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BJJ in Brighton and Hove

Start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu today with us!

  • Be part of Brighton’s premier Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club;

  • Learn from the BJJ highest belt rank in South East;

  • Flexible timetable, daily classes including Sunday;

  • …and now limited time offer: only £69.95 per month!

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BJJ BRIGHTON brazilian jiu jitsu

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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BJJ and MMA – Mixed Martial Arts

MMA classes are back at BJJ Academy

mma mixed martial arts brighton

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!

bjj in brighton brazilian jiu jitsu

Bournemouth Open 2012

Last Saturday our team went to one of the best tournaments in the UK: Bournemouth Open. This year again the organizer Alex De Souza and his crew done a fantastic job from the beginning to the end, great atmosphere, good schedule with fights happening exactly as announced previously on their website and much more. There were over 300 competitors from the UK and abroad which increased the level of the competition. BJJ Academy once again represented Brighton and East Sussex, and despite having few athletes out due to injuries and other commitments, we manage to get to Bournemouth with 6 competitors (3 white and 3 blue belts). The result was good, at the end four of our athletes manage to the to the podium. Check out bellow few pictures, videos and the official result.

Jacek Krawczyk – White Belt – Medium Heavy – Gold

Simon Williamson – White Belt – Heavy – Silver

Simon Staples – White Belt – Feather – Silver

Lee Wright – Blue Belt – Medium Heavy – Bronze


Só o Jiu Jitsu salva!

This is a phase which all BJJ’s practitioners should know. The translation to English would be something like: “Only Jiu Jitsu saves you”. I’m not sure who exactly created this expression, however for the Brazilians (BJJ guys) it became very special, and the symbol for this was Minotauro Nogueira. Big Nog used to get beaten up during all fight and came back at the end with some sick submission to win the fight (Rocky Balboa style), like those of his fights back in Pride against Bob Sapp and maybe the most important at the time: Against Mirko Cro Cop when Mirko was on top of his game knocking people out with some crazy high kicks. Triangles and Arm-bars, it was maybe the most special time for BJJ in MMA beside Royce Gracie’s UFC’s victories.

So, this is the meaning for the “Só o Jiu Jitsu Salva”, check out the video below, it shows our head-coach Ivam Maciel on his second professional MMA fight using pure BJJ to end that fight: Only Jiu Jitsu saves you!

See you on the mats!


De La Riva Seminar

Last Wednesday evening, the BJJ Academy team had the honor to receive the 6th Degree Black Belt Ricardo De La Riva. The seminar was held at MSMAS in Haywards Heath and it was a great 3 hour master-class with full squad on the mats. Alongside De La Riva, we had also the visit of 4th Degree Black Belt Leonardo Specterow, who’s De La Riva’s long time student and friend. Another special guest on the mats was Sensei Roger Payne, who supported once again IMBJJ Team and helped us to make this amazing evening happen. Thanks to all students who made it, your support is much appreciated, it encourage’s our crew to keep bringing seminars and looking forward for more events at your BJJ Academy. More pictures to follow next week. Oss!

Inside BJJ Academy

We made little changes on the timetable regarding the morning classes:

From today (Monday-May 21st) morning classes are at 10am (every Monday-Wednesday-Friday)

Once again we are working together with our students to improve our timetable and training sessions. The aim is to make things even better for those who live far from the gym. Now they can put together two sessions (10am and 12pm) and make the most of it. At least 3 hours of pure BJJ training!

De La Riva Seminar

Last few days to confirm you entry on the most wanted seminar of the year. Train with the legend himself! Don’t miss this opportunity!

BJJ Seminar with Ricardo De La Riva

Meet and train with the legend Ricardo De La Riva!

BJJ Academy is proud to announce, the 6th Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt’s Seminar late this month at our Dojo. He is one of the most creative guard players in BJJ, having created the the famous “De La Riva” guard having also become an important instructor with several important black belts under his tutelage such as Rodrigo and Rogerio Nogueira, Eduardo Brigadeiro, Walter “Broca” and many others.

De La Riva in Detail

Full Name: Ricardo De La Riva Goded.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo De La Riva

Most Famous Fight: was against Royler Gracie for the “Cantão Cup”, were Ricardo won sweeping the Gracie Master with his trademark guard. This was Royler Gracie’s first competitive defeat as a Black Belt.

Favourite Technique/Position: De La Riva Guard.

Weight Category: Super Featherweight (64Kg – 141lbs).

