⚠️ An important note before you read on
Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for many is a lifelong journey. Yet, many people choose a club to start training super-fast. And it’s usually based on how close it is to them.
It’s really important that you take the time to clearly understand each individual club’s merits before jumping in. Your decision should primarily be based on the quality of Jiu-Jitsu and the culture of the club, and secondarily on location.
We have written this post in order to have a clearer understanding of the biggest clubs in Bristol and therefore best equip you to make an informed decision.
Example highlights of top 3 schools’ offerings:
Choosing the best Jiu-Jitsu club in Bristol that suits your own individual needs is challenging – we get it. Everyone has their own goals and objectives and differing lifestyles mean that Jiu-Jitsu to the family-oriented individual may look very different from Jiu-Jitsu to the 17-year-old, hungry athlete looking to build a career in the sport.
In analysing the top Jiu-Jitsu schools in Bristol, we have collected a number of data points. Here’s a summary before we get started on the rankings.
📅 Timetable and overall availability
There is a very small selection of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, full-time schools in Bristol. And whilst this is not mandatory, having multiple sessions per day is one of the highest-ranking factors of customer happiness.
🥋 Multiple mat spaces (2+)
This is great for classes running at the same time, for people that can only make one-time slots and still have access to multiple classes. Great for running striking alongside grappling classes.
👍 Large mat space (sq ft)
Larger mat spaces often reduce the chance of crashing into another pair or getting injured. It will also provide more freedom to move without limitations.
🌸 Women-only programmes
A Women-only programme is a solid indicator of a healthy welcoming environment. If a club fosters a culture of inclusivity and has a good attendance of female grapplers, this is a strong indicator of an environment they feel comfortable.
🥇 Competition classes
Competition classes, a full-time competition team and a general competitive focus are paramount in driving excellence in the qualify of Jiu-Jitsu within a club. Whilst individuals may not actively be seeking competition or dedicating their career, having this segment within the club, elevates the overall standard of coaching and reputation of the individual club.
💪 Over 40’s programmes
An over-40 programme is a great space for middle-aged practitioners to get started in their BJJ journey at a pace that they feel comfortable in, with like-minded individuals.
👨👧👦 Kids programmes
Kids programmes are a strong indicator of the success of a club. A more intricate data point is the segmentation of the kid’s classes. Larger, more established BJJ clubs will be able to facilitate better segmentation by age, and proficiency in order to optimise individuals learning (this is usually achieved by a larger facility and broader ranges of coaches in order to best serve).
Coaching techniques and teaching children discipline, overcoming failure, dedication and building social skills are paramount in their BJJ journey.
1. Roger Gracie North Bristol
Roger Gracie Academy Bristol is a full-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy with over 500+ active members. Primarily a BJJ school, RGA Bristol has recently expanded into boxing and kickboxing with prestigious coaches.
Run by black belt brothers Luke & Clayton Chamberlain, and 20+ coaches, the team delivers over 65+ classes per week in the weekly schedule. The school is open 7 days per week and with classes morning, afternoon, and evening, it has a schedule that meets all varying lifestyles.
There is a full spectrum within RGA Bristol with daily classes for children starting 3 years old, through to a full-time competition team that have starred on BBC, ITV and UFC. The core of the club are passionate, friendly and welcoming individuals that like to train regularly throughout the week – with the standards all spearheaded from a broad coaching and competition team who compete regularly and succeed at the sport’s highest levels.
Roger Gracie is widely regarded as the G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu.
🥇 Largest Jiu-Jitsu academy in Bristol with 500+ members
🥇 Ranked #1 BJJ club in U.K. (March 2023)
🥇 National and International gold medalists in most prestigious competitions (ADCC, British Open, Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, and more)
✅ Full-time, dedicated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy.
✅ 65+ classes per week across two mat spaces.
✅ Open 7 days a week.
✅ Over 6,000 sq. ft with 2 dedicated mat spaces for concurrent classes.
✅ Kids-programme with daily classes (5 x per week) plus segmentation between young children, juniors, and teenagers.
✅ Women-only classes weekly.
✅ Over 40’s classes weekly.
✅ Full-time competition team
❌ Kickboxing and Boxing classes recently started in new, adjacent purpose-built building leading to larger member base.
❌ No cafe facilities.
2. Pedro Bessa BJJ
⭐️ Rated: 5/5 on Google Reviews (10+ reviews)
💰 Starting from: £85 per month for adults, £35 per month for kids.
📍 Address: Sweatbox Gym, Princess St, Bristol BS3 4AG
☎️ Contact: 07833493238
💻 Website: https://sweatboxgym.com/classes/martial-arts/jiu-jitsu/
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school which runs out of a functional fitness and weights facility called Sweatbox. Pedro Bessa BJJ is one of the longest-running BJJ schools in the city of Bristol. Pedro Bessa is an accomplished competitor from Brazil. They offer over 22+ classes per week, with both kids and adults classes, including beginners and advanced classes. Pedro Bessa’s school also have high-level competitors who compete regularly and also have success at the highest levels.
✅ Membership includes access to a large weight facility.
✅ Accomplished Brazilian instructor.
✅ Central location.
❌ Only 22 classes per week which might not suit shift workers.
❌ Kids’ classes are not every day.
❌ No full-time competition team.
3. Trojan Free Fighters Bristol
⭐️ Rated: 5/5 on Google Reviews (179+ reviews)
💰 Starting from: £60 per month for adults, £40 per month for kids.
📍 Address: Newfoundland Circus, St Jude’s, Bristol BS2 9DA
☎️ Contact: 07916 161934
💻 Website: http://trojanfreefightersbristol.com/
A full-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA academy in the city centre, Trojan Free Fighters is run by Salvatore Pace black belt Mario Saeed. With over 20+ classes per week, Trojan offers classes for both kids and adults. With classes starting from 5 years old for kids. Trojan also have striking classes running in the same facility, which is great if you wish to learn striking.
✅ Great for beginners.
✅ Central location.
✅ Free classes.
❌ No full-time coaching team.
❌ Only 1 daytime class during the week.
❌ No full-time competition team.