BJJ in Thailand: Where Can I Train? (2023)

Thailand is a great place for martial arts. Aside from Muay Thai, it has a growing number of gyms catering to Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Thailand has one of the liveliest BJJ communities in all of Asia. So what’s it like doing BJJ in Thailand?

Popularity of BJJ in Thailand

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has exponentially grown in Thailand and the entire South East Asian region since the early to mid-2000s. Aside from the Philippines and Singapore, Thailand is another popular spot for those who plan on doing the BJJ lifestyle.

Thailand now has several black belts teaching in several world-class gyms. In this article, we’ve come up with a list of some of the best gyms the country has to offer.

What to Keep in Mind if You Are Visiting a New BJJ Gym in Thailand

But before we proceed with our list, what are things that you need to keep in mind when visiting a new gym? To make the most out of your training in Thailand, here are a few things you want to remember.

Number of classes in a week

First, check the available classes per week. If you have work, you’d want to make sure that the classes fit your schedule. Also, give yourself some elbow room in case you have to travel from your workplace to the BJJ gym.

Who teaches the class?

Next, who teaches the class? Is the instructor a black belt? For a white belt, you’d most likely learn something new even if the instructor is a blue belt. However, for someone doing BJJ for a while, small details from a brown or black belt matter.

Does it matter if the instructor is a competitor or not? In reality, teaching and competing are two different skills in jiujitsu. Not all good competitors can teach.

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Which association is the academy affiliated to?

Another important detail you need to know is the affiliation of the school. Though gyms don’t always have to be affiliated with a popular association, the affiliation system ensures the quality of instruction. Plus, having an affiliation registered with the IBJJF can save you the trouble if you’re competing in the future.

How much is the monthly rate?

Now, ask about the monthly rate of the gym. Ask if it comes with other perks such as access to other classes and gym facilities like the weights room. Also, try to compare the price with the other gyms. Should you go to the cheapest gym in Thailand? You have to also weigh if the monthly fee is worth it.

Visit the gym for a trial class

Once you’ve done everything we’ve mentioned, it’s time to visit the gym. There are some things that you’ll only know once you’re in the gym. Do they offer good instruction? Do they have good training partners? Is it more for casual students or more for active competitors?

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Best BJJ Gyms in Thailand

Arete Thailand

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Arete Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is located in Wattana, Bangkok The name Arete means “excellence of any kind” or “moral virtue” based on its Greek meaning.

It was established by Matsuhiro Nakamura and Andrew MacDonald in 2014. Both Nakamura and MacDonald are Nova Uniao black belts. Mitsuhiro believes that “Jiu-jitsu is a lever”. He believes that it can be used as an equalizer or even as an advantage by weaker individuals.

The gym welcomes visitors from all over the world with classes taught in English, Japanese, and Thai. Arete offers more than 20 classes per week giving students more than enough options when they plan to train.

This gym is a favorite among visiting BJJ practitioners because of its facilities. It comes with a 120+ square meter mat space. Plus, it comes with a dedicated functional fitness training area. They also have locker rooms with showers for men and women. And just in case you forgot your gi, they offer gi rental.

Its annual contract is at 3,900 THB per month or a total of 46800 THB per year. On the other hand, there are also other payment options. For visiting students, you can pay either daily, weekly, or monthly. A day pass is at 600 THB while a weekly pass is at 1500 THB.

Address: 13 Thong Lo Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Q23 Academy

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Q23 Academy is another popular academy if you plan on doing BJJ in Thailand. Run by Adam Shahir Kayoom, who is a black belt under Professor Ricardo Liborio, students get game-changing details from Kayoom’s classes.

Kayoom is a true martial artist. He has competed not only in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but even fought in MMA. Aside from his experience competing in different martial arts, Kayoom also has experience officiating BJJ tournaments.

Q23 is located at the Ambassador Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok. It offers a variety of BJJ classes for both kids and adults alike. They also offer gi and nogi classes, allowing you to apply your jiujitsu regardless if you are wearing the kimono or not.

Students pay 4,300 THB per month for their BJJ adults classes. This includes 12 classes per week. It also comes with an annual contract at 43,300 THB, wherein you can save as much as 8,300 THB. If you’re only visiting for a day, you can get the day pass for 500 THB. If you don’t have a gi with you, you can rent a gi at Q23 for 200 THB. Kayoom offers private classes for 2,500 THB good for one-on-one or up to 4 people.

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Address: Ambassador Hotel, 171 Soi Sukhumvit 1/1, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Bigfoot BJJ, Bangkok

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Bigfoot BJJ has moved to its new location on Rama 4 in Bangkok, close to Theptarin Hospital. The academy offers superb quality instructions regardless of your experience as a student.

Bigfoot BJJ’s head instructor is Lee Livingston. Livingston is a true martial artist who also practiced Shotokan Karate. He started learning BJJ after watching “no holds barred” fights in the 90s. But since the UK was lacking in BJJ schools during that time, he decided to travel to California to learn the gentle art.

Lee Livingston received his black belt in 2011 from the head of Alliance Jiujitsu Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti. Aside from being a black belt, he also competed in MMA. He competed with the likes of Paul Daley and Dan Hardy.

