Jun 15, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Jiujitsu Near Me

The “Jiu-jitsu” or the “Near Me” what’s more important to you?

There is two variables we have to take into account when searching for “Jiujitsu near me” or “BJJ Gyms near me”.

The “Jiujitsu”, what’s the standard of the Academy? Is it a competition focused BJJ Gym? These can vary from really competitive and elite standard to less competitive and low standard.

Then there the variable of “near me”. That goes from my apartment is above a Jiujitsu Gym to I need to travel 3 hours to do a class.

We need to find the goldilocks gym, the perfect sweet spot between high quality without having to travel a crazy far distance every day.

The Jiu-jitsu: Why is the standard of the Academy so important when finding a BJJ Gym?

Jiu-jitsu Near Me For Complete Beginners

Finding a Jiujitsu gym to start training in as a beginner can be stressful enough without knowing what signs you should be looking for in a quality Jiujitsu academy. A good Jiujitsu academy will try their best to reduce any stress and help make a brilliant first impression of the amazing martial art and lifestyle that is Jiujitsu.

Here are some traits of a good academy:

  • Structured classes, every class has a flow and logic, not a strung together series of technique the instructor thought up on this drive to the gym.
  • A focus on safe training, while still giving opportunities to roll (Jiujitsu live training)
  • Not relying on pressure or shady sales tactics to gain members.
  • Genuine feeling from the existing members that this is a nice gym to train in.
  • The academy isn’t centered around a single person (a surprising amount of Jiujitsu coaches have a cult of personality around them)
  • The school has a proven record of competition success (even at a local level).
  • There is a good number of men, women and children training.

Some tips to keep an eye out for on your first visit to an academy

  • The academy has a curriculum for people who are new to jiu-jitsu.
  • Is there a beginners only class or are you immediately in a mixed level class?
  • There are hidden signup fees or uniform policies  (Unfortunately this is still a tactic employed by a lot of martial arts schools)
  • Sparring is done safely (specific sparring and positional training is the best way to start when you’re learning the ropes)
  • Who is your instructor? Do they have a proven track record in the martial art or did a few fights a while back?

Finding a BJJ Gym near me for an experienced person

If you have previously trained jiu-jitsu, then finding the best BJJ gym near you should be a much easier process. You have a reference to compare your potential academy to. Maybe you’ve just moved to a new town, maybe you want better sparring partners or maybe you just don’t enjoy the culture of your academy as much as you did before.  Before picking your new academy make a list of what you liked and didn’t like about your old academy. You can use this list to help you on your quest to find a new gym.

It’s important to try these gyms out, and see how the instructors vibe and class style suits you. Not every style will fit what you enjoy and that’s okay, it’s important to find the one that fits you best.

The Journey: How Near me is the Jiu-jitsu?

As with everything there can be a varying degree of quality found in Jiujitsu Gyms. Just because the closest gym is 5 minutes walk from you doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.

For example say you’re really passionate about cooking, and you could go to a unnamed cookery school.. Close and convenient, the obvious choice, right? However if Gordon Ramsey had a cookery school 10 mins away, where you could get personal instruction from one of the best professional chefs around, Would you make the trip?

It’s an important balance to strike, do you go for the cheap and convenient option or travel the 20 minutes longer to get better instruction? Obviously there is extremes where travelling just isn’t worth it, but often the extra 10 minutes to get the best training for you is worth it.

Based on our members a large percentage travel on average 15 minutes to get to our academy with some driving up to 40 minutes.

Other things to look for when searching for the best  ‘Jiu-jitsu near me’

What do people think of the Academy

Any good Jiu-jitsu should have some reviews that are easy to find when researching. If there’s any problems/red flags the words of unhappy customers may find their way into a gyms Google reviews or Facebook reviews

The cleanliness of the Academy

With Jiujitsu being a close contact sport, there is a small risk of skin infections. This risk can skyrocket if the gym isn’t cleaned properly after training sessions. Most professional academies have good cleaning procedures to keep the risk at a minimum.

Ask about the cleaning procedure of the gym, if the receptionist or coach gets defensive or has to think to remember the last time they picked up a brush, it’s probably a red flag.

Shady Sales Tactics

Some gyms can rely on shady sales tactics to try make a quick buck off newcomers to the sport, this includes long contracts, forcing you to wear a specific branded uniform from day one (normally more expensive than the average Gi/Nogi uniform). Always double check your not being tied into paying for a long period of time

Deciding the Right Fit for Your Personality and Goals

Jiujitsu is a close contact sport, if your a woman you might want to consider is whether the club is female-friendly. Looking for a gym with a lot of Ladies on the mats can tell a lot. Some gyms offer Ladies Only Classes and these should be led by a female instructor. While it’s encouraged to train with both men and woman, it’s important to have a space where you will be comfortable to train in.

It’s also important to look at the depth of students in the club, is it primarily white belts? If there’s no higher belts on the mats is it because its a new club or because they have a low retention rate?

Finally you should consider what your own personal goals are for Jiujitsu? If you want to be the next European champion you would be best served finding a competitive gym or is Jiujitsu more of a hobby and you’re happy to tip away in your local sports hall?


At the end of the day, your BJJ journey is about showing up. While it is very important to research your school and choose a good one, delaying and researching too much will cause you to procrastinate and push off starting.

If a school has good reviews,  qualified instructors, and fits your budget and schedule, go for it. Most schools offer free classes to new members, so try out a few schools until you find one you vibe with the best.