Jiu-Jitsu in San Francisco: Best Gyms and Tournaments!

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a prominent martial art developed throughout the USA. This fighting style is becoming increasingly popular in San Francisco, California too. The location in the middle of “Golden State” attracts many of the greatest fighting dojos in the world and hosts several fantastic BJJ tournaments.

Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, SFBJJ Academy, Bay Jiu-Jitsu, Magalit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Colhado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy are just a few finest BJJ gyms in San Francisco.

This post will delve deep into the ocean of knowledge on the best BJJ gyms and tournaments in San Francisco, California. Let’s get started! 

Best Jiu-Jitsu Gyms in San Francisco

Jiu-Jitsu in San Francisco

Jiu-jitsu is slowly developing in the San Francisco area. The number of BJJ dojos giving high-quality grappling classes to individuals is rising. 

The following are some of the most prominent BJJ schools in the San Francisco area. 

Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Ralph Gracie is a very famous name in BJJ and MMA. He is a decorated ground fighter who scored submission victories over some of the greatest legends in the game.

Nowadays, Ralph holds the most famous BJJ dojo in San Francisco, focused on creating champions and pushing to the limits. 

Ralph Gracie is famous for the sentence “conquering the world with one submission at a time”. His MMA career is stacked with submission victories.

Gracie forced five opponents to tap, scored one decision win, and lost to Japanese star Takanori Gomi via knee in the last fight of his career. 

After that, Ralph dedicated his life to BJJ coaching and pushing the game to the next level. Here is another sentence by this legendary mind – “it is better to die than not train.” 

The first thing that comes to my eye is the level of dedication. The Ralph Gracie dojo starts with classes at 6 AM, while the last class proceeds at 7 PM. All instructors are BJJ black belts.

So, you can train even if you work late hours. There are no excuses for skipping training classes!

There are groups for all kinds of practitioners – beginners, intermediates, competitors…

Indeed, open mat sparring sessions take place three times per week, so it is an excellent opportunity to test your skills against your teammate. Otherwise, This BJJ gym also offers classes for kids and self-defense (striking) courses for women. 

San Francisco Jiu-Jitsu Academy (SFBJJ)

San Francisco Jiu-Jitsu Academy is run by two legends of the sport – Denny Prokopos and Ed Hohl.

Denny was the first BJJ black belt promoted by Eddie Bravo in the 10th Planet system. He is the former World No-Gi champion and EBI 2 champion.

In his rich career, Denny Prokopos forced some of the game’s greatest names to tap out. Then in 2009, Prokopos started teaching jiu-jitsu and shared his knowledge with thousands of students.

Denny believes that through jiu-jitsu martial arts, we can make the world a better place.

At San Francisco Jiu-Jitsu Academy, coaches believe that BJJ is for EVERYONE! You can be a total newbie or a top-notch competitor in the game, SFBJJ will offer great training sessions for you. 

Plus, this is a rare academy offering you a three-day trial. Three training sessions to decide whether you like this grappling martial art or not. 

The schedule is a bit tricky, though. On Monday or Wednesday, everybody is welcome at 7:30 am, while training sessions take place in the evening on other days. 

Related: Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most remarkable grappling martial arts to learn. Therefore, I’ve created a lengthy post on how to begin practicing jiu-jitsu correctly. Click here to read more!

Bay Jiu-Jitsu

Bay Jiu-Jitsu offers accessible and world-class training to people of all ages, sizes, genders, and backgrounds. This dojo is interested in helping anybody who plans to put his skills to the next level. 

There are jiu jitsu classes for all levels, and the dojo works in the morning and the afternoon/evening. The dojo’s owner is Stephan Goyne, while the program director and the co-head coach is Reilly Bodycomb. 

Stephan has a background in youth gymnastics, so he has developed a progressive and unique model for teaching kids. Otherwise, He’s a third-degree black belt in BJJ

Magalit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Magalit BJJ offers a supportive community and a determined, passionate team of coaches. It is an eclectic group where any practitioner could fit in. 

The schedule is tricky as there are no classes early in the morning, but you can set private lessons to expand your knowledge. Magalit BJJ is famous for its Sunday open mat session, which starts at 11 AM. 

