best bjj schools in the world

The 10 Best Jiu Jitsu Gyms in the World

These days you can find good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu almost anywhere. From the days when you had to travel across the world to find a good gym, the growth of this sport has been absolutely remarkable. There are many great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms across the world, however which ones are the elite? Which Jiu Jitsu gyms separate themselves from the rest? We are going to take a deep dive to discover the best Jiu Jitsu gyms around the world.

What makes a good Jiu Jitsu gym? Is it the instructors and the training partners, or is it the training space itself? I would like to believe it’s a combination of all these things that make a BJJ gym what it truly is. Having a world class instructor is important, however if you don’t have the right space or training partners to work with it can definitely hinder your progress. However, having an amazing gym without proper instruction can be completely detrimental to your ability to learn.

How We Ranked The Top BJJ Gyms

We compiled a list of the top 50 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms and academies worldwide. This was done by searching online, training at these gyms first hand, and word of mouth in the Jiu Jitsu community. We then trimmed down this list to the top 10 schools that we believe are the best Jiu Jitsu gyms in the world. Some notorious BJJ gyms you’ve probably heard of, while other’s that you should definitely check out!

Three categories that were considered:


First things first, the world-class instructors. Most of these gyms have your ultimate dream instructors with people you probably look up to and admire. People like John Danaher and Fabio Santos are world class training instructors who have built empires with their years of mastering the art form that is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I personally believe this is the most important aspect of training. The person you train under has a huge impact on your training style and technique. Many instructors take this seriously, students are a reflection of them.

Training Partners

Although this is almost out of the gyms control, training partners are an important part of your training experience in Jiu Jitsu. If you have bad training partners who don’t look to consistently progress, chances are you’ll be just like them. Iron sharpens iron, it definitely helps to have training partners that will constantly push you to new heights. Training partners can help correct you when your wrong during a drill, they can also be very useful during hard rolling sessions. Progression can happen much sooner if you constantly roll with people more experienced than you, you’ll learn defensive technique much quicker.

Gym Environment

Of course you want your gym to look nice! Having a gym with fresh mats, new equipment, and a great environment is always important. Aesthetics are important, having a great looking gym can put people in a good mood that will help them train much better. Of course this is all opinion based, however I think having a fresh training space can help improve morale greatly. When morale is high it means your training partners and instructors are always in a good and helpful mood. This is the least important of the three categories I included because you can train in the dirt and still be successful. As long as you have the right attitude about training and life, you can always be successful.

The 10 Best Jiu Jitsu Gyms in the World

New Wave Jiu Jitsu / ROKA / Renzo Gracie Austin – Austin, TX

Legendary coach John Danaher moved with his top athletes to Austin, TX. They formed a new academy called “New Wave.”

The competition team trains out of the ROKA headquarters in Austin, while the juniors and hobbyists train out of Renzo Gracie Austin.

There just isn’t a better coach in the world than John Danaher. He has turned athletes like Giancarlo Bodoni and Nicholas Meregali into seemingly overnight No-Gi GOATs.

If you’re taking your Jiu Jitsu career serious as a professional athlete, this is the place to be.

Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy – New York City, United States

marcelo garcia bjj nyc best

The Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy in New York City is one of the best Jiu Jitsu schools in the world. Not only is it a great environment to train in, but Marcelo Garcia is one of the all-time great instructors for BJJ in the world. The school is tucked away in the heart of New York City, almost no signage to indicate the school is there.

Instructors: 9.5/10
Training Partners: 10/10
Gym Environment: 8.5/10

The academy is on the third floor of the building and is frankly too small for the amount of students who have joined the gym. However this doesn’t make the school lose any of it’s appeal, as it’s my personal favorite gym in the NYC area.

Marcelo Garcia teaches his unique technique to classes 7 days a week. To get a black belt from Marcelo Garcia means you’re the cream of the crop. If you’re in NYC I highly recommend checking out one of Mercelo’s classes. There are rates available for day passes, weekly passes, and monthly passes. Your training partners are legends on the mats yet are so humble and eager to teach others. This is a recipe for an incredible and unforgettable experience and the true reason we love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to begin with!

