Who would have thought a sport like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would have taken to Thailand – the cultural and spiritual home of Muay Thai.
The MMA scene often aids in fueling the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene and visa versa. In the immediate vicinity of Thailand we have many MMA events, from the small in house events up to the massive and highly promoted MMA promotions.
Not including the already established countries like Japan, Korea and China – we can still see some smashing MMA organizations coming out!
Singapore: ONE FC - Currently touring Asia with HUGE shows and fights
Thailand: DARE - Bangkok
Malaysia: Malaysia FC
Taiwan: PRO Fighting
With all of these promotions being only a short trip from Thailand, we are finding an increased interest in one of the fundamentals of MMA: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Thailand is a place of beauty, beaches, clubs, cheap shopping, culture, smiles, markets, festivals and of course combat sports (mostly in the form of Muay Thai)
Its really no wonder why ‘Farang’ would venture to move to Thailand – with 3rd world prices and 1st world luxuries – a tourist can quickly become an Ex-pat.
Within Thailand there are roughly 8/10 places to legitimately train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
BKK BJJ, Bangkok Fight Club, EMAC, Fairtex Bangplee, Legacy gym, Kombat Group, Team Quest Thailand - All have purple or brown belts. Helping to teach and striving to make jiu jitsu stronger in Thailand.
Tiger has BJJ Black Belt Ray Elbe – certified under Juliano Prado
Q23 has BJJ Black Belt Adam Kayoom – certified under Ricardo Liborio
Bangkok BJJ has Black Belt Benjamin Weinstein – certified under Ralph Gracie
Phuket Top Team has a 3rd Degree black belt, direct from Brazil – certified under Carlson Gracie Jr – Olavo Abreu & Nova Uniao / Robson Moara Black belt, also direct from Brazil, Professor Rodrigo Praxedes.
Five black belts based right here in Thailand! Not bad for a small country with only one professional (and relatively new) MMA event.
Professor. Olavo Abreu hails direct from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. Olavo has worked as a Head Trainer at Brazilian Top Team, where he taught names such as Rodrigo Minotauro, Paulo Filho, Ricardo Arona and more. Olavo worked in Abu Dhabi for 8 years – setting up the now famous Abu Dhabi Combat Club & Championships. Olavo Abreu was awarded his black belt from the world famous Brazilian Top Team. Olavo is now a 3rd degree black belt and teaches at Phuket Top Team – where there alongside another blackbelt in Rodrigio Praxedes.
Professor. Rodrigo Praxedes hails directly from Sao Paulo in Brazil and has 13 years experience. Previously tought in Singapore before making his move over to Thailand. Rodrigo Praxedes was awarded his black belt direct from Robson Moura – of Nova Uniao. Rodrigo teaches at Phuket Top Team alongside Professor Olavo Abreu.
Professor. Ray Elbe hails from the United States – having lived in Thailand for the past 5+ years, he has attained his brown and black belt while teaching at tiger muay thai. Ray fight MMA and was awarded his black belt under Prof. Juliano Prado
Professor. Adam Kayoom hails from the Malaysia and has also been in Thailand for 3/4+ years. Adam has trained in Australia and the U.S. and teaches now out of Q23 / American Top Team Bangkok. Adam earned his Black Belt under Prof. Ricardo Liborio
Professor Benjamin Weinstein comes to Thailand after a return from Berkeley, CA – U.S.A – where he was graded to a black belt via Ralph Gracie. Ben works at Bangkok BJJ as the head instructor and is an integral part of the jiu jitsu community in Thailand.
Who would have thought two years ago, that in 2012 we would see five black belts, one of whom is a 3rd degree brazilian born black belt & former head trainer at Brazilian Top Team. One American, one Malaysian and two Brazilian born and raised black belts in the same gym.
For lots of future updates on the Jiu Jitsu scene in Asia (and particularly, Thailand) please check out the no.1 source of news Bjj-Asia.com