia, Japan, and many more. As the practitioners of BJJ settled in various countries, the sport also reached new places.

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