Alliance Jiu Jitsu – São Paulo, Brazil

Alliance bjj jiu jitsu school brazil sao paulo

Alliance Jiu Jitsu in Sao Paulo, Brazil is a renowned school known for their excellent BJJ history. Marcelo Garcia actually started training at this gym when he was younger. Founded in 1993 by Fabio Gurgel, Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti, Alexandre Paiva and Fernando Gurgel, the Alliance is recognized as one of the best Jiu Jitsu schools in the world.

Instructors: 10/10
Training Partners: 9.5/10
Gym Environment: 9/10

Alliance is known not only for the technical quality, but also for the professionalism. They has trained more than 25 world champions in black belt and now has 200 branches spread throughout Brazil and abroad.

Alliance offers multiple classes 6 days a week. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a long time professional, you’ll enjoy your training at the Alliance gym in Sao Paulo. I recommend stopping by if you’re in Sao Paulo, I also recommend checking out one of their 200 official affiliate branches world wide.

Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy – Costa Mesa, California, United States

Aoj art of jiu jitsu academy california bjj

Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy (AOJ) was founded in July of 2012 as a collaborative effort between the multiple time world champion Mendes Brothers and RVCA founder Pm Tenore. The reason they created AOJ was to spread the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle and make a positive impact on the community.

Instructors: 9.5/10
Training Partners: 9.5/10
Gym Environment: 10/10

The vision for the academy was to offer world class instruction in a traditonal yet stylish environment and that’s exactly was AOJ has done. The tend to stay away from the popular trend of becoming an MMA school and stay focused solely on Jiu Jitsu.

This place is absolutely beautiful and the only gym to get 10/10 on our gym environment category. This gym has been known to be called ‘Jiu Jitsu Heaven’ by many people who have visited or seen the pictures online. The Mendes brothers have done a fantastic job to create an amazing environment in which to train in. They offer classes all 7 days of the week, and even offer an online learning course for people who can’t visit.

Renzo Gracie Academy – New York City, United States

renzo gracie academy nyc

One of the true martial arts legends, Renzo Gracie is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt from the famous Gracie family. Renzo was born on March 11, 1967, in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. He is the grandson of Gracie Jiu Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie.

Instructors: 10/10
Training Partners: 9.5/10
Gym Environment: 9/10

Renzo teaches at the academy himself. Pegged with an all-star coaching staff, Renzo Gracie Academy is so much knowledge to offer.

Renzo Gracie Academy is one of two top Jiu Jitsu schools in NYC. Not only do they offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the highest level, but they also offer great Muay Thai instruction as well. They offer all levels of BJJ classes 6 days a week. I highly recommend dropping by for a class at Renzo’s if you’re in the NYC area. You can’t go wrong with either the Renzo Gracie Academy or Marcelo Garcia’s Academy.

Evolve MMA Far East – Singapore

evolve mma best bjj gym

Evolve MMA has four amazing locations in Singapore, all were designed by one of the top design firms in Singapore. This is a school that provides all types of Martial Arts training and is the only Renzo Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in Asia.

Instructors: 9/10
Training Partners: 8.5/10
Gym Environment: 9.5/10

The great thing about Evolve MMA Far East is that they have absolutely beautiful interiors designs which makes training that much more enjoyable. With state-of-the-art facilities such as an amazing locker room and a comfortable member rest area.

Evolve offers legit Renzo Gracie BJJ training in an amazing gym environment. You can train here all 7 days of the week, take private lessons, or just relax and enjoy the comfortable amenities. They also offer kids classes that are designed for self-improvement.

Fight Sports Jiu Jitsu – Miami, Florida, United States

fight sports miami bjj

Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu is a 5 time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, and the founder of Fight Sports Jiu Jitsu Miami. Fight sports Miami has a world class coaching staff that teaches BJJ, Capoeira, MMA, and Judo classes as well. This gym is known for having a gym full of killers that are ready to compete at any time.

