Best Jiujitsu Classes

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Whether you’re looking to take a deep dive into self-defense techniques or searching for a new way to challenge your mind and body, finding the best jiujitsu class to meet your needs is key to learning this ancient style of martial arts.

The best jiujitsu classes fit your ability, budget, interests, and level. Jiujitsu schools or gyms also offer various classes at different levels, staff the facility with instructors of all belt levels, have reasonable operating hours, and provide a welcoming environment that promotes learning, competition, and fun.

This roundup includes both online and in-person jiujitsu classes and schools. We also share the features to consider before signing up, what to expect in a class, and how to know if jiujitsu is right for you.

Best Jiujitsu Classes of 2022

Best Overall : Gracie Barra


Gracie Barra

Gracie Barra

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Ranges from $130 to $180 per month 
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: 700 worldwide; hundreds in the United States 
Why We Chose It

We chose Gracie Barra as best overall due to the number of training centers in the United States and the programs available for levels from beginner to black belt for ages 3 to adult. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Locations worldwide

  • Programs for beginners to black belt

  • Family-focused approach

Cons
  • Tuition is monthly, not per class

  • Quality standards and expert level may differ based on location

  • Some classes might be too crowded

Overview

Gracie Barra Jiujitsu earns the best overall spot because of the range of programs and locations and the ability to take classes online if going in person is not feasible. Founded by Carlos Gracie Jr., the first school opened in 1986 in the city of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, and in 2005, the first Gracie Barra school opened in the U.S. in Irvine, California. 

The facility offers leveled training programs based on your experience. If you’re new to jiujitsu, start with the Fundamentals program, which teaches the basic principles of Gracie Barra jiujitsu along with self-defense. The next step is Advanced jiujitsu, which teaches effective take-down techniques, transitions, competition prep, and more. Once you’ve mastered those levels, you’re ready for the last stage—the Black Belt program.

The Kids program has three levels: Little Champions I (3-6 years old), Little Champions II (7-9 years old), and Juniors and Teens (10-14 years old). Gracie Barra also teaches specialty classes for women. 

Depending on the location, classes meet Monday through Saturday, with different levels scheduled each day and are taught by a certified Gracie Barra Black Belt instructor. Monthly tuition varies and depends on the location. In general, it ranges from $120 to $180 a month per person. Several studios offer discounted tuition if more than one person from the family enrolls in classes. Gracie Barra provides in-person and online classes. The Gracie Barra Online program offers comprehensive training programs that range in price from $97 to $147 for a one-time fee or about $25 per month.

Best for Online : Marcelo Garcia In Action


Marcelo Garcia In Action

Marcelo Garcia In Action

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $25 per month 
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: Online training program 
Why We Chose It

Marcelo Garcia In Action is one of the best online jiujitsu programs available. With more than 5,000 video lessons, students of all levels can improve their skills by learning both the theory and practice of jiujitsu.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Vast collection of practice and theory-based videos

  • Ability to customize the program

  • High-quality videos recorded from the mat during class

Cons
  • Focus on grappling

  • No instructional video or manual to help you get started

  • Sorting through the vast collection of videos is time-consuming

Overview

Designed by Josh Waitzkin, a Brazilian jiujitsu Black Belt and co-founder of the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City, Marcelo Garcia in Action (MGinAction) is an online-only training program for grapplers of any level looking to improve their Brazilian jiujitsu skills from anywhere in the world. Brazilian jiujitsu focuses primarily on ground grappling.

The training database contains more than 5,000 videos covering skills such as top and bottom position drills, sweeps, a collar choke, a swing single leg takedown with collar grip, a hook sweep, and much more. Training online with this program allows students the ability to watch and rewatch a technique until they understand and master it —and Marcelo Garcia teaches most of the classes. 

For only $25 per month, you get unlimited access to the best grappling training and Brazilian jiujitsu techniques on your time. Plus, the program allows you to customize your homepage to create a collection of videos specific to your needs and goals so you don’t have to sort through thousands of videos to replay the ones you like the best.

Best for Kids : Checkmat


Checkmat

Checkmat

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Ranges from $120 to $190 per month 
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: Worldwide with 34 locations in the U.S.
Why We Chose It

The Checkmat Kids Martial Arts program provides a safe, secure, and fun environment for kids of all ages and abilities to learn the basics of Brazilian jiujitsu.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Safe, secure, and supportive environment

  • Kids build strength, coordination, athleticism, and confidence

  • Focus on fun while learning Brazilian jiujitsu

Cons
  • Kids Martial Arts program might not be offered at all locations

  • Must request pricing information from individual studio

  • Wide range of prices depending on gym location

Overview

At a Checkmat gym, kids of all ages and abilities can learn basic Brazilian jiujitsu skills and techniques while also learning respect for others, communication, teamwork, determination, perseverance, confidence, and focus. On the physical side, they will build coordination, strength, speed, agility, flexibility, and athleticism.

