Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – A Reno Dads Guide

I am your average parent. My kids are involved in more activities than we have the time – or even the money – for, from travel baseball and Little League to basketball, golf, a lego class, and even a shooting league. As much as I love my kids in their favorite activity, baseball, the most important activity I have my children in is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Like most other martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu promotes mental clarity and strength, respect, discipline, confidence, and character. To go further, Jiu Jitsu also teaches children a practical real life skill that allows children to defend themselves in the event a physical altercation occurs without hurting an aggressor with striking or kicking.

The focus of Jiu Jitsu is on both leverage and technique, which allow a smaller individual to take control and submit even bigger opponents. Even young girls can compete on even terms with boys in all the junior and children’s divisions at competitions throughout the world. They are certainly better off than the untrained boy who takes things a little too far physically.

Most academies address bullying with verbal and physical de-escalation techniques intended to stop a bullying situation before it gets out of control. In Jiu Jitsu, children learn to focus, pay attention to detail, think critically and practice respect – skills that serve them on and off the mats, at home and in school. And most kids are able to transition to wrestling very easily to offer them another sport to compete in as they get older.

For Adults, Too!

In fact, Jiu Jitsu isn’t just for the children. You can use this guide to find a Jiu Jitsu Academy for yourself, your spouse, and your children. I started my own Jiu Jitsu journey nearly two years ago and only wish I had started earlier. I am stronger, more confident in my ability to protect myself and my family, and more calm in my general approach to life.

On a personal level, I am always in a better mood after a solid Jiu Jitsu session. I think more clearly, am more productive all around, and am more patient with work and my kids. Jiu Jitsu also scratches that adrenaline itch I got from serving overseas. It is hard to explain, but to me, Jiu Jitsu gives me that same endorphin rush from always being alert, thinking, moving, and reacting in dangerous environments except I am in a safe training environment.

Many Options

With so many options for martial arts, I wanted to compile a list of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies throughout the Reno area. Most academies offer classes to kids as young as four, but typically five years old (or some ability to focus) is the common starting point.

For the record, I have nothing against other martial arts. My wife and I each have a black belt in Okinawan Uechi Ryu Karate earned while serving in Japan. Both my niece and nephew have their black belts in Ninjitsu. I simply believe the practical application of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as both a self-defense system and a sport provide better all-around results. Regardless, ANY martial art is better than none when teaching our children discipline and respect, so find something that works for you and your family.

If you notice that a Jiu Jitsu academy is missing or want us to add your organization, please let us know and we can add it to the list.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academies

Komainu-Yemaso Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Reno

Komainu-Yemaso Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy of Reno is the preeminent location to learn the grappling arts in Northern Nevada. Under the lead of multiple time World/Pan Am Champion Professor Marcos (Yemaso) Torregrosa, Head Professor Jerel Hallert and Professor Byron Cragg bring the most unique grappling training that is offered in the Reno Tahoe area. They are not an affiliate, but an actual Yemaso Academy that address grappling instruction from various modalities that start on the feet. Both hold USA Wrestling coaching certifications and actively coach youth wrestlers in the area. On top of Hallert and Cragg’s grappling resumes, they are both world-renowned combatives instructors and the founders of LEO Tactical Defense Systems which trains first responders and military personnel in the grappling arts.

​Located in Reno on Corporate Blvd near S. McCarran/Mill/Rock.

Gracie Humaitá Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Gracie Humaitá of Reno provides a comfortable environment for people of all skill levels. Their academy focuses on defending yourself, competition style Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as getting in shape to live a healthier lifestyle. They also happen to be Reno’s only Brazilian-Born, Brazilian-Trained Jiu-Jitsu Instructor and offers programs for all ages!

Located in South Reno off Double R and Double Diamond.

Charles Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Reno / Carson City

Charles Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers Jiu-Jitsu, the “gentle art”, for kids from the Gracie family. The Gracie style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was founded in 1925 by Charles’ grandfather Carlos Gracie. The Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy of Reno, in addition to self-defense, teaches children self-discipline, self-confidence, competitiveness, and self-respect; key ingredients for children to succeed in the world today.

Two locations, one in Reno near the airport and one in Carson City.

Conviction Martial Arts

Conviction Martial Arts is an accredited ATOS Jiu-Jitsu School – one of the world’s leading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teams. They pride themselves on their family and team atmosphere. Every student will begin learning the fundamental skills and strategies of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, including a variety of submissions, escapes as well as proper techniques from the standing position such as basic throws.

Whether you are looking to get in shape, increase self-confidence, or learn viable self-defense, they are confident that they can help you reach your goals.

Located off of Longley east of the airport in Reno.

Guerrilla Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy – Freestyle Martial Arts Academy

Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu was founded by legendary Olympic Judo practitioner, mixed martial arts coach, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and military combatives trainer Dave Camarillo. It’s the most effective martial arts program, combining  the fluid technicality of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with the explosive precision of Olympic Judo and the persistence of wrestling, all while staying true to essential self defense.

Freestyle Martial Arts Academy is the only Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu affiliate in the state of Nevada. They are Guerrilla and they are using the most modern, effective teaching and training methods in northern Nevada.

Located in West Reno off of S. McCarran and Fourth St.

Renzo Gracie Reno – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The Renzo Gracie Academies have become renowned as some of the best academies to train, grow, and develop your skills among many avid practitioners of the sport, ranging from famous professional fighters to everyday enthusiasts.

Located on Mae Anne in Northwest Reno.

UFC Gym Reno

Students will learn the foundations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu working on basic techniques and advance in technique and focus. Level 1 includes take-downs, self-defense techniques, position controls, position escapes and submissions for 50 mins. In Level 2, students will master the fundamental techniques and sequences, learning take-downs, submissions, submission escapes, combo attacks, combo escapes and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu technique drills for 80 mins. The program peaks at Level 3, where students can focus on more advanced techniques and sequences. This program includes combination take-downs, take-down Counters, live take-downs, transition techniques, high level attacks and escapes, high level counters and submissions and specific Brazilian Jiu Jitsu games for 80 mins.

In addition to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, UFC Gym Reno membership includes access to the entire gym for weightlifting/strength training and other classes including boxing skills, boxing and kickboxing conditioning, and a circuit training class Daily Ultimate Training. You can read the Reno Dads UFC Gym Review here.

Located in South Reno off S. McCarran and Kietzke.

Evolution Martial ArtsCharles Gracie Sparks

The Mission of Evolution Martial Arts Academy is to simply help improve the lives of people in the community through fitness and martial arts. We give people the opportunity to get into shape while developing skills that will keep them safe. At the same time by upholding values such as courtesy, patience, respect, self-control and integrity, we are instilling the life skills and character of a true martial artist. Evolution Martial Arts Academy believes that people of every age have the ability to achieve self-discipline, high self-esteem, a positive out-look, a spirit of constant improvement and an attitude that refuses to give up. These principles and standards will lead to remarkable improvements in academics, careers and relationships – making a better community one Black Belt at a time.

Located in Sparks on Sparks Blvd.


The author trains at Komainu-Yemaso. This article is not the product of a sponsorship with any academy mentioned.

If you enjoyed this article, check out A Coach’s Promise To Your Kids and Help Me Coach Your Kids, both based on the author’s experience coaching community baseball. As always, thanks for your support.

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