For this blog we jump over Hadrian’s Wall and head up north to Glasgow Scotland, a historically tough and gritty city, so there is bound to be some tough Glasgow Jiu Jitsu. In this article we go through some of the best BJJ academies in Glasgow. Scotland has a special relationship with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, with the Gracie Jiu Jitsu family having its roots in Scotland. While shocking for some to hear of the family having roots in Scotland, the jiu jitsu scene there makes sure to represent those roots proudly.
When thinking about BJJ Scotland, The Griphouse Academy is one of the first academies that comes to mind. A mainstay of the Glasgow Jiu Jitsu scene, The Griphouse has produced many high level competitors. Founded in 2005 by Guy Ramsey and Paul Mcveigh the Griphouse was established to give those with an interest in combat sports a venue where they could go and receive the highest level of coaching in a host of reality based martial arts. From the start jiu jitsu was at the heart of the program The Griphouse is the only gym in Scotland with two BJJ Black Belt coaches under Roberto Atalla - Paul McVeigh and Garry Christie. The Griphouse is a full time academy with specialist coaches to teach you in disciplines such as Freestyle wrestling, BJJ, Muay thai and MMA. This gym is a mainstay of the Glascow Jiu Jitsu scene and a leading academy in all of Scotland BJJ
Short for Marcos Nardini Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this academy is centrally located in Glasgow, head coach Marcos Nardini is a third degree black belt and is also a European and multiple time IBJJF Champion. He was awarded his black belt in 2006 under professor Amal Easton in Colorado. Amal Easton is a well known jiu jitsu coach in the United States BJJ community, who received his jiu jitsu black belt from the hands of Renzo Gracie. Amal has for long time been known in the jiu jitsu scene for producing high level jiu jitsu black belts and for being an awesome person ( highly recommend studying jiu jitsu with Easton and his team if you ever find yourself in Colorado). Assistant coaches include Chris Aiton is a black belt under Marcos who has fought MMA previously, and coaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Strength and conditioning for MMA. Jack Brown is a NoGi focused coach with a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, who is an active competitor. The academy is purely BJJ focused, with Beginners, Advanced and Competition Classes being offered from Monday to Saturday. Whether you prefer gi jiu jitsu or some no gi, make sure to stop in for a roll with one of MNBJJF knowledgeable coaches.
Another BJJ only academy representing Glasgow Jiu Jitsu is Ronin Grappling. Head coach Giles Garcia is a jiu jitsu black belt under Christian Graugart, Ronin Grappling offers classes Monday to Sunday, with Gi, NoGi, Open mats, Yoga for BJJ and Women’s and Non Binary only jiu jitsu classes. Assistant jiu jitsu coaches include Lorna Kinnoch, who is an experienced BJJ Purple Belt competitor. Visitors are given the opportunity to train for free. Something to keep in mind when you are visiting Glasgow and get the itch to train, especially for those traveling and training BJJ on a budget!
Gracie Barra Glasgow
No list of a jiu jitsu scene is complete without a Gracie Barra, it seems the network of Gracie Barra is everywhere, with Gracie Barra helping progress BJJ Scotland.
Head Coach Ricky Gillon is a First Degree Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Lagarto, a direct student of Carlos Gracie Jr, he is the Kids coach as well along with being a Kettlebell Instructor. Assistant jiu jitsu coaches include BJJ Brown Belt Iain Macauley, Kimberley Gillon
Instructor and Women’s coach and BJJ purple belt who also teaches the Barra Fit Programme and Kellyanne Gillon the Thai boxing Coach and BJJ Blue Belt. Gracie Barra Glasgow also have a specialist jiu jitsu No-Gi coach in Ahmad Kamal Salah
The timetable is especially diverse with multiple classes on offer, there are adult mixed classes, from BJJ Fundamentals, All Levels to Advanced BJJ training. If one truly falls in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they can enter the Black Belt Program, an advanced training program.There are multiple kids classes across the ages and Gracie Barra Glasgow is not without a Ladies only class. Gracie Barra gyms aso offer a programme called ‘Barra Fit’ This class is a Jiu-Jitsu inspired workout that promotes weight loss while increasing your overall fitness. A great way for Jiu Jitsu players to complement their regular training schedule.
10th Planet Glasgow
While based outside of Glasgow, we can count this academy as Glasgow Jiu Jitsu. There are not many 10th Planet jiu jitsu academies in the UK, with 10th Planet Glasgow being the only 10th Planet jiu jitsu gym in Scotland. Head Coach Steven Thompson is the first and only 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Instructor in Scotland . He is the first Black Belt in Scotland under Eddie Bravo and the 2nd in the UK . 10th Planet Glasgow has been open since April 2013 . The academy is based at Acombat sports area, with a full ring, Octagon Cage along with a large matted area. As a grappler you couldn't ask for much more, showing even more the rise of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Scotland. The academy has jiu jitsu classes every weekday evening and classes over the weekend. You get access to fitness classes, access to the cardio, weights & MMA gyms, complimentary use of the Sauna & Steam Room as well as all Adult exercise classes.
While of course this list is not exhaustive, these are five of the top Glasgow BJJ academies. Keep your eye out for similar articles on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene in the UK and other places around the world. Wishing you all the best out there on the mats!
-Team Progress Jiu Jitsu