Gregor Gracie has had an academy in Brooklyn since 2017. He ran a smaller academy before the pandemic, but expanded to a much larger space next door for his grand re-opening on July 5th, 2021.
You won't find a more beautiful jiu jitsu academy. It's situated in Brooklyn Bridge Park with floor to ceiling windows that overlook the East River and Lower Manhattan. It's surreal see the sun setting behind the Staten Island Ferry while getting crushed in side control. The light in that room during the 6pm classes in the summer is unbelievable.
New York real estate is expensive. If you're building a jiu jitsu academy in New York, you have to make sacrifices. Most academies in New York optimize for mat space at the expense of everything else. But it's not obvious where sacrifices were made in the design of Gregor Gracie's. The mat space is huge, and the amenities feel more like a spa than any jiu jitsu gym I've ever been in.
Gregor's partner in the new gym, Rodrigo Crespo, says that he designed the gym he always wanted. Private showers. Clean, large locker rooms. A lounge with a leather couch. Cappuccino machine. Washer and dryer for the staff. Plants!
Oh, and it's not like sacrifices are made in instruction either. Gregor Gracie has a bronze medal from the ADCC, he won gold at Masters Worlds 2021, and double gold at Masters Pan Ams 2020. He teaches comp class at the Blue Basement in the city and invites those RGA athletes over to train at his place in Brooklyn on Fridays.
Also, he's humble, approachable, and funny.
Gregor asked Alessandro Bandeira, a sixth degree blackbelt, to move up from Miami to serve as lead instructor of the academy. Alessandro is a brilliant teacher, and is known to unlock new levels in people's games through his philosophical observations.
Alessandro's son, Artan Bandeira, won double gold as a brown belt at Pans last year. He got his black belt a few months ago and teaches the beginners classes at 6pm. The white belts here are good.
Like most academies, Gregor's offers a free trial. It's in One Brooklyn Bridge Park, between Pier 6 and Pier 5. Ask for Rodrigo.