Checkmat Fight Zone
Address: R. Francisco Sá, 36 – Copacabana
Checkmat is located right where Copacabana meets Ipanema in what is called FIGHTZONE. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know where you’re going and they most definitely don’t have a website and the Checkmat website doesn’t even list them for some strange reason!
After speaking with an instructor, they ensured me that if you messaged them on Instagram they would reply with prices and class schedules. They have pretty consistent NoGi classes (which is not normal in Brazil), as well as women’s only classes, lead by black belt badass Gabriela Fechter. Fun facts about Gabi she is one of the first females to become a head coach at a major bjj school (unless she moved she actually lives IN the gym), she is from Sao Paulo, and before jiu-jitsu, she used to work in a circus… which may explain why she has always had huge muscles (no steroids just years of acrobatics).
was a girl, I would bypass the Checkmat Instagram and hit Gabi up about classes directly. Brazilians love to talk jiu-jitsu and once you make that initial contact are generally full of super helpful tips and advice for getting to their gym and around Rio.
De La Riva Academy
The De La Riva academy moved from the Equipe 1 gym to the Clube Olympico. The academy is super organized and they have an amazing site, albeit in Portuguese. Click here to go directly to the schedule so you can find class times. Their classes are only an hour but have classes throughout the entire day which makes it super convenient. They include a Whatsapp number in the contact so that means, unlike most academies, you will be able to easily access a staff member by texting the number instead of looking them up on social media.
They also have a Whats App number that makes it easy to communicate with someone via text as opposed to trying to call and find class times and prices.
De la Riva is a Koral belt, he was born and raised in Copacabana and this man loves to stay on his block so, unless he is away giving seminars, you will most likely find him at the gym or enjoying a coffee at a nearby café. Despite being a legend, De La Riva is an incredibly nice and super accessible guy.
Strauch Jiu Jitsu
Av. Ns. de Copacabana, 1063 – Copacabana
Strauch is a 9th-degree black belt that has an academy on the second level of a building a couple a block away from the beach. You can see the gis hanging out of the windows in between classes when you walk by.
There is a website but it doesn’t have any information about classes or prices and there is no Instagram for the academy in Copacabana.
It is believed he has classes from 7:30-9:00 in the morning and then 7:30-9:00 at night. Those would be good times to stop in and try to get information. There is a serious lack of contact information on the academy but that does not diminish from the quality of training if you can make it to a class. It’s definitely worth the effort to get onto the mats with someone as knowledgeable as Strauch.