The history of Jiu-jitsu in Rio made short: Japanese judo wrestler Mitsuyo Maeda taught Carlos Gracie his style, he in his turn taught his younger brother Hélio. Together the two brothers opened the first school (Portuguese: academia) 1925 in São Paulo; Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was born. The sport evolved, first in Brazil where the Gracie family have dominated heavily, later in the world. Today you have several clubs in countries like Sweden and Belgium. The family moved from São Paulo to Rio and they are now based in the neighbourhood Barra de Tijuca.
Training Jiu-jitsu in Rio
There are loads of academias around. I have picked out a few from the official homepage of the Jiu-jitsu Organization in Rio FJJRIO that you can try to contact. Most of them are used to foreigners. The training is really hard, quite a few times I’ve met people coming from practice with a smile saying: “…today they beat the shit out of me again…” or “…I can hardly move…”. If you practice this sport you have to like a bit of pain and here in Rio de Janeiro there is plenty to get!
Academia Akxe Av. Prefeito Dulcidio Cardoso 2900, Barra da Tijuca map.
Fightzone/Brasa R. Francisco Sá 36 (ground floor), Posto 6, Copacabana map, tel 2287-1423.
Academia Al Paiva Jiu-Jitsu R. Marques de Abrantes 27, Flamengo map, tel 2272-0438 or 9805-9732.
Academia Brazilian Fight R. Rodrigo de Brito 11, Botafogo map, tel 2591-7893 or 9393-1200.
Academia Bushido R. Barão de Ipanema 43/306, Copacabana map, tel 2549-5726.
Brazilian Top Team R. Alceu Amoroso Lima 65, Barra da Tijuca map, tel 3153-5519 or 7838-5558.
Miragaya Jiu-Jitsu Competition Team R. da Quitanda 60 8th floor, Centro map, tel 2224-0700 or 8831-0620.
Gracie Barra There are so many schools it’s best if you go to their site at Gracie Barra. Here you will find info on all their schools around the world.
Boxing in Rio
While jiu-jitsu attracts many boxing is less popular but there are some gyms around. The connection between boxing and helping kids in the favela is strong. A good example is the boxing project in the favela Vidigal run by former professional Latin American champion Raff Giglio. You can train or take classes there, here are the details:
Here is the link to the Facebook page of FBERJ (the official boxing federation in Rio). Through there you can probably find some more clubs.