MMA classes in Brighton & Hove

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If you are looking to start in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) you should check out our classes. Open to all levels, there are three regular classes per week which will help you to understand and help you to make the first step in one of the world’s fastest growing sport today.

MMA sessions at BJJ Academy are available:
Monday @ 7.30pm (takedowns) MMA gloves + gumshield needed
Tuesday @ 6pm (sparring) Gloves + gumshield + shin guard needed
Thursday @ 7pm (groundwork) MMA gloves + gumshield needed

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All classes are taught by Coach Ivam Maciel himself, Ivam’s credentials in MMA are probably one of the best in the South of England (2nd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & MMA professional record of 4-0-0). Ivam’s from Curitiba, Brazil hometown of the legendary Chute Boxe Academy (Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Shogun and many other MMA stars); In order to keep improving Coach Ivam makes regular trips to Brazil and the USA, training/learning in places like Brigadeiro BJJ, American Top Team, De La Riva and Kings MMA in California. So if you thinking about training in MMA we have a lot to share, and nothing’s better than learn straight from the source!

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If you still have any questions regarding those classes feel free to give us a call on 01273 411486 or drop an e-mail: See you on the mats!

BJJ Academy Insider

February has been a very busy month for us at Ivam Maciel Brighton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. Straight after competing at the Europeans (back in January) our team got back in the domestic scene full on! The results of February were awesome and we are looking forward for more training and competitions along the year. Be part of this team, join us today! No matter your level, even if you haven’t train before, no problem. We will make you ready for it, you just need to make the first step.. Show up at the Academy! Check out a few pictures of February of our Medal Chasers. Osss

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Starting in BJJ? No worries!

Thinking to start in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Here is what to expect on your first class at BJJ Academy


The purpose of this article is to answer any questions you might have about starting to train in BJJ, and your first class in particular. Every school is different, but this article will help you understand how WE do at Ivam Maciel BJJ Academy. You’ll find a glossary of basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu terms at the bottom of this article. This is to help you understand any technical words used here or in your first class.

Just Visiting?
We work on ‘open doors policy’ so, if you just visiting Brighton and already train elsewhere, we welcome you to visit, train and roll at any of our locations. Come over, meet the team, the coach and ask questions before ever getting on the mats. Obviously, DON’T BE LATE!

What to Wear
If you starting from fresh, you’ll need to figure out what to wear. Here at BJJ Academy we try to make things as easier as we can for you. For your first week of training, you don’t need to own a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi, we actually will lend you one free of charge for you to have an experience and see if BJJ it’s for you before you spend money buying your own gi. Just show up at the Academy and we will help you out with it. After one week, you will need to buy a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi if you continue training, we also offer good prices on our in-house store, you can buy it straight from us.

Make sure your finger and toe nails are well-groomed. If you have long hair, you’ll want to put it up in a ponytail or bun during class. You should also remove any piercings to prevent injuries.

Your First Class
As we have mentioned above, the best thing to do is to show up a at least 15 minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and check out the school (if you haven’t visited already). You’ll need to sign a waiver and you ready to go.
Before class starts, you’ll have a chance to get dressed and stretch out on the mats. Be sure to get everything ready before class starts so you don’t have to miss anything.

Most of our classes start with a group warm-up, such as running laps and doing push-ups, followed by solo drills like forward and backward breakfalls and shrimping. Those last three moves will probably be new to you, so just watch what everyone else is doing and try to copy them. These are to help you learn how to fall safely and move your hips on the ground. Don’t worry if you don’t get the exercises correct at first—no one does on their first day, and they take a little practise. Just give it your best try and the instructor or a higher belt (who will be assisting you during your first class) will make sure you learn to do it right.

After warm-ups, you’ll be partnered with someone and go to your own section of the mats to be taught your first lesson. At BJJ Academy you will practice a beginner curriculum (Drill #1), which includes: Guard pass to side control – Taking mount from side control and your first submission ever, the Americana armlock from mount.

Basic Rules
* No striking, punching or kicking.
* No eye gouging or hair pulling.
* No twisting or grabbing fingers.
* No slamming (picking someone up and dropping them).
* No heel hooks (twisting the foot or knee).
* No neck cranks.
Remember that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is designed to be trained safely without serious injury. These rules are to help keep you and your training partners safe and healthy.

The normal way you signal submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to tap your opponent three times. When you tap, make sure you do it hard enough that your partner can feel it; or tap yourself or the mat where they can see and/or hear it; or verbally tap by saying “Tap!”; or loudly tap the mat with your foot so they can hear it.
Likewise, be aware of your training partner tapping and stop whatever you are doing when he does so.
Tapping is just part of training and there is no shame in it. Don’t worry about winning or losing. Just try the techniques you’ve learned to the best of your ability and tap when you need to, ideally before it hurts.