Interestingly, Magalit BJJ is run by Travis, a guy with an average background in BJJ competitions. Yet, his coaching determination knows no limits; he proves you don’t have to be a star to succeed. 

Colhado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy

The trademark of Colhado BJJ Academy is developing each student’s jiu-jitsu as uniquely and individually as they are because no two people are the same. 

The dojo’s owner is Matheus Colhado, who got his BJJ black belt from Rodrigo Feijao of Nova Uniao. He’s very experienced in the areas of BJJ and MMA. He opened his dojo in 2020. 

The first thing you see in the class schedule is dedication. The dojo works early and closes late, so everybody can come to train. There are groups for kids, beginners, and adults, while open mat sessions are available at 6 PM on Friday. 

Romulo Melo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The head instructor of the academy, Romulo Melo, trained under Vinicius Aieta and Royler Gracie at the Gracie Academy. For Romulo, BJJ is a way of life, not just a sport or a martial art. Melo goes one step further; he is ready to share his wealthy knowledge with his students on and off the mats. 

Romulo Melo BJJ Academy offers training programs for all athletes, from total newbies to accomplished martial artists. 

You have classes for kids and adults, but you can negotiate with the coach for private lessons. 

Related: Is BJJ a costly sport? Is it worthwhile to train? This article examines the numerous elements that influence jiu-jitsu training expenses. Click here to learn more!

Sunset Jiu Jitsu

Sunset jiu-jitsu covers everything, from defense against school bullies to advanced competitors.

So, if you’re looking for something new to get you into physical shape and mentally prepared for challenging situations, Sunset BJJ could be a great choice. Indeed, it offers a free trial class too. 

The dojo is open in the morning and the afternoon, so you can adjust. There are classes for adults, small kids, and big kids (there are two programs, beginners and advanced).   

Empire BJJ

Empire BJJ is run by two head instructors, Kurt Osiander and Jake Scovel. For Kurt, real jiu-jitsu is never watered down. He is a former champ who holds seminars everywhere, from Sacramento to Shanghai. 

Jake Scovel focuses on the economy of motion, using the body’s natural structure to maximize offense and efficiency. 

The first class starts at 7 AM, while the last is around 6 or 7 PM. You can choose between various programs – gi, no gi, fundamentals, and wrestling. There are also lessons for various age divisions. 

Best Jiu-Jitsu Tournaments In San Francisco

San Francisco is a home of great BJJ dojos, but most of the big jiu-jitsu tournaments occur in the other parts of “The Golden State”.

Yet, it might change in the years as this area attracts more and more BJJ specialists. New BJJ clubs are opened every year, so this might change.  

West Coast Grappling Co

This is the most famous tournament in the San Francisco area. West Coast Grappling Co is a gi & no-gi pro/amateur Brazilian jiu-jitsu & submission wrestling competition for males and females and every single age division. 

A $1,000-dollar prize is offered for two black belt open-weight classes, but at least for BJJ, black belt competitors are required for prize eligibility. At least two matches are guaranteed unless the opponent doesn’t show up (it would lead to a DQ loss). 

The tournament takes place on December 4th. If you’re interested in discounts, try an early registration to spare some money (04-19 October). The regular registration ends on November 16th, and the last day to register your athletes is December 2nd.

Related: Discover the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi for competition. We examined the comfortable, long-lasting, and high-quality BJJ competition gis market. Click here to find out more!


The popularity of jiu-jitsu in the San Francisco area has grown significantly, especially after the CoVid pandemic. Some of the most promising dojos have established themselves in the city, but the city lacks competition. Yet, the BJJ potential is vast in this area, so it might change in the future. 

Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, SFBJJ, Colhado BJJ Academy, and Romulo Melo BJJ are some of the top BJJ gyms in San Francisco. The most famous competition in this area is “West Coast Grappling Co,” which even offers the winners monetary rewards. 

We hope the information in this article will help you choose the most suitable San Francisco BJJ gym for your needs. This city offers so many BJJ schools with different training philosophies and schedules.

Your time is now – choose your dojo and start growing in the legendary Brazilian martial art!

Related: Discover the best BJJ schools and tournaments in San Antonio to help you advance your skills! Click here to discover the ultimate Jiu-Jitsu guide in San Antonio and begin your journey today!

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