Through the Checkmat’s Kids Martial Arts program, kids are taught how to defend themselves against bullies and how to react in intimidating situations. While the physical, hands-on aspect of Brazilian jiujitsu is a core concept in this program, children first will learn how to face down a bully with noncontact conflict resolution strategies before defending themselves physically. 

Checkmat is an international academy and competition team headquartered in Signal Hill-Long Beach, California. Most instructors are black belt level, but specific experience and levels depend on each facility. It’s best to ask about instructor training and experience before signing up. 

Locations that offer the Kids Martial Arts program typically schedule one-hour classes daily, Monday through Friday. Pricing is monthly and varies by location, with the average cost around $140 for unlimited classes.

Best for Beginners : Art of Jiu Jitsu


Art of Jiu Jitsu

Art of Jiu Jitsu

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Contact academy for pricing
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: Costa Mesa, California, also online
Why We Chose It

The Basics Program offered by the Art of Jiu Jitsu gives new students an excellent overview and foundation in jiujitsu techniques, skills, and theory.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Basics program gives new students a strong foundation

  • Curriculum focuses on intro techniques

  • Online program available

Cons
  • Only one in-person location

  • Need to contact the academy for in-person pricing options

  • Website is not very user-friendly

Overview

The Art of Jiu Jitsu School was founded in 2012 by the multiple-time world champion Mendes Brothers and Pm Tenore, founder of RVCA sports apparel. The trio wanted to build a world-class school in traditional and stylish gyms that focus only on jiujitsu. While the school offers programs to all levels, the Basics Program for beginners gives new students an excellent overview and strong foundation in positions and situations, core concepts, beginner techniques, and mobility and agility drills.

The Basics Program has daily classes, Monday through Friday, for one hour, with options in the morning and evening. The gym environment is friendly, supportive, and open. Pricing for the Basics Program, as well as other in-person classes, is vague; contact the academy to learn about specific costs per class.

Students who can’t make it to the Costa Mesa location can enroll in the online program. For $25 per month (or $250 annually), the online program gives you access to basic, fundamental, and advanced techniques, attacks, defense and escapes, positional studies, and Gi and NOGI techniques. You do not have to be a member of the academy to enroll in the online program.

Best for Variety : Gracie University


Gracie University Women Empowered

Gracie University Women Empowered

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $35 to $165 per month
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: Certified Gracie Jiujitsu Training Centers are located worldwide
Why We Chose It

Gracie University has a wide range of classes and programs catering to all levels and numerous training center locations.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Techniques and skills taught in a linear fashion

  • Comprehensive programs covering all levels of Brazilian jiujitsu

  • In-person classes also can access the online program

Cons
  • All Certified Training Centers teach the proprietary self-defense program developed by Gracie University

  • Quality of classes and instructors depends on location

  • Might not be a good fit if you’re looking to customize your training

Overview

Gracie University provides students of all ages and abilities access to numerous programs, classes, and seminars. The Certified Gracie Jiujitsu Training Centers (CTCs) are authorized to teach the Gracie University method of self-defense. Once you enroll with a CTC, you’ll receive free access to Gracie University’s online curriculum, so you can take classes in-person and at home. Plus, your monthly membership allows you to train at any CTC for up to 30 days free of charge.

In addition to CTCs, Gracie University also has Gracie Garages located throughout the country. These were designed to make the curriculum available to areas that do not have a CTC, allowing students to still practice Gracie Jiujitsu in-person with a group following the Gracie University curriculum.

The subscription plans offered by Gracie University range from $35 to $165 per month. These plans often are on sale, dropping the price to $20 to $99 per month. At the high end is the VIP program, which gives you unlimited access to all Gracie University features and classes. The Unlimited Plan is the best value and most popular option. The website details each plan and features along with monthly and annual costs.

Best for Black Belt Training : Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ


Atos HQ

Atos HQ

Key Specs
  • Pricing: Unlimited classes $350/month or $200/month with a 12-month contract
  • Experience Level: All levels, but the advanced program is for blue to black belt levels only
  • Locations: San Diego
Why We Chose It

Atos Jiujitsu HQ offers advanced programs to black belt-leveled students who wish to excel in a supportive and challenging environment.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Complete an online training program if you can’t attend in-person

  • Instructors have extensive experience

  • Competition program available

Cons
  • High monthly fees

  • Academy located in San Diego

  • Does not offer a black-belt only class

Overview

Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ is a world-class training facility in San Diego. The facility is led by Andre Galvao, regarded as one of the top Brazilian jiujitsu competitors of all time in Gi and No-Gi. Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ has a wide variety of classes, from fundamental to advanced and also offers kids', women’s, and masters' classes.

