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.
GJJ vs BJJ
Having trained Jiu Jitsu in New York City since 2002 I’ve witnessed a microcosm of its evolution in NYC and its expanding community here. Jiu Jitsu (by way of Gracie Jiu Jitsu) came on the map after UFC 1 - driving the message to all serious martial arts practitioners that they need to work on their ‘ground game.’ Simply knowing how to punch and kick wasn’t going to cut it. Post-UFC 1 adopters were martial artists already proficient in some form of fighting and looking to supplement their skills with ground fighting. Tough Jiu Jitsu training wasn’t such a high barrier of entry because these adopters were already experienced in the ‘sink or swim’ mentality during their years of hard training.
The 32 Principles: Achieving Artistry (Part 3 of 3)
The 32 Principles represent different ways of achieving efficiency, which is the apex principle of Jiu-jitsu. The greatest Jiu-jitsu practitioners strive to expend as little energy as possible when on the mat. They know that conserving their energy, while letting their opponents waste theirs, will give them the best chances of survival.
The 32 Principles of Jiu Jitsu: Making Deposits (Part 2 of 3)
In most jiu-jitsu classes, there is usually one student who excels at learning new moves, improvising new techniques, and figuring out how to escape from holds without explicit instruction. It doesn’t mean that they are the strongest or fastest or the most advanced fighter. In some cases, they may even be white belts. However, these students seem to just inherently understand things other students do not.
The 32 Principles of Jiu Jitsu (Part 1 of 3)
From an outsider’s perspective, jiu-jitsu may look like a lot of grappling and complicated chokeholds. To the white belt who may have spent just finished their first week of classes, they may not feel all that different. Performing certain moves can require more than a dozen steps and learning how to employ these techniques fluidly and effectively can take years of practice. As one gains a greater appreciation for the amount of dedication, knowledge, and skill that goes into becoming a great fighter, one is likely to gain a greater appreciation for why jiu-jitsu is called a martial art.
I had a superb first class experience. Nothing but great things to say about instructors Bart and Johnny. Based on my experience I plan to continue classes...
Watching MMA fights like the UFC and Bellator, I've always wanted to learn Jiu Jitsu. Googled Jiu Jitsu gyms in midtown and did some trial classes from...
What a great place to train! I was visiting from out of town and train at Gracie location In MA. I came in for an afternoon class and found Christian's...
I was speaking to a friend who does Brazilian Jiu-jitsu about how important it is to defend yourself in this world we live in. My family and I got introduced to a #BullyProof program that ran over...
I don’t really write reviews but I have to share this with all the ladies that are looking for an effective self-defense class. Ronin Athletics is the only self-defense school in NYC that offer...
This place has become a second home for me I just love training here! this ain’t no gym ronin is a school! Here you learn the ART! Of jujitsu and then sport. Self defense first! Is what’s makes...
This is probably the best place to learn self-defense in midtown Manhattan. I think for a beginner like myself (zero experience) the biggest obstacles are overwhelming number of skills and lack of...
I'm taking the self-defense class here and it's called Gracie Combatives. I didn't know it was part of a larger network, called Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and was really impressed with the level of...
I highly recommend Ronin Athletics for Jiu Jitsu within the NYC area. Family feeling gym- with very kind and patient instructors. Not only am I able to get after it each training session, but I am...
Gracie Jiu Jitsu IS awesome! Here’s why. Because of all the buzz surrounding Jiu Jitsu, I sought out the best Jiu Jitsu schools in NYC. I did my research on Reddit and different Jiu Jitsu...
Hello everyone looking to start working on themselves and get trained in self defense. Ronin Athletics taught me so much as I worked with the trainer Christian. I’m just a couple of classes I was...