Bigfoot BJJ offers both fundamental classes and intermediate BJJ classes. The fundamental classes involve movement drills that help teach students the proper body mechanics needed in BJJ. This curriculum introduces basic positions, submissions, and escapes needed in more advanced classes.

For a white belt with zero experience, he or she will ideally have to first participate in the fundamentals class for 3 months. In the intermediate class, students will not only gain experience on how to approach a competition setting but will gain a deeper understanding of the art.

Regular jiujitsu classes are available from Monday to Saturday and Sundays are dedicated to private lessons.

Address: BigBox Rama 4, 3798. Rama 4 Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Temple BJJ, Phuket

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Temple BJJ in Phuket is the perfect choice if you want to experience both training BJJ and the natural beauty of Thailand.

One of the biggest selling points of Temple BJJ is its spectacular view. You get to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu while enjoying the view of the lake and fauna. Unlike other gyms that have air-conditioned training facilities, Temple BJJ lets you enjoy the fresh ocean breeze.

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The academy also offers superb quality instructions. It is led by 5th-degree black belt Olavo Abreu. Abreu trained directly from Carlson Gracie Jr and had the chance to train with the likes of Ze Mario Sperry and Murilo Bustamante. Before opening Temple BJJ, he developed national programs in UAE and Moscow. Temple BJJ also has two other resident black belts Campbell Symes and Ben Royle.

The academy’s training fee costs 3090 THB for its weekly plan and 10,990 THB if you plan on paying monthly. It also comes with an annual plan for 99,000 THB, and it comes with a free gi.

But aside from BJJ, Temple BJJ also offers strength and conditioning and even nutrition consultation and service.

Address: 14/106, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83130, Thailand

Phuket Top Team, Phuket

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Next on our list is Phuket Top Team. Phuket Top Team is a place that can provide top-quality training for a variety of individuals.

This gym is renowned for its first-class facilities, and superb instructions in both striking and grappling departments. It’s a favorite among different athletes. Professional fighters go to Phuket Top Team to experience training with accomplished fighters. As for hobbyists, it’s a place where they can train and enjoy the sea at the same time.

Phuket Top Team is the gold standard when it comes to its list of instructors. Muay Thai coaches include the likes of Nonsai Sor Sanyakorn who is a two-time Muay Thai world champion. Not only can you learn the basic punches and kicks, but you can also get insights straight from someone who has reached the top of his sport.

Phuket Top Team also has a boxing program led by Saddam “Da Bomb” Kietyongyuth, who has won the WBC Asian Boxing Council title and the WBC International title.

For those who plan on doing BJJ in Phuket Top Team, there’s Professor Alex Alves to guide you through your progress. Alves is a 5th-degree black belt with more than 30 years of experience in the sport. He has actively competed in Brazil winning different tournaments. He also has MMA fighting experience making him a perfect fit even for professional fighters.

Phuket Top Team offers different pricing that will match different students. A single Muay Thai/Boxing class is at 400 THB while you can also avail of their weekly rate at 2,800 THB or monthly at 9,000 THB.

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For BJJ, Phuket Top Team’s rate is at 400 THB for a single class and 500 THB for a full-day pass. You can also pay per week, for 3200 THB and 10,000 THB per month. For those who want to attend all classes, it’s 3500 THB per week or 12500 per month.

What makes Phuket Top Team different is they also provide meal planning for those who are serious about getting into fight form. 30 individual meals and 30 protein shakes for a month cost 5500 THB. If you feel that this isn’t enough, they can also serve regular meals.

Address: 45, 31 M.1 Soi Tadied Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand

Chiang Mai Jiu Jitsu, Chiang Mai

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And lastly, you have Chiang Mai Jiu Jitsu. The academy is situated right outside of Old Chiang Mai City. Chiang Mai Jiujitsu offers BJJ classes to both kids and adults. It is affiliated with Professor Garth Taylor.

Garth Taylor is a black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu for almost 20 years and is the owner of the Garth Taylor Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts gym in Santa Cruz, California. Taylor is a competitor who has competed at the World Championship and in ADCC.

Bryan Garrison teaches classes in Chiang Mai Jiu Jitsu. Garrison is originally from California but has lived in Thailand since 2008. He’s established the first BJJ club in Chiang Mai in 2009 before moving to Bangkok in early 2011. During his time in Bangkok, he managed Bangkok BJJ Academy and taught fundamental BJJ classes. By 2016, he decided to move back to Chiang Mai and opened Chiang Mai Jiujitsu.

Monthly membership for all levels classes is at 2,700 THB while access to All Levels Classes and Fundamentals Classes is at 3000 THB. Chiang Mai Jiu Jitsu offers classes from Monday to Saturday.

Address: 14, 43 Manee Nopparat Rd, Si Phum Sub-district, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand


These gyms that we’ve mentioned are some of the best BJJ gyms in Thailand. Each gym has its resident black belt to ensure the best instruction for every student. However, every gym is different. Some prefer to only do BJJ while others prefer having their meals and strength and conditioning. If you’re planning to start doing BJJ in Thailand, be sure to compare each gym carefully. If you’re a beginner, try to call beforehand and see if you can get an introductory class before you commit to the academy.


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