Seminar Details

When: Wednesday, 30th of May, due to start at 7.30pm

Where: BJJ Academy Dojo (90 Boundary Road, BN3 7GA – Hove)

Investment: £40 (discounted) before 23/05 and £45 (full price) after 23/05

How to buy: At BJJ Academy reception or

Info / Private Lessons: 01273 411486 or

Join the club today!

If you live in the Brighton area and are looking to start a martial arts program for you or your children, BJJ Academy is definitely the place. With a full time Dojo we offer over 20 classes per week, you’ll be amazed at all you can accomplish in short period of time training the worlds most efficient martial art: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

I will list bellow why I believe the BJJ Academy is the ideal place to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Sussex:


When you are looking to start learn something, your first concern should be the legitimacy and experience of the school where you will be learning from. You should be looking for a school with a certified Black Belt instructor on hand who teaches regular classes and has done so for some time. The practice of people teaching at lower ranks was a necessity about five years ago due to a high demand and so few Black Belts to teach the art, but at this point in time, most areas of the UK have Black Belt instructors within a reasonable distance. Another important thing about learning from a Black Belt as opposed to lower ranking people aside from the obvious issue of experience and ability to give rank when deserved is that you want to be your teacher’s student, not his training partner. People under the rank of black belt are still working on personal goals and may be a better training partner than teacher.

The BJJ Academy is the only place in Brighton where you will find a Brazilian-born, BJJ 1st Degree Black Belt: Professor Ivam Maciel, from Curitiba, Brazil. Ivam has over twelve years of experience. Has been training also in Vale-Tudo and Muay-Thai under the UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. Inside the octagon (MMA) Ivam’s professional record is 4-0-0, with three fights finished with his signature move: Triangle.

Well, nothing better to learn from a Master straight from the source!


Our timetable is flexible, no matter if you work shifts, you can always fit one training session to your schedule, the BJJ Academy will be your second home. From Sunday 1st of April, we will start our new timetable. It will be over 20 classes per week available, inclusive on Sundays! The Dojo is opened 7 days per week, 12 hours per day!


BJJ Academy is also a great place for kids! If you’re looking for something fun, educational and constructive to keep your kids out of trouble after school, you should look into our Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Your kids will be entertained but they’ll also learn valuable life skills that they’ll never be without, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get your kids involved in martial arts today!


We have students of all ages from all walks of life, and each one of them will gladly tell you how the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has changed their outlook on life for the better. Children and young adults learn how to socialize with other kids in a healthy way, learning about the right way to deal with competition and other issues they may face as kids. Martial arts can literally help change anyone for the better, but you don’t know that until you give it a shot. Call 01273 411486 and JOIN THE CLUB TODAY!

Spring BJJ Tournament

Hi everybody!

It’s time to get ready to the competitions, and as we do every six months, our 3rd In-House Tournament is due to Saturday, 21st of April. Now, as the club had a significant grow, we will have even more fights and absolute divisions in all belts (white to purple).

This tournament is a great opportunity and bring such a great benefits to our team. Everyone trains more, most of the guys start to research about IBJJF rules, which helps to understand a bit more about the sport. One of the greatest thing about it is that our big family gets together for a special day. On our last In-House Tournament we had a special guest: Eduardo Brigadeiro, who came from Brazil for a seminar and told us how impressed he was with everyone’s commitment and love for the sport.

Well, only 8 weeks to go, lets train. Even harder!

BJJ in Brighton and Hove

Hi guys!

I hope you are having a great (freezing!) week!! The post today is for those who are from Brighton area and are thinking to start in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I will tell you the reason why I think the BJJ Academy is the place to be:

* Flexible timetable: You can adapt your training program to your day by day schedule. It will allow you to train at least 3x per week, which is the minimum recommended to progress intro BJJ;

* Up to 4 daily classes: (9am-12pm-6.30pm-7.30pm);

* All classes taught by Coach Ivam Maciel (1st Degree BJJ Black Belt), from Brazil: The only Black Belt in Sussex. Learn direct from the source;

* Own venue: Why train at Church Hall or somebody else’s place if you can train somewhere you can call “home”? BJJ Academy it’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu only Dojo, you will train and breath BJJ!

* Friendly and welcoming atmosphere: At BJJ Academy no attitude or ego is tolerated. There are plenty of rules and Dojo etiquette to follow. It keeps the atmosphere fun and organized at the same time. The respect is the number one rule.   

Well, those are few of the reasons why I think you should try this place. There are many more, check it out yourself!

…and don’t forget! In February ALL new members will get the starter pack (Kimono+Belt) free of charge!  Hurry up and save up to £80!

Have a good training! x


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