Human beings are the most adaptable beings on the Earth. That being said, some of us have the luxury to seek out the best possible human experience in every activity we do. These are some of the most inspirational swanky bjj academy setups we’ve heard about:
Berkut BJJ (Grozny, Chechnya, Russia)
Berkut bjj academy is very clean and sharp looking but the location of Grozny, Chechnya promises as the birthplace of tough guys. While the facilities are very sharp looking and clean they are certainly outshined by the visitor seminars. Berkut practitioners have had chances to learn from Magid Hage, AJ Agazarm, Davi Ramos and Ari Farias just in recent past. And let’s not forget they were the hosts of Berkut Jiu-Jitsu event where they invested into bringing talent such as Andrea Galvao, Romulo Barral, Yuri Simoes and Jackson Sousa among others.
Studio 540 (Solana Beach, California, USA)
We’ve talked a little about studio 540 in the past but we neglected to mention its history. Studio 540 started as Gracie Academy Solano Beach – a certified training center for Gracie Combatives. Studio 540 came from a desire of Robert Zeps to get into business with his friend, professional surfer Joel Tudor who was at the time head of the Surfight Academy. The true apolitical spirit of studio 540 was born just then in the multi-lineage environment these two fostered. Soon after, they would start bringing in talent for free seminars – because they just didn’t like the idea of charging for it. In fact, it’s become the norm that fighters contact Robert for the chance to offer a seminar at the studio. While Leticia Ribeiro teaches every Wednesday, people like Braulio Estima, AJ Agazarm, Kenny Florian, Durinho and Tarsis Humphreys have held seminars in the past. And the guest list of talent keeps growing and growing!
Frota Academy (Zurich, Switzerland)
Frota Academy is a new 850 square meters facility filled with high end training equipment as well as world class instructional that will help you have the best development as a fighter and motivate you to sink everything into having a healthy lifestyle. While the instruction is mostly provided by Augusto Frota, Alfred Sutter and Stephan Ruegg you should seriously check out the list of world class players they’ve hosted in the past. Some of the guys that provided their guidance to Frota students were: Braulio Estima, Gezary Matuda, Rodrigo Miotauro, Rodolfo Viera, Leandro Lo, Marcus “Buchecha” and Gilbert Burns “Durinho”. And that was just in this past year! https://frota-team.ch/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Who-Inspires-you.jpg
Axis Jiu-jitsu Academy (Tokyo, Japan)
This academy from Tokyo, Japan was founded way back in 1997 by Takamasa Watanabe. Later on they relocated to a much better facility and also changed their affiliation – they became a Rickson Gracie Association affiliate. Lead by the only Rickson black belt in Asia it features special mats with two layers for the softest possible experience as well as anti-bacterial canvas.
Kron Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy (Culver city, CA, USA)
This academy is located in Culver city in California and there’s something postmodern industrial about the design that can’t help put pull you in. There are also large mats as well as spacious locker rooms and showers. Ideally you could even catch Rickson teaching a class at this exciting locale. The mats on this location are spring loaded which means they’re placed over hundreds of tires in order to prevent injuries and lessen the wear and tear on your body.
Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Costa Mesa, CA, USA)
Art of Jiu-Jitsu Academy headed by world champion brother Rafael and Guilherme Mendes gives off intense luxurious vibes. Headquarters are located in Costa Mesa very close to Newport Beach. AoJ is a bit over 6,400 square feet of training area divided into two separate mat areas and of course both male and female locker rooms have showers. You will also be delighted to learn there is a laundry service provided along with complimentary towel service. Beach adjacent gym that features world class instructional as well as the option to have your gi ready for your on next drop in is a dream come true for many.
