Hello! Do you want to know what are we doing?

The United Kingdom Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association is committed to promoting BJJ across all areas of the UK. We are non-political, non-discriminatory and committed to inclusion for all aspects of the sport. BJJ for all.

Youth Development

It is the aim of the UKBJJA Board of Directors and UKBJJA Council to provide a framework and set of guidelines for the development of Junior and Juvenile Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in the UK in a safe and enjoyable environment.

For our Junior and Juvenile Policy please click here.

University League

The UKBJJA coordinates a university wide competition league for all current student and staff at UK universities. Individuals can compete for their institution at annual events and at the end of the year the university team topping the league will win a prize, as will the top individual male and female athlete in the individual university league rankings.

We run two competitions a year in autumn and spring semester, with as many divisions as possible for all belts, gi and no gi.

For more information, CLICK HERE

 

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME

More Information soon

 

elite athletes
The UKBJJA is dedicated to the development of elite talent within the UK BJJ community and has several initiatives to support top competitors. UK BJJ athletes have enjoyed considerable success at an international level in recent years with several athletes securing European and World titles, and the UKBJJA wants to ensure that UK BJJ continues on this upward trajectory.
REFEREE TRAINING
The UKBJJA  has designed a comprehensive course which allows individuals to gain qualifications and work at BJJ competitions.
We are committed to ensuring that high standards of refereeing are maintained at competitions. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
GENDER EQUALITY
The UKBJJA is committed to ensuring gender equality in BJJ.

In recent months we have appointed a Women’s Development Commission, produced a short film entitled Jiu Jitsu Woman to encourage women and girls to take up the sport and on 8 March 2016 (International Women’s Day) we launched a major sporting outreach campaign called Unstoppable Girl to get females of all ages and backgrounds more active and taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

UNSTOPPABLE GIRL
We all know that more men than women do sport. This is true at most ages and 80% of women in the UK are not active enough, how do we change this? The UKBJJA’s campaign is designed to spread the word about why BJJ has the potential to address this problem and to turn women into “Unstoppable Girls”. “Unstoppable Girl” aims to get more women involved in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

VISIT UNSTOPPABLE GIRL PAGE

DISABILITY JIU JITSU
More information soon
ANTI DOPING
More information soon
FIRST AID AND SAFEGUARDING TRAINING
The UKBJJA offers member coaches and instructions discounted training in First Aid, Safeguarding and Child Protection. To find a course near you, please keep an eye on our upcoming events. If you are interested in hosting a course at your academy, please get in touch.

our mission

The UKBJJA is a non-profit organisation and any surplus funds are to be reserved for investment for development of the sport.

The objectives of the UKBJJA are:

 

  • To preserve and protect the integrity of BJJ as a performance based martial art
  • To promote BJJ and encourage wider participation in all areas of the sport
  • To provide a framework for national recognition of the sport
  • To preserve the integrity of the ranking system
  • To provide a framework for competitions and individual schools to follow to ensure minimum standards of safety and good practice
  • To represent all clubs and members in a democratic and transparent manner

UKBJJA STRUCTURE

  • Board of up to 12, including at least 25% of whom are independent directors
  • Chairman to be elected every four years by member vote for maximum of two terms
  • Secretary to be elected every four years by member vote for maximum of two terms
  • Treasurer to be elected every four years by member vote for maximum of two terms
  • Council of 24 Officers responsible for the following areas: England BJJ Development; Wales BJJ Development; Scotland BJJ Development; Northern Ireland BJJ Development; Welfare, Safety and Equality; Competition Structure and Standards; Referees; Outreach and Development; Elite Performance; to be elected every four years by member vote. (NB this list of areas of responsibility is not exhaustive)

UKBJJA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Richard Martin

Richard Martin

Chairman

Post due for election: October 2021

SIMON HAYES

SIMON HAYES

Treasurer

Post due for election: October 2021

Dave Coles

Dave Coles

Secretary

Post due for election: October 2021

Nicholas Brooks

Nicholas Brooks

Regional Director, England

Post due for election: October 2021

James mcintyre

James mcintyre

Regional Director, Scotland

Post due for election: October 2021

neil williams

neil williams

Regional Director, Wales

Post due for election: October 2021

pete lavery

pete lavery

Regional Director, Northern Ireland

Post due for election: October 2021

catherine elder

catherine elder

Independent DIrector -Safeguarding

 

RODRIGO SOUZA

RODRIGO SOUZA

Independent Director, Finance

 

lawrence selby

lawrence selby

Independent Director, Legal

 

francis Lambert

francis Lambert

Independent Director, PR & Marketing

 

Mike WILLIAMS

Mike WILLIAMS

Chief Executive Officer

The CEO is responsible for the day to day running of the Association and the implementation of UKBJJA strategy. They are not on the Board of Directors, but report directly to them.