If you’re looking specifically for classes requiring a black belt, check out the Advanced program. This challenging series of classes give students an in-depth exploration of more advanced jiujitsu techniques. The classes focus on attacks, defensive techniques, and escapes from every position. Advanced classes are part of the daily schedule, Monday through Friday, and last about 90 minutes. 

Prices are on the high end and there is no discount for kids: The unlimited month-to-month membership costs $350 per month. If you sign a 12-month contract, this price drops to about $200 per month.

If you want to train with Atos but don’t live in San Diego, consider trying Atos BJJ On Demand which allows you to stream classes at home. Subscriptions cost about $25 per month, with discounts for annual plans. In addition, you’ll have access to the entire Atos library, which includes more than 10,000 hours of content. Programs are available for kids and adults.

Best for Fitness : UFC Gym


UFC Gym

UFC Gym

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $69 per month with a $99 initial fee; price may vary by location
  • Experience Level: All
  • Locations: 150 plus locations worldwide; online 
Why We Chose It

Students looking to learn Brazilian jiujitsu while getting an excellent workout will like the fitness-focused environment of the UFC Gym.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Provides a total body workout while learning Brazilian jiujitsu

  • Offers MMA-inspired fitness and other group fitness classes

  • Affordable monthly fee compared to the competitors

Cons
  • Might not be a good fit for a student looking to compete

  • Depending on location, classes might be full

  • Instructor’s belt level and experience varies by location

Overview

Founded in 2009, UFC Gyms are an extension of the global sports brand Ultimate Fighting Championship and focused on fitness inspired by mixed martial arts (MMA). In addition to Brazilian jiujitsu, UFC Gym locations offer MMA-inspired classes; youth programs designed to develop coordination, agility, speed, and strength; and group fitness classes.

The Brazilian jiujitsu classes include Level 0 introduction, women only, youth, and advanced classes. Classes focus on the foundations and begin with basic techniques and advance with practice. Instructors' credentials and experience vary. Coaches and instructors are elite athletes, and most gyms use personal trainers to help members in group fitness classes but employ skilled and often black-belt level instructors for Brazilian jiujitsu classes.

Other classes and martial arts programs offered at UFC Gyms include kickboxing, boxing, HIIT, Muay Thai, and MMA. Plus, most have specific wrestling, sparring, and No Gi jiujitsu classes. Prices vary by location but average about $69 per month with a $99 initial fee. (This generally is for access to one club.) You can upgrade for about $20 more per month and receive access to all UFC Gyms.

UFC Gym also has an online program called UFC Fit On the Go, giving you access to livestream classes, video on demand, online personal training, and nutrition help. This is a subscription service, and the membership is about $10 per month.

Best for Self-Defense : Gracie Combatives


Gracie Combatives

Gracie Combatives

Key Specs
  • Pricing: $189 one-time fee or $20/month
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • No. Locations: Online and Certified Training Centers
Why We Chose It

Gracie Combatives Beginner Program is an in-depth course covering the most critical skills in self-defense.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • One of the most thorough self-defense programs covering 36 lessons

  • Online version comes with a 5-day risk-free trial

Cons
  • Course is 36 hours total

  • Intermediate and advanced students might not find it challenging enough

  • Gracie Combatives Belt is not recognized outside of Gracie University

Overview

Gracie Combatives self-defense program is an in-depth course covering 36 core techniques of Brazilian jiujitsu. Offered by Gracie University, this beginner-friendly program teaches one ground and one standing self-defense technique during each lesson. You can expect to learn positions like leg hook takedown, trap and roll escape, elbow escape, straight armlock, leg takedown, double leg takedown, and many more. Each class is one hour in length, for a total of 36 hours. Upon successful completion of the program, you can earn the Gracie Combatives Belt.

The curriculum is linear, so it’s best to take the lessons in the prescribed sequence. In addition to the 36-hour class, the Gracie Combatives class comes with a 65-page self-defense handbook.

If you plan on taking the entire 36-hour course, you can pay a one-time fee of $189, which gives you access to the lessons forever. The Combatives program is available online and in person. If you enroll at a Certified Training Center, you’ll also receive a free subscription to Gracie University Online.

Final Verdict

The jiujitsu classes and programs on this list serve a wide variety of levels and interests. If you want a well-rounded and accessible program, check out the classes at Gracie Barra. The beginner Basics Program at the Art of Jiu Jitsu is an excellent choice for new students, and the black belt level classes offered at Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ will challenge even the most experienced students. Overall, there are many reputable jiujitsu training centers and gyms that prepare students of various levels and martial arts backgrounds. The main difference between the classes and programs comes down to the instructors, the gym environment, how they teach jiujitsu, and the classes they offer.