At BJJ Academy the class concludes with live sparring. The coach will match you up with a sparring partner(s), and you will practise (roll) for 5 minutes round. At the start of each round, you’ll begin by facing your partner on your knees. When you’re both ready shake hands and start to roll: try out your techniques, stopping whenever one of you taps and restarting from knees.

After Class
With class over, you might have more questions, now you’ve trained for the first time. If you enjoyed the class and want to continue training, you can also discuss prices and setup a schedule.
I hope this answers any questions you might have about what your first day could be like at Ivam Maciel BJJ Academy. Good luck in your future training.

Americana — A basic submission where the arm is bent and twisted towards the head in order to crank the shoulder. Also called American armbar, bent armlock, chicken wing, hammer lock, paint brush, top wrist lock, ude garami, and v-lock.

Breakfall — The techiques for safely falling to the ground, such as after a throw. To breakfall means to execute a safe fall to the mat. Also called rollovers and ukemi.

Gi — The uniform worn when training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Also called kimono.

Guard — A number of positions in grappling where the person on bottom is defending themselves and controlling the person on top using their legs. Closed guard is where the position is held with one’s legs wrapped around their opponent’s waist with their ankles crossed. Open guard

Guard pass — A technique done in order to get around or “pass” someone’s guard, ending with them securely holding a dominant position. Attempting to perform these techniques against an opponent is called passing the guard.

Heel hook — A submission where the heel is used to twist the leg and possibly tear the knee.

Mount — A dominant position in grappling where the person on top sits straddled across the torso of the person on bottom. In a self defense situation, the person with mount would be able to strike without much threat of being struck back. In grappling, mount offers the leverage and control to effect chokes and armlocks. The person on the bottom is considered mounted.

No-gi — Refers to training without the gi, usually wearing shorts and a T-shirt

Hip escape — A drill done to train proper hip movement while on one’s back. It is an important part of many escapes and techniques. It is called hip escape because of it is used in combination with the elbow in several escapes.

Side control — A number of dominant positions in grappling where the person on top pins the opponent, usually with chest to chest contact. Also called crossbody, cross-side and side mount. Many particular holds from side control have specific names, such as 100 kilos and scarf hold.

Sweep — A technique done from guard to put an opponent on their back and allow one to come up on top. To sweep means to successfully perform such a technique.

Take the back — To gain one of the most dominant positions in grappling (called rear mount) on an opponent’s back. From here, one can strike (in self defence situations) or choke with little fear of retaliation.

Weave — The type of fabric a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi is made from. Single weave is one of the thinnest types, making it good for hot weather training. Double weave is twice the thickness of single, and gold weave is somewhere between the two. Summer weave is the lightest and most easily torn.

Upa — A bridging movement where you lie on your back and lift your hips off of the ground. Used in the basic bridge-and-roll mount escape.

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Brighton



Winter Grading 2014, let’s celebrate!

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What a day! First of all BJJ Academy would like to thank you all who attended to our annual grading event! In special to our guests Roger Payne & Alex De Souza who taught an amazing seminar sharing their skills with our students.

Check below who got promoted on their belt rank:

Purple Belt: Tim Cowboy, Simon Staples, & Julian Adjare;

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Blue Belt: Luke Kidson, Michael Barnett, Damien Walker, Breno Tedros, James Hill, Stuart Crosby, George Jackson, James Davies and Amy Richhold.

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This year we celebrated also an awesome number of medals won in competition, thanks to our ‘Medal Chasers’ our team got to 83 medals during the year, which brings back good memories and makes wonder how good 2015 can be! Let’s keep the hard work. Osss!

Learning BJJ Through Digital Content

Luckily for all martial arts, the recent upsurge in popularity, media exposure and brand recognition of organizations such as Metamoris and the UFC have helped propel mixed martial arts into the mainstream. This rise to prominence has also had a positive affect on the way in which we source content to learn about our respective martial arts.


We now have the luxury of accessing educational apps and content directly from our smartphones and gadgets. Helping us prepare for sessions before actually rolling on the mat or going through submissions, has never been more attainable and easier to prepare for.

What has driven the app market?

Wall Street Journal reported that in 2013 that app sales were up 62% from the previous year. This was driven by the increase in smartphone usage per gaming developers Gaming Realms, the company behind portal PocketFruity. Causing the app market to be worth a reputed $25 billion according to Gartner Inc.

What BJJ apps are recommended as educational tools for all levels of learning?

iBJJ is an interesting one to start off with as it has 82 Gi and No-Gi BJJ submissions, advancements, escapes and drills. All of the techniques are meticulously broken down into frames unlike in the majority of video tutorials.

The iBJJ app has been devised by instructor and 1st degree black belt Nate Ryan, who co-owns the Mass BJJ gym. He received his black belt from Gracie Barra Boston.


Secondly, there’s Roy Dean BJJ Academy which is a free app that helps the user learn the art of BJJ through a series of animated and video tutorials. It will walk the user through the basics of BJJ, angles and submissions.