Get in touch: ceo@ukbjja.org

UKBJJA COUNCIL

jolie boyle

Women's Officer

Appointed March 2018

Nicholas Brooks

Regional Officer, England

Post due for election: October 2021

tim carden

Universities Officer

Appointed October 2017

Dave coles

Executive Officer & Rules Committee

Post due for election: October 2021

Marcelo Coppa

Head Referee & Rules Committee

Appointed January 2018

Raphael Dos Santos

Executive Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Nicholas Duncan

Sports Development Officer

Appointed August 2018

Jonathan Dunn

Executive Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Lesley Harrison

Competitions Officer

Appointed October 2017

Paul Hartley

Executive Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Simon Hayes

Executive Officer & Belt Committee

Post due for election: October 2021

Gina Hopkins

Disability Officer

Appointed January 2018

Jimmy Johnstone

Youth Development Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

lee johnstone

Executive Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Peter Lavery

Regional Officer, Northern Ireland

Post due for election: October 2021

Richard Martin

Executive Officer & Belt Committee

Post due for election: October 2021

James McIntyre

Regional Officer, Scotland

Post due for election: October 2021

Rodrigo Reyes

Data Protection Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Mark Tucker

Executive Officer & Belt Committee

Post due for election: October 2021

Enzo Vullo

Executive Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

Neil Williams

Regional Officer, Wales

Post due for election: October 2021

Gret Zoeller

Schools Officer

Post due for election: October 2021

HISTORY OF BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ‘the gentle at’ or arte suave is a martial art which has its origins in Japanese fighting systems. (click to read more)
BJJ focuses on the use of leverage and position to achieved submission holds and chokes, a ‘gentle’ form of combat rather than kenjitsu, rigid arts, using weapons or striking. Japanese Jiu jitsu artist Mitsuyo Maeda championed the self-defence virtues of his art, as he travelled across the US and South America in the early 20th century, and in the Brazilian city of Belem in 1917, a teenager named Carlos Gracie watched Maeda fight. He was inspired by this style which allowed a smaller opponent to defeat a much larger assailant, even when armed, and began to learn from Maeda. This would become his life’s passion, and 13 of Carlos’ 21 children went on to become back belts in the sport.

Traditional Japanese styles were moulded into a new martial art with its own distinctive character, where individuals fighting of their backs could still apply dangerous submission holds. Opponents engaged in ‘vale tudo’ fights, with no time limits or rules, and stories of Helios, Carlos’ son, submitting bigger opponents have become part of BJJ legend. Academies sprung up over Brazil and high profile matches fuelled the growth of Jiu Jitsu.

The art has grown in popularity in the Americas and beyond, and in the 1990s, the start of The UFC brought BJJ to a global audience, when BJJ players such as Royce Gracie took part in mixed martial arts bouts against a range of competitors. BJJ has become part of the standard training for MMA fighters. The sport is now practised across the globe and tournaments are held in a variety of international locations, with the European and World championships attracting over 3000 competitors. In the UK there are now thousands of practitioners, many of whom are winning tournaments at the highest level of international competition.

BJJ in the UK and the formation of the UKBJJA

When Brazilian Jiu Jitsu arrived in the UK at the end of the 90’s many cities held seminars for visiting Brazilian Black Belt Instructors but is was London and Birmingham who saw Black Belts first taking up residency to start regular classes first. (click to READ MORE)
Mauricio Gomes and Chen Moraes started teaching at the Custard Factory in Birmingham and The Budokwai in London. Wilson Junior, a Brazilian travelling in London started teaching in Earls Court and now runs one of the biggest, multiple location teams in the country. Roger Brooking, a Brazilian with an English father began to teach at Seymour Leisure Centre in London and Braulio Estima at Stevie B’s gym in Birmingham. Among their first students were the three pioneers of the UKBJJA, Dave Coles, Richard Martin and Simon Hayes. Other Instructors were responsible for introducing the sport into other areas of the UK: Marc Walder and his influence on Essex BJJ and his success running the earliest European Invitational competition; Pedro Bessa a Brazilian Black Belt Instructor whose influence on the growth of the sport in Bristol and Wales is extensive; Chris Rees ran the first seminar in Wales and runs a full-time academy in Cardiff and has produced many champion; Alex De Souza was responsible for the growth of the sport on the south coast and ran one of the biggest early competitions. Each city and town has its own success story but what they all have in common is that through collaboration with the wider community they have seen this previously unheard of martial art grow from a tiny seed into the huge competitive sport it is today.

As a successful component in the sport of MMA, but a component that can be trained safely without striking or impact it immediately became popular for both fitness and self-defence. It has grown from small pockets of practitioners training in sports halls and hired rooms into the country’s fastest growing martial art with many full-time academies running successfully in cities and towns across the UK. Along with the healthy lifestyle BJJ promotes a busy competition circuit has developed and the UK has a number of home-grown athletes who are World ranked. The UK BJJ community has always enjoyed strong relationships with good communication between separate clubs and teams and this has been one of the major factors in the success of the tournament circuit. For many years the sport ran without a National Governing Body but in 2012 members of the different clubs and teams decided that for the ongoing growth of the sport and the safety and co-ordination of the competitive side of the sport, the UKBJJA should be formed. As discussions progressed it became clear that supporting local communities, youth and disabled BJJ players would also become a main priority of the association. In 2015 the criteria to become recognised by Sport England was achieved and an application presented.

JOIN THE UKBJJA

Benefits include liability insurance for clubs and individuals, discounted instructor insurance, national athlete rankings & prize fund, discounted entry to UKBJJA events, training in first aid, safeguarding, refereeing, DBS checks and more...

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