Arena Martial Arts (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Inspired with American Top Team facilities (and experience) Arena brought the first mma and crossfit instructionals to Saudi Arabia. The idea to have a gym that can transform into a fight arena and then go back to its previous state certainly brings a unique atmosphere. Multitude of programs and significant affiliations makes sure that you get the best possible experience. Arena has a state of the art crossfit tower with Olympic lifting stations, Olympic rings and monkey bars among other things. State of the art free weights area is also present. 400 square meters of mats cover 4 different squares so multiple classes can be run simultaneously. Of course there’s also a 32’ Octagon to help provide you with the ultimate MMA experience. But then again, this is a strictly boys only club.
Gracie University (Formerly Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy)
Gracie University of Jiu-Jitsu (formerly Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy) is headquartered in Torrance, CA, and services approximately 1500 students every month. Led by the grandsons of Grandmaster Helio Gracie, Ryron and Rener, this organization focuses heavily on the self-defense aspect of jiu-jitsu and has pioneered the development of several very popular programs including Gracie Bullyproof for kids, Gracie Combatives for adults, Women Empowered for women, and Gracie Survival Tactics for Military/Law Enforcement.
The Gracie Brothers have certified instructors at approximately 150 Certified Training Centers to offer their proprietary programs around the world, and their online branch, GracieUniversity.com boasts over 170,000 active members in 196 countries. Based on their rapid growth in recent years, Gracie University just recently moved their headquarters to a 30,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility with 15 showers, 220 all-glass lockers and over 6,500 square feet of mat space. At this rate, it doesn’t look like the Gracie Brothers will be slowing down anytime soon!
Rener Gracie told us:
We fluctuate around 1300 consistent students between group and private students. Next week we have 95 police officers here for the full week for training in our GST course, and last month we had 105 instructors here for the ICP, and we have so many students visiting from the online university every month that it’s not uncommon for our total student load to hit 1500 in any given month.
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Evolve MMA (Singapore)
This s the largest bjj school in Singapore and the only Renzo Gracie affiliate around. The list of bjj instructors goes on and on, some of the most famous are: Rafael Dos Anjos, Shinya Aoki and 4th degree black belt Teco Shinozato. Evolve Headquarters have official octagon mma cage as well as grappling mats straight from the US. And if you catch yourself getting too winded you can always head over to the Juice Bar and Protein Shake counter in the lounge area. They have 3 other locations beside the headquarters. Guidance of top design firms helps them bring the ultimate bjj experience.
Team Nogueira (Dubai, UAE)
These facilities are designed to cater to everyone regardless of skill and fitness goals. Of course there are swanky separate showers for both men and women there’s also a health café, top of the line equipment as well as the biggest MMA cage in the region. Under the guidance of Rafael Haubert this team was founded back in 2013. They also have many other coaches for different disciplines but more importantly they host a variety of superstars such as Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”, Marcus Almeida “Buchecha” and Renzo Gracie.
Alliance Jiu-Jitsu (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
The Alliance of Sao Paolo academy is the team’s Brazil headquarters. This is the place called home by Cobrinha, Marcelo Garcia, Lucas Lepri as well as Michael Langhi and Tarsis Humphreys. The instructor team is headlined by Fabio Gurgel 8x World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. As if his own competitive success stories aren’t enough, he also has over 50 World Champions under his tutelage. Also worth mentioning: In 2009 he celebrated 20 years of being a black belt.
Renzo Gracie Academy NYC
The Renzo Gracie Academy in Manhatan is a spacious 15, 000 square ft academy covering three floors and is beautifully laid out. The academy is matted with Zebra Mats. They provide changing rooms, each with day lockers and showers. The facility is climate controlled.
They have an amazing level of BJJ instructors and high level grapplers: John Danaher and his Danaher Death Squad, consisting of Garry Tonnon, Eddie Cummings, and Gordon Ryan, fighters like Georges St Pierre, Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez, Rolles and Igor Gracie come to train.
Renzo Gracie told us last week:
We have just over 1,500 students with 15 classes a day, which makes us the biggest privately owned BJJ academy in the world.
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