As noted in a previous blog posts, certain cities in the UK became hotbeds of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one of these was the BJJ Birmingham scene. Jiu Jitsu in Birmingham grew rapidly after one of the best competitors in the world Braulio Estima set up his academy in Birmingham. In this article we go through some of the best Birmingham BJJ Academies and Jiu Jitsu in Birmingham overall.
Gracie Barra Birmingham
One of the original academies of the Birmingham BJJ scene, Gracie Barra Birmingham is run by multiple world champion Braulio Estima in both the Gi and NoGi, being an ADCC Openweight champion and superfight champion, a true legend of Jiu Jitsu. The academy has a number of Black belt coaches and competitors, these include Polish phenom Jakub Zajkowski who was invited by Braulio to teach and train out of Birmingham. Jakub is a multiple medalist at major competitions such as Europeans and Abu Dhabi World pro. Other coaches include Laura Barker, one of the premier female Jiu Jitsu athletes in Europe, a black belt European champion and multiple world medalist at the coloured belts. The academy boasts a mat space of 200 square metres, using the best matting available. There are changing rooms with showers, a pro shop for your uniform needs and will soon be launching a fitness and work out area. The Jiu Jitsu academy is located very close to the city centre, and offers classes to kids from 3 years and above as well as adult classes and fitness programmes.
The time table is extremely comprehensive. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes are offered Monday to Saturday. There are Gi classes available everyday as well as day clases. No reason to not attend a class and get on the mats even for people with the busiest schedule.
Pro Jiu Jitsu
Pro Jiu jitsu is a ZR team affiliate run by Norbert Nowak. Noward holds a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Ze Radiola. Norbert has been teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 12 Years. In addition to teaching at his academies, Nowark has taught seminars across the U.K. and throughout Europe. Pro Jiu Jitsu is home to multiple black belt and brown belt coaches who cover a range of classes. Jiu Jitsu classes 7 days a week, with classes available most mornings and evenings. There are Gi and Nogi classes for both beginners and advanced along with wrestling and striking classes. Ladies only classes available for those who are interested in training Jiu Jitsu with only women. In terms of pricing Pro Jiu Jitsu is competitively priced for Jiu Jitsu Birmingham. Pro Jiu Jitsu offers tiered pricing for both members and visitors along with the Children's classes. There is also per session pricing for those just dropping in.
One of the newer academies of the BJJ Birmingham scene, Nexus BJJ was founded by 3rd-degree black belt Kevin Webb & black belt Tom Caughey, both having coached and competed at the highest levels. The academy is supported by the 8th degree Black Belt Mauricio Gomes, father to the most renowned BJJ athlete of all time Roger Gracie.
Kevin Webb began training in 2003 with Braulio Estima and gained his Black Belt from Braulio in 2010. Over the past 18 years, Kevin has been an active competitor on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene in the U.K competing at both national and international level, representing his country both in Gi and No-Gi competition.
Kevin has also held a UKCC level 2 coaching qualification in Freestyle Wrestling and has also competed in this sport. Tom received his Jiu Jitsu Black Belt in 2017 under Chiu Kwong Man and Jude Samuels and was awarded his 1st Dan in 2020 by coach Kevin Webb. He has also competed extensively winning medals at the Pan Americans NoGi and winning superfights on shows such as Grapplefest and Polaris. The academy is purely grappling based with Gi and NoGi having almost an equal split, there are also Wrestling classes on offer along with Kids classes. In terms of pricing the academy has multiple options both Adults and Kids have tiered membership, Bronze, Silver and Gold. For visitors you can either pay by class, pay for the day or there is a double class option.
Team Fearless MMA
Fearless MMA was established in 2009 by brothers Kaish and Kamby Banger. Kaish and Kamby were heavily influenced by their father, a former wrestler in India. Kaish has his MMA roots in Thai Boxing, as a former British Thai Boxing Champion he boasts over 20 years experience competing and training in Thai Boxing. Kamby Banger has used his wrestling skills globally, participating in numerous training and competitive events worldwide. He has numerous British and English titles in Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, and is former captain of the Great British Wrestling Team. The academy is known for its high level of wrestling with members from other Birmingham BJJ academies training here to sharpen their skills in wrestling, including Jiu Jitsu athletes like Bradley Hill, Laura Barker and UFC athletes such as Leon Edwards.
One of the premier MMA academies in Europe, team Renegade is run by BJJ black belt Chiu Kwong Man and UFC athlete and fellow Jiu Jitsu black belt Tom Breese. The academy is home to some of the best MMA fighters in Europe including Leon and Fabian Edwards, Jai Herbert, Aiden Lee, and Yannick Bahati, all veterans of big shows. The academy runs grappling classes each evening and morning, Monday to Friday. While being known for being a premier MMA academy, it's grappling side are frequently seen on Competition podiums across the country. Definitely an academy to visit to experience Birmingham BJJ.
While of course this list is not exhaustive, these are five of the top Birmingham 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