How San Diego Became the Mecca of Jiu-Jitsu in The USA

How San Diego Became the Mecca of Jiu-Jitsu in The USA

With the balance of power shifting in Jiu-Jitsu since 2007 with the World championships moving to Southern California, and the majority of top competitors relocating there too, a city has emerged as the new Mecca of Jiu-Jitsu: San Diego.

Over the last decade, the jiu-jitsu scene has exploded in San Diego. The second largest city of California with a population of (just) 1,4 million,  now boasts more than 90 BJJ academies!

BJJ players from all over the world travel to train in academies run by BJJ legends such as: Royler Gracie, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Fabio Santos, Andre Galvao, Leticia Ribero, Dean Lister, Jeff Glover, Clark Gracie, Rodrigo Medeiros, Baret Yoshida, Joel Tudor, and Eduardo Telles and now Keenan Cornelius is opening a new academy.

What brings so many BJJ players to San Diego?

Saulo Ribeiro, 6 times world champion and owner of University of Jiu-Jitsu in Point Loma, explains:

Everyone would rather go to San Diego than anywhere else. There are many similarities to Brazil: the beaches, the surf, the lifestyle. The geography is perfect. No matter where you train, you’re walking into a family. You’re accepted without question.”

Quality of life

San Diego is the birthplace of California and is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the U.S. Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

Great Weather

San Diego is one of the top-ten best climates in the Farmers’ Almanac and is one of the two best summer climates in America as scored by The Weather Channel. San Diego’s climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between December and March. The city has a mild climate year-round, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches [230–330 mm] annually).


san diego


Great tourist attractions

Tourism is a major industry owing to the city’s climate, its beaches, and numerous tourist attractions such as Balboa Park, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. San Diego’s Spanish and Mexican heritage is reflected in the many historic sites across the city, such as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Also, the local craft brewing industry attracts an increasing number of visitors for “beer tours” and the annual San Diego Beer Week in November; San Diego has been called “America’s Craft Beer Capital.”

San Diego County hosted more than 32 million visitors in 2012.

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