Instructors: 9.5/10
Training Partners: 9.5/10
Gym Environment: 9/10

Not only can you schedule a one on one training session with Cyborg himself, you can also roll with a bunch of well known Jiu Jitsu practitioners on a daily basis as well. Cyborg has been known to take great care of his students, he is highly respected in the area.

This school is well rounded, has amazing instructors and students, and an even better academy environment that is very welcoming. They offer training 5 days a week with an open mat session on both days of the weekend. I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the south Florida area.

ATOS Jiu Jitsu HQ – San Diego, California, United States

Atos bjj academy san diego

ATOS Jiu Jitsu is a world renowned BJJ academy in San Diego, California. Galvão is regarded as one of the greatest competitors to have ever graced the sport, a reputation conquered through important titles such as IBJJF World Champion.

Instructors: 9/10
Training Partners: 9.5/10
Gym Environment: 9/10

Not only is Atos an academy, it’s also one of the strongest BJJ teams in of the modern era of the sport. The depth of knowledge amassed by the instructors at Atos is absolutely amazing. Training here is a great opportunity and advantage to anyone who desires about learning the art. I highly recommend the Atos academy is you’re in the San Diego area. There are many academies to choose from in California, and Atos is the cream of the crop.

The best thing about Atos is the wide variety of classes they offer. They offer your basic fundamentals and advanced classes, however they also offer Kids, Masters, and even Women’s classes are offered at Atos. Having a separate Women’s class helps build confidence and great technique.

Nova União Academy – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

nova uniao best bjj gym in the world

The Nova União Academy in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, has a long history of pumping out champions left and right in both BJJ and MMA. Nova União was founded by both André Pederneiras and Wendell Alexander, after they decided their two teams were better off joining forces together as one.

Instructors: 9.5/10
Training Partners: 10/10
Gym Environment: 8.5/10

I actually included this gym on my Best MMA Gyms in the World list. It just goes to show that Nova União is proficient at many different Martial Art techniques that involve both grappling and striking. However, don’t let that take away from their prominence in BJJ on the national scale. They are recognized around the world for their Jiu Jitsu first and MMA second.

They have grown to over 400 different affiliate gyms in 40 countries worldwide, however there is nothing like home. Training in Rio De Janeiro is something special. If you ever get the chance to travel to Rio, I highly recommend checking out the Nova União Academy.

Gracie Academy – Torrance, California, United States

Gracie Academy Torrance bjj

Rener and Ryron Gracie have called the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California their home. If you’ve ever watched a Rener Gracie video on Youtube, you’ve probably already seen the Gracie Academy. The facilities are top notch with a trademark shade of green which has been also passed onto their affiliates (Beverly Hills).

Instructors: 9.5/10
Training Partners: 9/10
Gym Environment: 9.5/10

Brian Ortega the UFC fighter has also been known to teach classes here. He’s a Gracie Black Belt under Rener Gracie and has an impressive Jiu Jitsu background. Gracie Academy has great instructors at the top of the game in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu.

They offer classes 6 days a week and even offer special black belt only classes. Their Women Empowerment class involved both Jiu Jitsu and real-life self defense situations. I highly recommend checking out the Gracie Academy if you’re in the Torrance, California area.


What about Online Jiu Jitsu Training?

In the past few years, online Jiu Jitsu training has absolutely exploded. Many of the top athletes now have their own video platforms or have put together instructional DVDs for sites like BJJ Fanatics.

There has definitely been some controversy in the Jiu Jitsu community about whether you can really earn BJJ online – and in my opinion online training is not at all a substitute for training at an academy. That said, it’s a great addition to your training at the gym and can help you work on techniques your instructors might not specialize in. I’ve done a full break down of the best online Jiu Jitsu training websites if you want to learn more about them.

So Which is the Best Jiu Jitsu Gym in the World?

