Ronin Athletics gym has been a pioneer in the education and training of Mixed Martial Arts, comprised of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing in New York City since 2001. We are the official Gracie Jiu Jitsu® Certified Training Center in all of Manhattan, New York City area.
We are located at 265 Madison Ave - 5th Floor, which is 3 blocks south of Grand Central Station and 2 blocks southwest of the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. Our building entrance is on the North East corner of 39th Street.
You’re fortunate to live in New York City because it offers a wide variety of MMA Gyms and Academies – inherent to the competitive nature of Manhattan, the quality of the instructors tends to be of high caliber. Ronin Athletics is considered the best Martial Arts Academy in New York City for those that want to learn: all aspects Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) including self-defense, sport and its concepts on the use of leverage, as well as Kickboxing techniques and footwork.
Contrary to how the sport of MMA (made popular by the UFC), Grappling Competitions or Kickboxing events may appear, the ‘full-contact’ aspect of these events only exhibit a very small portion of its benefits. Fighting has always been an entertaining spectator sport but those who compete typically train at academies who specialize in developing professional fighters – we do not. We believe we are the best Mixed Martial Arts Academy for the individual who wants to learn BJJ and Kickboxing to compliment and balance their lifestyle.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Ronin Athletics
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is arguably the most important skill to any MMA fighter’s arsenal. It was originally created by Helio Gracie for self-defense. Grandmaster Helio modified the techniques used by Judo practitioners to fit his needs. He was a frail man and was considered too weak to practice Judo, which relied on athleticism with some amount of leverage. He modified his self-defense system by finding the most efficient way to ‘weather the storm’ to be in the best position to respond at the right time, with the right technique, with the greatest amount of leverage (Gracie Jiu Jitsu Philosophy) – he called his art Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Gracie Jiu Jitsu is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in its complete form, as it was intended by Grandmaster Helio. While the techniques taught share those with other Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, the differentiating factor is its emphasis on Self-Defense as its guiding principle during the students development. Without the Self-Defense principle to guide the practitioner, he/she can easily waste valuable time practicing techniques and concepts effective in competition but useless in practical application.
Present day – BJJ Academies abound in New York City. However they have evolved to primarily focus on the sport aspect, almost similar to high school wrestling training with submissions and reliance on a point system. It’s a new sport for the few strong and athletic type. Ronin Athletics enjoys the sport aspect as well but maintains the teaching methodology used by Master Helio.
So why is Ronin Athletics the best Mixed Martial Arts Gym in New York City? Because if you are the smaller less athletic individual looking to even the field, you are the person Grandmaster Helio Gracie created this for and we are the exclusive certified training center in New York City that follow his approach to teaching Jiu Jitsu as preserved by his grandsons Ryron and Rener Gracie and Gracie University.
Kickboxing at Ronin Athletics
Kickboxing is probably the most varied and obscure Martial Art offering in New York City. Kickboxing is a single classification but can be organized into so many different experiences. From cardio/aerobics type classes, to a high intensity heavy bag hitting session, to shadow boxing paired with kettlebells or to the more ‘hard-core’ Muay Thai fight gyms complete with bruised shins.
Our Kickboxing program was originated by the gym’s founder, Christian Montes. Replicating the training methods he used during his years of experience fighting professionally in Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts. It is a blend of three types of striking disciplines: incorporating modern concepts of Western Boxing, Muay Thai and Dutch Style Kickboxing.
What sets Ronin Athletics Kickboxing program apart from all the Kickboxing Gyms in New York City is its perfect balance in applying the striking concepts: Technique, combinations, distance management, dynamic movement and timing – essential skills needed when training for a fight competition -without actually going to competition. Simply put – we do not train fighters.
Ronin Athletics provides the best Kickboxing training environment for individuals that want the middle road. We appeal to those that have interest in learning the technical concepts of Kickboxing and sparring in a safe environment, while not having to move towards the extreme fight gym environment. The technical aspects of the class is mentally challenging while the application of the techniques at a consistent pace is physically challenging. This approach to training Kickboxing provides sustainability in consistent practice – consistency is the key ingredient to proficiency.
Mixed Martial Arts at Ronin Athletics
Understanding the approach to the individual disciplines we offer: Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing, it is a lot easier to grasp why Ronin Athletics has a unique approach to training Mixed Martial Arts.We are not simply teaching you how to wrestle while punching – each dimension of fighting come with its own set of principles and having them come together cohesively require in depth knowledge. Our founder and head coach, Christian Montes is the only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt in New York City with Professional Kickboxing Experience and the only Kickboxing Coach in New York City that has competed as a BJJ Black Belt at the national level. His commitment to teaching every day individuals is the reason he established Ronin Athletics.
Do I need to be in good shape or have any experience?
