Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in London
This post provides a guide to some of the most popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in London. It has the objective of covering several types of BJJ student. Firstly you can use it as an introduction to the city for a visitor who is looking for somewhere to train while on vacation. Secondly it will appeal to people who live and work in the city but are unsure of where to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For you guys with little to no experience, it can be used alongside my previous post ‘Things to look for in a BJJ gym’.
London – at a glance
With a population of just over 9 million London is the third largest city in Europe behind Istanbul and Moscow. Prior to Brexit, London had been the largest city in the EU.
Historically there have been remains discovered which date as far back as the Bronze Age. However the first major settlement was founded in AD 47 by the Romans and originally named Londinium. Fast forward almost 2000 years through the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Tudors, Stuarts, Victorians to London in the present day. Surviving fires, plagues, two world wars and countless battles, London still stands strong. Many people view London as one of the most significant cultural and financial capitals in the world.
The area of Greater London spans just over 600 square miles ( approximately 1500 sq km). Within this area is the City of London – the historic centre and primary central financial district (CBD). The City of London covers just over 1 square mile. You may also hear it referred to as ‘the City’ or ‘the Square Mile’.
Finding a BJJ gym in London
Finding a Jiu Jitsu gym in London is not that difficult. However, finding the right Jiu Jitsu gym which suits your schedule, location, lifestyle and level of competitiveness is a bit more complex. You can read up on the basics of finding a BJJ gym in a previous post ‘Things to look for in a BJJ gym’. If you are a beginner I would suggest starting there before reading any further.
Here is a selection of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in London, sorted by location. I will be updating this list of BJJ gyms in London on a regular basis. Therefore if you are a gym owner or you have trained somewhere in London contact me. If you provide me with the details I will add your recommendation to the list.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in Central London
I have defined Central London as Zone 1 and 2 on the London Underground map.
Grand Union BJJ – Farringdon
Grand Union is a BJJ gym in Central London, it’s head instructor is Roger Gracie black belt Cesar Lima. Also instructing at Grand Union BJJ is Ross Nicholls. Ross is one of my favourite grapplers. He is an active competitor at the top of the European grappling scene. He also won the 2018 ADCC European trials and is a regular on Polaris and Grapplefest events. Obviously there are no question marks over the quality of instruction at Grand Union.
Therefore if you live or work in Central London and you are looking for a BJJ gym, Grand Union would be a solid choice. This is due to the extensive timetable and calibre of instruction and students at this gym. According to their timetable there are 6-8 BJJ classes running from 0730 until 2130. As a result you have the luxury of choosing to train before or after work (or both).
You can view the location of Grand Union BJJ here:
Inglorious Grapplers – Kings Cross
With a location next door to Kings Cross station, Inglorious Grapplers is probably the most central BJJ gym in Central London. Jude Samuel is the owner and is one only a few 4th degree European born Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts. Jude received his black belt in 2005 by the godfather of UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mauricio Gomes.
One thing you can be sure of is that you are in safe and experienced hands with Jude and his team of black belt instructors (check here). As well as this, students from Inglorious Grapplers are regularly among the medallists at most Jiu Jitsu events in the UK. So you will always have someone skilled and competitive to roll with regardless of your level.
You can view the location of Inglorious Grapplers here:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in North London
I have defined North London as anywhere within the area of Greater London north of Zone 1 and 2.
Mill Hill BJJ
Mill Hill BJJ is situated in North West London, the head instructor is Nick Brooks. Nick is a black belt under Roger Gracie and has also trained under Braulio Estima and Ricardo de la Riva. He has a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition record spanning across more than 12 years and was awarded his black belt by Roger in 2009.
Mill Hill BJJ has a network of gyms spanning across Europe in places such as Slovakia, Germany, Netherlands and Croatia. At the time of checking there were an incredible 48 black belts under Nick. Therefore it can be safe to say that there is a very healthy history through the Mill Hill BJJ lineage. One of the most popular students of Mill Hill BJJ is Daniel Strauss – aka the Raspberry Ape.
Daniel is a top level competitor who has headlined at events such as Polaris. His match against AZ Agazarm is one of the examples I use for anyone who is interested in starting BJJ. I’ve been lucky enough to attend several of Daniel’s seminars and his instruction is second to none.
While there are not as many classes as BJJ gyms in Central London, the timetable still covers full time classes across lunchtimes and throughout the evening during the week. With the high level instruction and mixture of competitors and hobbyists this is one of the most popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in North London.
You can view the location of Mill Hill BJJ here:
Gracie Barra Haringey
North London is also home to Gracie Barra Haringey, its head instructor is Henrique Santana. Henrique is an experienced black belt competitor and a former IBJJF European champion. Therefore you can be sure that you are receiving top class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction from any of Henrique’s classes in London.