This is a great question to ask, however there really is no right or wrong answer. All of the gyms shown above have the ability to claim they’re ‘the best Jiu Jitsu gym in the world’. From world class facilities, to world class coaches and great training partners, all of the gyms mentioned are the cream of the crop when it comes to Jiu Jitsu. If you’re fortunate enough to live in one of these areas around the world or have the ability to travel, do yourself a favor and train at one of these gyms.

20 thoughts on “The 10 Best Jiu Jitsu Gyms in the World”

  1. michael martini

    Hi there,

    I am moving to the San Francisco Bay Area at the beginning of December. What in your opinion are the best jiu jitsu schools there?

    Thank you,

    Michael Martini

    1. The MMA Guru

      Hey Michael,

      I highly recommend Ralph Gracie or Bay Jiu-Jitsu.

  2. Alex Martinez

    Marco Nascimento brazilian Jiu Jitsu hands down best spot to go to. He’s a 6 Degree black belt He’s the real deal still competes till this day Awesome gym has awesome training partners very welcoming gym

  3. Bri


    I have no experience and am researching gyms in Phoenix, AZ. Did you happen to come across any great ones in your research?


    1. The MMA Guru

      Hey Bri,

      Luckily for you, Phoenix is a great place for Jiu Jitsu! I understand the frustration, there are quite a few Gracie gyms in the area and it can be confusing to differentiate them. Jay Pages gym in Tempe is a great start. However, I personally recommend Gustavo Dantas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Tempe. He’s a friend of mine so tell him the Guru sent you.

      You really can’t go wrong with a majority of the gyms Google recommends either, as I said, Phoenix is a fantastic place for Jiu Jitsu!

      The Guru

  4. Shawn

    I live in Atlanta, Ga. Unfortunately they didn’t appear on the list. Are there any schools in Atlanta that you would recommend?

    1. The MMA Guru

      Hey Shawn,

      I highly recommend trying out Buckhead Jiu-Jitsu or the American Top Team affiliate in town. There are many great options all around Atlanta, I would do a quick Google search and compare each one individually for yourself and find the perfect fit!

      The Guru

  5. Peter

    Hi Anth,

    I live in Columbus OH. Been looking around and see a whole bunch of options. Just on the initial search see 2 Gracie named gyms and Matt Brown’s gym. Kinda lost in all the BJJ there is here. Any recommendations on who to checkout? Insight is much appreciated.

  6. Alex

    I live in Charlotte
    Any recommendations for great schools thats a reasonable drive away?

  7. Ashley

    I recently moved to southern Jersey. Do you have any recommendations for the area ?

  8. Alfonze

    Any thoughts on Chicago BJJ schools?

  9. Bruce

    Great material!

    Do you have any suggestions for schools located in the Chicagoland area?

  10. Aaron

    I am moving to Oahu Hi, and I was wondering if there were any schools in the Honolulu area that you all would recommend?

  11. lynn

    Recently moved to St Louis, is there a gym or gyms you recommend?

  12. Angel

    Hey Anthony,

    Any schools in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area that you would recommend? Thank you for your help and time.

    1. The MMA Guru

      Hey Angel,

      Philly and South Jersey have an abundance of great schools in the area, I recommend Renzo Gracie or Philadelphia Jiu-Jitsu. You can always do a quick google search and read the reviews for yourself and most schools offer a few free classes so that you can “try-out” the school!

      – The MMA Guru

  13. Chuck

    I just moved to Las Vegas, and I am not sure which gym to start my BJJ journey at. I want to build a solid foundation, and eventually compete. I’m 43 years old, and come from a muay thai, and western boxing background, So, I wouldn’t mind if the school had some striking classes as well. Thanks guys!!

  14. Abigail Rom

    Any schools around Corona, Ca that you would recommend?

  15. Dee

    I was wondering if you had a good recommendation for a BJJ school in the Midwest. I’m moving to Kansas City, KS.
    Thank you,

  16. Brandon

    Hey man, so I want to learn BJJ but I want to learn from good instructors that come from a good lineage and background the only thing is I live in Tucson, AZ is there anyone you recommend that is out here? The gyms that catch my attention are all in California.

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