Around the world, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is rapidly becoming the martial art of choice. Practitioners are taking the skills they’ve developed and are expanding the sport wherever their travels take them. While of course, it goes without saying that Brazil is the heart and home of Jiu Jitsu, there are many other lesser known destinations thriving in the BJJ world. If you are a student of BJJ and want to expand your knowledge, there are destinations around the world that are recognized as hubs for the sport. If you can make it to Brazil, jump on the opportunity but some of these places are more attainable, depending on your location. Incorporating travel into your training provides opportunity to learn new techniques and expand your overall understanding of the sport. Here are a few places that any traveling Jiu Jitsu-er should consider adding to their itinerary.
I may be slightly biased, as this is my hometown, but San Diego is one of the most robust Jiu Jitsu scenes in the country. Although the sport originated in Brazil, and Rio is the capital of the sport, the southern coast of California has become somewhat of a cultural landmark in the BJJ community. With a large number of schools and academies, BJJ has become an intricate part of the San Diego community. The Jiu Jitsu lifestyle encompasses a large portion of the population in San Diego. Those seeking a fully immersive BJJ experience should consider a visit to the beach town in the near future.
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest U.S. cities is a hub for all things BJJ. New York is truly a melting pot on so many levels. There are schools for every martial art but Jiu Jitsu has recently thrived in the Big Apple. Some of the schools are a lot larger, as to accommodate to the large population in the city. This being said, if you practice at a NYC school, expect to have a hefty number of classmates ranging in belt ranking and ability. Your BJJ travels can take you anywhere in the world but if you’ve never been to New York, it should rank highly on your itinerary. The city is full of activities for tourists and those making it a long-term stay.
The heart of mixed martial arts lies within the Asian countries. Most, if not all the well-known MMAs were birthed in an Asian country. This being said, many practitioners of all styles of MMA feel a spiritual connection to the region. The feeling of being in the home of some of the greatest sports out there takes most people through an entire spiritual journey. As Jiu Jitsu has heavy roots in Judo, exploring the city where it was born is unforgettable for many. Most of the BJJ students in Japan are of smaller stature, so training here makes for an ideal training ground for lighter fighters.