Gracie Barra gyms often receive negative press due to questionable business practices at some of their affiliates. Additionally some Gracie Barra gyms have a tendency to assign lower level coaches to teach some of the classes. What this means is that there almost certainly won’t be the same level of detail in these classes than you would expect from an experienced black belt. This does not seem to be the case at Gracie Barra Haringey under a high level black belt in Henrique. I have met Henrique several times at Gracie Barra seminars around the UK. He is very enthusiastic and passionate about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Gracie Barra.
So if you are looking for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in North London drop in for a trial class. It will give you the chance to see if GB Haringey is the right fit for you.
Gracie Barra Haringey have a solid timetable with opportunity to train through lunchtimes and evenings. They also offer Jiu Jitsu classes two mornings per week. This will give you the chance to get your BJJ fix before work.
You can view the location of Gracie Barra Haringey here:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in East London
East London is defined as any location within Greater London to the East of Zone 1 and 2
Fightzone London is a BJJ gym in North London, its head instructor is Marco Canha. Marco is a black belt under Ricardo Viera – receiving it in 2008 – and is a regular competitor on the IBJJF scene. Fightzone is situated close to Hackney City Farm, just off Hackney Road in East London. The nearest station is Cambridge Heath on the London Overground.
Fightzone claims to have the busiest timetable in Europe. Looking at their timetable I do not doubt that claim for one minute. There are 7-9 grappling classes per day between 0700 and 2200. In addition to BJJ there are also MMA, Muay Thai and Boxing sessions so there is something for everyone. Alongside instruction from the Marco there is a highly decorated team of coaches such as Jackson Sousa and Samantha Cooke.
If you are close to the Hackney area of East London or linked to the Overground commute, check out Fightzone London. You can view them on the map here:
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu – London
10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is well positioned along the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) line in East London near London City Airport. This gym is strictly nogi and is a non-traditional system of movement and techniques developed by Eddie Bravo. Eddie is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the legendary Jean Jacques Machado and has over 100 affiliates worldwide.
Head instructor Jamie Scott is a former pro MMA fighter and an experienced grappler on the UK circuit. The 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu team regularly feature in local and regional competitions and generally perform well. There is no better indication of the level of instruction than the application of the techniques in competition.
Are you based near the Docklands or Stratford areas of London? If so, 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu would be a good choice for your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in East London. Just bear in mind that there will be no classes in the gi. Therefore take this into consideration if you are looking for a traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in London. It may be better to look elsewhere if you need to train in the gi.
You can view 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu London on the map here:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms in South London
South London is defined as any area of Greater London south of the River Thames.
Carpe Diem BJJ London
Carpe Diem is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in South London close to the famous Borough Market and a short walk from Borough Tube station. The head instructor of Carpe Diem London is Tsuyosi Tamaki a black belt under Yuki Ishikawa. Yuki is the founder of Carpe Diem which has six gyms across Japan. It has expanded to share its own style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in London.
Carpe Diem is a more formal BJJ gym than, for example, 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu London. Therefore Carpe Diem may be a good choice if you prefer to train in the gi or in a more traditional environment. Having said that, they have a healthy competition record on the UK scene so you will be in good hands.
You can find Carpe Diem Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in South London on the map here:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in West London
West London is classed as the area of Greater London to the west of Zone 1 and 2.
Roger Gracie Academy
There is not much to add here. Roger Gracie is the best Jiu Jitsu practitioner of all time. Roger is a 10x World Champion and the son of the godfather of British Jiu Jitsu, Mauricio Gomes. Mauricio also teaches regularly at the Roger Gracie Academy. Mauricio is the only red and white belt currently teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK, not just London.
The Roger Gracie Academy has just moved into a bigger space around the corner from Hammersmith Tube station. This has allowed them to put on a more extensive timetable. This makes the academy one of the busiest Jiu Jitsu gyms in London and one of the most expensive. However, there are not many gyms in the world who can say they have a red and white belt on the mats. More impressive is having Roger Gracie on the mats as well, often at the same time as his father!
You can find the Roger Gracie Academy on the map here:
Carlson Gracie London
Just down the road from the Roger Gracie Academy is Carlson Gracie London. The founder and head instructor Wilson Junior is a 3rd degree black belt directly under Carlson Gracie Junior. Wilson still teaches at the gym regularly alongside some of the very first British-born Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts Simon Hayes and Dickie Martin.
Carlson Gracie gyms have a reputation of being a tough competition training environment. If you’re looking to compete or just toughen up on your self defence, you should check out Carlson Gracie London. Their timetable can be found here. They have early morning and lunchtime BJJ sessions and a variety of classes running through the evenings every day.
You can find Carlson Gracie London on the map here:
Need more help finding a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in London?
I hope you found this guide useful. Still unsure of where to train? Check out one of my other posts ‘Things to look for in a BJJ gym‘. Once you finally settle on a gym you may need help in choosing a gi or a rash guard. If so, check out my two articles on ‘The best rash guards for BJJ and MMA’. And a ‘Beginners guide to buying a gi’
Do you train at a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in London?
If you would like to add your gym to the list feel free to click on the Contact page to link up with me. I look forward to hearing from you all!