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Learn the 36 foundational techniques of Gracie Jiu-jitsu to defend yourself effectively.

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Master the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and No-Gi Grappling

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Develop your fitness level and enhance your striking skills

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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 conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan on 36th Street between 7th and 8th Ave, 2 blocks north of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden and 4 blocks south of the Port Authority Station. Many of our members come from all 5 boroughs of New York City as well as New Jersey and Connecticut.

Ronin Athletics

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.

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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.

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The Jiu-Jitsu I created was designed to give the weak ones a chance to face the heavy and the strong

Helio Gracie

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.

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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.

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TRAINING TODAYSchedule your trial class


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.

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Wrestling vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 18 Feb

Wrestling vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Ronin Athletics Team

The very concept of “wrestling” means hand-to-hand combat between two people, where each of them is trying to knock the enemy down. There is no striking technique in this single combat.

Kickboxing: before and after 18 Feb

Kickboxing: before and after

in Kickboxing by Ronin Athletics Team

Kickboxing is a multifaceted martial art that originated back in 1960. There are several types of it – Japanese, American, as well as multiple solo compositions. If you look closely at the movements and actions of kickboxers, you will notice that they contain details from Wushu, Karate, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo.

Women’s Self-defense courses: real help or false confidence? 27 Oct

Women’s Self-defense courses: real help or false confidence?

in Self-Defense by Ronin Athletics Team

With the explosive popularity of group fitness classes like Pilates, yoga and spinning, women in New York City have a wide variety of classes to choose from.  Pugilistic sports like Boxing and Kickboxing have crossed over into this fitness category, boasting the benefits of fitness training while learning self-defense. 

Jiu Jitsu is a Language 19 Oct

Jiu Jitsu is a Language

in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Ronin Athletics Team

One of the more interesting ways to think about learning Jiu-Jitsu is to think of it as learning a language.

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TRAINING TODAYSchedule your trial class



Giau T.

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...


Mike K.

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...


Lukasz S.

I've been training at Ronin for about a year now and I've been nothing but impressed by Christian and his team. I've taken trial classes at four other...


Jazmin Ortiz

Ronin Athletics, has hands down one of the best women’s self defense programs out there. The Gracie Women Empowered program is one I recommend to all young and older women. What I love about this...


Bella M

My mom and her friends took me to a free introductory class at Ronin Athletics in New York City for the Gracie Women’s Empowered program with Chris and Lora. I am a dancer and martial arts is not...


Eric Messenger

I recently decided to join Ronin after doing a few trial classes, where I was pleasantly surprised by the attitudes and vibe of the whole gym (starting with the instructors). Bart and Johnny teach...


Julius Jayasekaran

Having never done any martial arts in my life, i joined Ronin Athletics a few months ago. Since then i've enjoyed it so much that i have not missed a single class. It's so enjoyable and disciplined...


Aerik Von

Ronin is an amazing gym with an amazing staff! I miss being able to attend classes and hope to return as soon as I am able...


Master Malarkey

Amazing environment, knowledgeable instructors, excellent culture of learning with great organization and the home run of high quality customer service. I’ve been in martial arts for over 27 years...


Nate Baranoff

A couple of months ago I walked into Ronin Athletics looking for a form of self defense. I never heard of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and didn’t know what to expect. Fast forward to today and I can’t...


Matthew Bussmann

I walked into my first class knowing nothing. I was asked "Could you get me off of you and how would you do it?" I replied with brute force. Brute force did not work. After four minutes of...