Whether you’re an active competitor or part time hobbyist who trains purely for fun and fitness, we have all been in this situation - a family holiday/romantic getaway. For this extended period, you are away from your own academy, you know the Jiu Jitsu itch will develop, can you train where you choose to go, and if so what is the academy like? Is it welcoming to visitors, are there a wide range of sessions so that you can pick and choose when you train? Here at Fighters Market Europe we have chosen 5 European city destinations with a welcoming Jiu Jitsu academy!
_______________________Dublin - ECJJA
The capital city of Ireland, when you think of Dublin most people would probably imagine the Guinness Brewery, traditional Irish pubs and trinity college, however it is also known for its world class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One of the premier competition teams in Europe is based just a short Dart (Ireland’s train service) ride out of the city centre, East Coast Jiu Jitsu Academy (ECJJA). Headed by Tatami Fightwear sponsored athlete and the 2018 IBJJF European Nogi Middleweight Champion Darragh O’conaill, ECJJA has become a powerhouse of Irish and European Jiu Jitsu. A combination of dedicated athletes, intelligent coaching, and very tough training has helped created multiple champions from this academy including Kingz Athlete Richy Buckovskan and Progress JJ’s Marcus Phelan . However, the atmosphere and vibe there ensures that everyone from the serious competitor to casual hobbyist feels welcome and enjoys their training. Most importantly the gym has an open-door policy, for everyone from any affiliation.
At the top of the list for those looking for hot weather in Europe and a beach to kick back, relax and work on a tan. Barcelona is also home to one of the best football teams in the world. The city also boasts some breath taking baroque architecture.
It also more importantly has an affiliate of the current World Champion BJJ team Atos. Headed by Kingz sponsored athlete Gustavo Galvao, brother of Andre Galvao. It is one of the few Atos affiliates in Europe. Gustavo is an active competitor on the European scene and opens an open door policy at his academy for visitors!
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and One of the prettiest spots for a city break. Some of the most beautiful Palaces and shopping centres, and the home of ABBA. Scandinavia itself is one of the hotbeds of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu in Europe, and one of the academies leading the charge is Prana Jiu Jitsu. A Checkmat affiliate based in Stockholm, this academy has produced champion after champion. Notables include current Purple Belt European champions Cemil Karahan and Elina Moestam, and Brown belt medallists such as, Emad Omran and one of the premier Black belts in Europe Max Lindblad. If you visit Stockholm, make sure to pop into Prana Jiu Jitsu for some solid rolls!
London, a bucket list city to visit for those around the world and inside England. Attractions such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Madame Tussaud’s, The Tower of London and London Bridge to name a few, there is loads of places to visit while in London. For the BJJ practitioner? Not only does it hold 3 IBJJF Competitions a year and a leg of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, it is also home to some of the best Jiu Jitsu academies in Europe and some of the best Practitioners in the world! On the top of that list to visit is Roger Gracie Academy, home to one of the greatest grapplers of all time, Roger Gracie himself. Not only is the academy home to Roger, but he has numerous Black belts, including the recently crowned King of Mats Charles Negromonte. The talent level is evident throughout all the belt levels, from brown belts such as Tatami’s River Dillon to some of the best blue belts. Not only that, superman himself, Henry Cavill, is a student of Roger and sometimes trains at the academy.
The picturesque city of Zurich, one of the prettiest cities in Europe, with Lake Zurich and the hills surrounding it’s hard not to be taken aback by your surroundings, especially when coupled with the amazing architecture of the city. However, the city also hosts one of the most well equipped BJJ gyms in Europe, Frota Academy. The academy has played host to some of the best Jiu Jitsu athletes of this generation, Leandro Lo, Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Buchecha all teaching at Frota academy at some point. A look inside the Gym and you first notice the high-quality equipment available, from a quality mat space to the academies weight lifting facilities. With a full time schedule, you’d always be able to fit in a session at Frota while on your holiday in Zurich.