If you are a BJJ fan or practitioner then you are familiar with Marcelo Garcia. A 5x Black Belt World Champion and a 4x ADCC Winner, many would consider him to be the GOAT. So when I planned a 3-day trip to NYC visiting his academy was a must.\
First thing you notice when you walk into the academy is that the entirety of the space is dedicated to Jiu Jitsu. The tatami covers 99% of the total gym surface area. In-fact, to get to the Locker-Room one must walk across the mat. I have to say the minimalistic approach and clean look give off a no non-sense vibe. People are there for one reason and one reason only: to train hard.
Class began and right away I noticed that the warm up routine was different to what I was accustomed to. For example, we would be running laps and suddenly Marcelo would say “get in groups of 3 with your same belt rank” or “get into groups of 3 with different belt ranks.” Those left out of groups would perform a 50 push-up penalty. These sorts of games kept the athletes engaged, making warm-ups an enjoyable part of the class.
It was literally ten days before PanAms and the class was full of killers. Names like Dillon Dannis, Matheus Diniz, Bernardo Faria, Gianni Grippo, Mansher Khera were in the mat at the same time. Right after warm ups, ten-minute sparring sessions began. There was no time for technique today. Lets just saw I was not in adequate shape to handle these monsters.
After class I approached Mr. Garcia and thanked me for allowing me to train at his academy. He couldn’t have been nicer and came across as a very humble guy. Unfortunately, he had burned his hand that morning and couldn’t roll or teach any technique.
I left the academy physically exhausted but immediately wanted to go back. I am already planning a trip back to NYC to train for two weeks. I recommend that for anyone who trains Jiu Jistu and is lucky enough to travel or lives in NYC training at Marcelo’s is a exceptional experience.
Tips & Other Information
- Take your own water bottle (filled.)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand and ask what are the days and the time Marcelo is teaching.
- These are the time and dates they emailed back to me. I would go ahead and email anyways to make sure nothing has changed.
12:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
8pm on Monday
7pm on Tuesday and Wednesday
- Regular drop-in fee is $40 but if you are an MGinAction.com member it is only $20. I believe you can use this offer 2x per month.