Guide for Choosing the Best Jiujitsu Classes

Are Jiujitsu Classes Right for You?

You might be curious about jiujitsu for its self-defense teachings, or maybe you want to build confidence and increase your physical and mental fitness. Regardless of your reasons, here are some reasons to consider taking a jiujitsu class:

  • You want a great workout: If you’re looking for a workout that burns calories, increases heart rate, builds muscle stamina, and improves flexibility and agility, jiujitsu is a great place to start. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies jiujitsu as a vigorous activity that can burn more than 7 kcal/minute.
  • You want to learn self-defense: Jiujitsu provides an excellent foundation for learning self-defense. Plus, it’s appropriate for beginners.
  • You want to build confidence and challenge your mind: Martial arts, in general, are great for the mind. Learning new techniques and skills and then putting them into practice with a partner can keep you mentally sharp and boost your confidence.

Comparing Jiujitsu Classes

Whether you’re searching for a jiujitsu class near where you live or online, there are some important factors to consider before enrolling:

Techniques: Some training centers offer only their style of jiujitsu. If you’re looking for a broader experience, make sure to choose a gym that teaches general Brazilian jiujitsu.

Location: The larger training facilities have locations around the country, so start your search with some of the well-known or local gyms; you might find a facility near your home. Additionally, many companies offer online programs similar to their in-person classes.

Instructor experience: Some facilities employ various belt levels and trainers, while others use only black belt-level instructors. Make sure to ask about credentials, belt level, and experience.

Personal experience level: If you’re new to Brazilian jiujitsu, consider a gym or training facility specializing in beginner classes. Jiujitsu is a competitive sport, so the environment in some gyms is intense and better suited for advanced students.

Enrolling in Jiujitsu Classes

After you’ve decided on a jiujitsu school or gym, the next step is to enroll. Some training centers offer in-person and online enrollment. But before you sign up and pay, make a trip to the facility. Walk around and ask to talk to an instructor. If it offers a free class, take it before making a final decision. Next, look at the schedule and pricing packages. Ask if they have a beginner package. Also, read the fine print and check for an enrollment fee, annual fee, or contract. If you need to sign a 6-month or 12-month contract in order to get a lower monthly fee, make sure you understand what this entails. Finally, inquire about any special equipment or clothing you may need before your first class.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do Jiujitsu Classes Cost?

Brazilian jiujitsu is an investment. On average, you can expect to pay $150 to $200 per month for unlimited classes at a quality facility. Some of the well-known training centers charge $350 per month and tack on an enrollment fee. If you opt for online classes, the prices are more affordable, with the typical membership coming in around $25 per month.

What Do You Learn By Participating in Jiujitsu Classes?

Brazilian jiujitsu classes teach both physical and mental skills. Many people enroll in jiujitsu to learn self-defense skills. The good thing about jiujitsu is that the self-defense skills gained in this style of martial arts are appropriate for all ages and abilities. Since Brazilian jiujitsu uses grappling, you will learn how to use your body to create space or take it away when you are under attack. It also allows students to use simple attacks to escape and teaches conflict resolution skills to help defuse a potentially violent situation. 

In addition to self-defense, you can expect to learn or improve the following skills:

  • Speed 
  • Agility 
  • Grappling
  • Flexibility 
  • Confidence
  • Mental toughness

What Are Jiujitsu Classes Like?

The best way to learn about the structure of a jiujitsu class is to observe one before enrolling. Most gyms and jiujitsu schools will allow you to observe or even take a class for free. Classes can vary from 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the age and level. Younger students tend to have shorter classes, while more experienced adults work out longer. The instructor will tell you what to wear and if you need any special equipment.

A typical class begins with a warm-up, followed by techniques, skills, and drilling. If you’re in a class that is building on each lesson, this will be sequential. Otherwise, you will learn and practice what is being taught that day. You can expect to work several drills with a partner, especially positional drilling; this will be the majority of the class. The conclusion of the class may include sparring, especially if you’re in an intermediate or advanced class.

Methodology

We looked at more than 15 Brazilian jiujitsu training centers and gyms and settled on the eight listed in this roundup. To make the final list, we considered the number of locations, access to online training, monthly membership costs, free trial class, level of classes, instructor belt levels, customer reviews, and the environment of the center. Finally, we included Brazilian jiujitsu gyms that offer other forms of fitness or martial arts and have a competition team.

By Sara Lindberg
Sara Lindberg, M.Ed., is a freelance writer focusing on health, fitness, nutrition, parenting, and mental health.

Edited by Brian Abbott