All of the educational videos and instructions are courtesy of Roy Dean and his academy teachers. It’s a fun way to learn BJJ and Dean says it will “open your eyes to the art of Jiu-Jitsu.”

And finally, there’s iBudokan’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu app, which is available to download for free and has an extensive community of users. It’s ideal for all levels of learners, with 5 different grades; from beginner to competition standard techniques. The techniques are walked through by BJJ black belt Olivier Michailesco, who also holds a black belt in judo, too.

We only touching the surface with these three apps as more hit the app stores daily. So, we’d like to know which BJJ apps you use to source information on techniques? Leave your comments below.

BJJ training now only £59.95!

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Attending requests, we are glad to announce a special deal for those who would like to become member of the club, however have limited time to attend classes. Now only £59.95 for two classes per week! If you currently pay £10 per class (£20 per week) you would save over £20 straight-way! Also, you can cross training MMA classes at any time or even upgrade your membership for unlimited option if you wish. But hurry, we can only offer 5 memberships at this price.. BE FIRST!! For more info call 01273 411486 or visit our Dojo in Brighton at 90 Boundary Road – BN3 7GA. Osss!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brighton & Hove

Dorset & Hants BJJ Open

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Once again our squad got together and travelled to Bournemouth to compete in one of the best tournaments of BJJ in the calendar. The level of Jiu-Jitsu displayed was pretty good, with great fights from white to black belt. A great day in the office for our team which for the first time ever won Absolute divisions on white and blue belts! An awesome result achieved from Brett Farnworth at blue belt (also won Gold at his category) and at white belt from Rich Caplan (also won Bronze at his category); in total we went with 20 athletes and got back home with 19 medals (9 Gold!) and two trophies!! Job done and we are getting ready/looking forward for the next one.
Check photos, videos and also the “Medal Chasers” standing, which now has a new leader: Brett, thanks to his excellent performances during the last few tournaments.

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BJJ and MMA – Mixed Martial Arts

MMA classes are back at BJJ Academy

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Our winter timetable is back from Tuesday, October 07th. Good news for those waiting to try or continue their MMA training regularly. Those are two classes per week for all levels (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm); also, if you fancy to compete in MMA, speak with Coach Ivam Maciel. There are a few MMA events with MMA Amateur fights available coming up. Are you ready?!


Coach Ivam Maciel, now 2nd Degree Black Belt



After three weeks of training in Brazil, last Saturday our head-coach – Ivam Maciel – got promoted to his second degree on his Black Belt by his mentor Eduardo Brigadeiro. This shows once again how privileged we are at BJJ Academy to learn straight from the source from a genuine Brazilian BJJ Black Belt. During this trip Ivam trained at his very first academy (where he originally started as white-belt); In Rio Ivam’s training was mainly at Brigadeiro’s and De La Riva’s HQ in Copacabana. Coach Ivam is back already, teaching regularly at HQ. Come train & learn!

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Surrey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open 2014

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Last Sunday (6th) our team went for a battle in Guildford at 1st edition of Surrey BJJ Open. Once again, those who went represented very well. Result: more shining medals to bring back home! Highlight of the day was Elias Nedir and James Davies for winning their categories with awesome display of their game. Good performance also from Darren Bushby: one more medal for his collection. He continues to lead our ‘Medal Chasers’, by a fair margin against the second place. Check out the video and a few pictures of Surrey BJJ Open below. Thanks Andy Roberts and his team for having us, we will definitely be back next year. Oss!

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Another (great) day at the office

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The formula has continue to work! Once again our squad went for battle in Bournemouth (one of the top competitions in Britain) and came back home with hands full of medals AND trophies. As for the team standings we finished in 2nd place just behind Checkmat.

Our day started with white-belts showing great understanding about the rules and primary following our strategy, which has been set during our competition classes. The hard work paid off, the name of the day was Antonio Costa who once again performed very well, however at this time done it with perfection: won his 5 bouts without given a single point away. Final result: Gold at lightweight division white belt, which was by far the largest category in the tournament with 23 people in. After this amazing performance Antonio had even more to celebrate, at the podium as well as his gold medal Antonio got promoted to Blue Belt by Coach Ivam Maciel. Hard work pays off, congrats Antonio!

As for Blue and Purple belts awesome performances from Higo Gomes (Gold at Blue Masters -70kg), Brett Farnworth (Gold at +100kg & Absolute Blue), Dave Rintoul (Gold at Blue Masters -88kg), Simon Staples (Gold at Blue Seniors -76kg), Darren ‘Drill #3’ Bushby (Gold at Purple Adult -88kg) and Paul Honnart (Gold at Purple Adult -64kg). Finally, BJJ Academy would like to thanks and congratulate every member of the team, win or lose we are all one, you gave everything on the mat and we are equally proud of you by putting yourself on the line by competing and representing. It’s an honour to have you been part of IMBJJ family.

Check out below photos, videos. For full results click here.

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more videos coming soon…


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