There are many high-quality jiu-jitsu gyms and academies in California, and opinions on the "top" gyms can vary depending on individual preferences and priorities. However, here are ten jiu-jitsu gyms in California that have been recognized for their excellence in various publications:

  1. Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu - Pleasant Hill, CA
  2. Gracie University - Torrance, CA
  3. Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy - Costa Mesa, CA
  4. Atos Jiu Jitsu - San Diego, CA
  5. 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu - Los Angeles, CA
  6. Nova União - Orange County, CA
  7. Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu - Temecula, CA
  8. Checkmat Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Signal Hill, CA
  9. Gracie Barra - Irvine, CA
  10. Jean Jacques Machado Academy - Tarzana, CA

It's worth noting that there are many other excellent jiu-jitsu gyms in California, and this list is by no means comprehensive or definitive. To find the right gym for you, it's essential to do your research, visit gyms in person, and talk to instructors and students to get a sense of the gym's culture and teaching style. Additionally, many gyms offer free trial classes or introductory packages, which can be a great way to try a gym before committing to a membership.


What Is Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-jitsu, also known as jujutsu or jiujitsu, is a family of Japanese martial arts and a system of close combat that can be used defensively or offensively to kill or subdue one or more weaponless or armed and armored opponents. The term "jiu-jitsu" means "gentle art" or "yielding way" and emphasizes using an opponent's strength and momentum against them rather than relying on one's brute strength.


There are many styles and variations of jiu-jitsu, with some emphasizing grappling and ground fighting and others incorporating striking and weapons techniques. Some of the most popular jiu-jitsu today include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), known for its ground-fighting designs and emphasis on submissions, and Japanese Jujutsu, which typically includes a wide range of techniques, such as joint locks, throws, strikes, and weapons.


Jiu-jitsu is often described as human chess, as it requires a high degree of skill and strategy to gain and maintain control over an opponent, eventually leading them to submit. It is a complex and cerebral sport that demands incredible talent from its athletes. Learning jiu-jitsu provides many physical and mental benefits, such as improved physical fitness, coordination, and self-defense skills.


In recent years, jiu-jitsu has gained popularity worldwide, with many schools and academies offering training and competition opportunities for students of all levels. Whether interested in learning self-defense techniques, improving physical fitness, or competing in tournaments, jiu-jitsu provides a challenging and rewarding experience.