It depends on the martial art. Some disciplines have a higher barrier of entry than others. Jiu Jitsu, is by far the lowest barrier of entry as it was designed for the weaker and smaller individual to develop their strength and confidence.
Can I teach myself self defense?
Yes, it is possible to learn basic self-defense on your own. However, practicing on a non-cooperating partner allows you to sharpen your technique and push yourself to further development.
Is self defense necessary?
Self-defense is a necessary part of human development. In one's life time physical, mental and emotional assault will happen and learning to respond with equal force is a necessity. While we live in a more civilized world today, there are always different challenges and pressurs we face. Learning self-defense not only teaches one about enduring physical pressure, but also mental and emotional ones as well.
How long does it take to learn self defense?
It's depends on the system of self-defense being practiced. If the curriculum is focused on identifying and neutralizing high probability assault scenarios, then it would only be a matter of weeks to learn. One does not need to achieve mastery or a 'black belt' in a martial art to be self-defense ready.
What is BJJ?
BJJ is an acronym for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an offshoot of Japanese Judo. BJJ focuses on classical Judo's ground-based submisison and position techniques. It was widely practiced in Brazil by many pioneer Brazilian Masters but was brought into the mainstream and popularized by the famous Gracie family. The Gracie Family developed their own system of practicing the martial art - called Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
What should I wear to my first class?
Gracie Jiu Jitsu relies on the use of a Jiu Jitsu Gi, not merely as a uniform, but a training tool to place both athletic and non-athletic practioners on equal footing. The Gi, allows for 'handles' on collars, lapels and sleeves to slow the pace of the practice and focus more on technical responses rather than athletics bursts of strength during a sparring session.
Sport JJ for Defense
You ask students on their first day why they decided to take up jiu-jitsu, most say that they came because they wanted to get in shape or learn self-defense. Very few students initially come through the doors of the school with the aim of one day competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments, but eventually a significant number begin to warm to the idea.
What To Look for In a Jiu Jitsu School
There are dozens of reasons for wanting to take up jiu-jitsu. Some people may want to treat it like a sport and compete in tournaments. Others may be mixed-martial arts fighters looking to become better at grappling and learning how to execute or escape submission holds. Still others may want to learn how to practice self-defense in a street fight scenario.
Gym vs Academy
Once you’ve decided to train jiu-jitsu, the next step is deciding where you’ll actually train. If you are brand new to jiu-jitsu, you may not understand how the words like “gym” or “academy” are used in the context of jiu-jitsu. You may even think they are interchangeable.
Fundamentals & Efficiency in Jiu Jitsu
When you begin on your jiu-jitsu journey, you will likely hear the word “fundamentals” a lot. Many instructors swear that the core of the martial art really comes down to the perfection of just a few key fundamentals and enough expertise to know when and how to make minor variations to these fundamentals. True, championship jiu-jitsu fighters may rely on a larger set of moves and techniques, but the vast majority of situations, from rolling with other jiu-jitsu fighters to defending oneself in a street fight, will draw solely from jiu-jitsu fundamentals.
TLDR; If you have been on the fence about trying BJJ cause you have been afraid of getting smashed, crushed, beat up, hurt, humiliated or whatever. Maybe...
I learned about Ronin Athletics while researching jiu-jitsu programs for my young daughter. Co-owner Jasper spent an hour on the phone with me to explain...
I am currently a student at Ronin athletics in Midtown. I joined the school to participate in the all women's self defense program created by the Gracie...
I went to a Gracie Jiu Jitsu Women Empowered self defense class at Ronin Athletics in NYC and really loved the structure of the class. It is clear that Christian is extremely passionate and...
I am currently a student at Ronin athletics in Midtown. I joined the school to participate in the all women’s self defense program created by the Gracie Family, "Women Empowered." At first, I was...
As a mom of two boys ages 6 and 10. I put my kids in different activities and none have made an impact on them like Ronin Athletics. My older son during quarantine was reluctant to do any sports. It...
I joined in February and I’m extremely happy I enrolled in this school. They offer great self defense classes for all ages (perhaps the best in New York City) and their instructors are fantastic....
The trainers are friendly, professional and maintain a positive decorum. Safety is prioritized and the gym is clean. I have been training here for about 100 days now, and have experienced no...
If you are looking for self-defense in New York City where is the statically Gracie Jui Jitsu, Ronin Athletics is definitely the top place. Christian, the head coach, is top notch and what he does....
I’ve been an on and off again (travel due to work) student of Christian’s for about 13 years. During that time I’ve trained in martial arts gyms across the country including Washington DC,...
I was introduced to Gracie Combatives thanks to my stepfather who knows the head coach at Ronin Athletics which is the only Certified Training Center in New York City. When i first started I was a...