Brazil or Renzo Gracies???

Hey Forum Brothers- I have some money saved up and my goal is to get the best I can get in as short as time as possible.

I was wondering what you thought was better if I wanted to improve the most... go to Brazil or go to Renzo Gracies? In Brazil class times seem to be one during the day and one at night with the option of taking a private in the morning. However at Renzo Gracies there is a class 4 times throughout the day.... 7-9, 12:30-2, 5:30-7, and 7-9. Given the more mat time you are training the better you will get...Brazil has at most three and Renzo's has four times. Ideally if you went to four classes you would get better faster. So I was wondering why is Brazil so much better than the states for training jiu jitsu?

Renzo is amazing and if you can afford to live in New York for however long you plan to go, I would recommend training with him in a heartbeat.

The good thing about Brazil is that your money will go really far. You could line up a private every day with great black belts for relatively little money. If you plan to stay there awhile, you can find an inexpensive apartment. Food is also really cheap.

The downside to Brazil is that there are a lot of distractions (women, nightclubs). You may not think they are a factor, but almost every gringo that moves down there starts out training every day but ends up training once or twice a week because he's spending his time with chicks or out partying.

I agree with Andre- the only advantage Brazil would have is that your money will go a lot further. In terms of pure BJJ teaching and training, I think Renzo's with its amazing teachers and students is easily as good as the top schools in Brazil.

Go to Rio for sure man. Hell, you might even train with Renzo if your there long enough.

I think you will probably be burnt out or overtrained if you try to train 4 times a day. Go to Brasil! You will have a great time and experience alot. I know Renzo is a great teacher, but, why did you pick him over others? Just wondering.

I'm jealous that you have the option of doing either!!! Tough choice but Brazil would be a trip of a lifetime if you ask me.

Check out the Gracie Camp. Rio... There you will be able to have a private instructor on Mon., Wed. & Fri. mornings and afternoons with the ability to train at the Gracie Barra Academy mid day and evening. Tues. and Thur. you can train at the Academy days and evening. I think the price is $80 a day and that includes room and two meals a day plus they drive you around. I was there a little over a month ago and had a blast. Make sure that you take more than one Gi. You will need at least two. The instruction is GREAT.... Tell them that Ken from Georgia sent you..... Have fun...

Renzo and his crew speaks English.

I doubt you will benefit from training 4 times a day anyway. training twice a day is usually enough for most of us and training more wont necessarily make you better.

sometimes less is more

I am a little baised since I run a school from Renzo in Mexico but I have been to both a lot of times I think you will improve more at Renzos people are very nice they will show you any move if you ask, also for no gi Renó´s is much better, still Gracie Barra has some great instructors(Gi) and is cheaper and the beach, girls and clubs....

Colin Lane- I chose Renzo over other instructor's because I liked what he has done withe competetiors like Matt Serra and Ricardo Almeida. I also like what was written about him in the Gracie Way. Looking at his fights besides Spikers he seems to be very respectful ala Sakuraba. The fact that it is in New York and there is class four times a day makes Renzo's more appealing. I may not go to all four classes but I will at least be able to train twice a day at least. It is also beneficial that he is strong in terms of no gi.

The main consensus seems to be that Brazil is a top choice because it will be a good experience and my money will take me farther which leads me to other questions... How much is it to get an apartment in a good part of Rio for three-six months? I know in New York for a good apartment or at least one with air conditioning would take at least a 1000 a month, with expenses for the train, training, food, and partying. I estimate I will be spending at most 1500 a month in New York. How much a month would it be in Brazil? How much is a private with an instructor from Brazil? This also leads me to other questions is what is the real difference in instruction from Brazil and America? How come many top Brazilian jiu jitsu instructors have transplanted to America and do not live out in Brazil anymore?

Thank you all for your responses, greatly appreciated... Anymore would be helpful.


You can find apartments close to the beach in Rio for about $500 a month easily. I wish I had my old contacts there. If you decide to go down there, let me know and I will see if I can find a contact for you.

I really dont think you can get by in NYC on $1500/month. I dont think its possible at all, unless you want to forgo training and maybe eating. You may be able to do it if you find a room to rent or go down there with a roomate.


I spent two years training at Renzo's and had a great experience. Everyone there is friendly and hardworking. Your teammates are always willing to help and respectful. I would not have done it any differently.

Steppingrazor: Unfortunately, I think your budget is off. For example, you will have trouble finding a place for a thousand dollars. Your best bet is to check something like to find a share if you want to pay 1000.00 or under. Try looking in Brooklyn (williamsburg, Greenpoint, or Fort Greene) to find a more affordable alternative rent wise. Eventhough, the outer borroughs are getting more and more expensive.

If you want to train a lot then you will pay about 185-3x or 225-245 for unlimited.

Then you have transportation costs which in the form of an unilimited weekly pass for the subweay is 21.00. With that said you are around 1300.00 without food, utilites (in NYC can be pretty expensive), phone, mobile phone (everyone in NYC needs one) etc. Not to mention entertainment, of which you should really check out. NYC is amazing and it is best to get the full experience. I don't think you should go there and live like a hermit. LOL Not to burst the bubble just giving you a realistic look at living in NYC.

Kneeblock- not to hijack this thread, but you should definately check out Renzo's- the atmosphere is very friendly and accomodating!

Dude i think your seriously underestimating the costs of new york. I stayed in SoCal for 3 months training, and only paid 350$ a month for both housing and training (got a real good deal), and i was spending around 1000 (inclduing the training/rent) a month. If you stay there you wont just be eating 3$ chicken breasts for every meal, youll go out once in a while, check out the movies, have a nice big meal.

Now granted i dont know new york at all, but i looked briefly into it when looking for a place to train at in USA. But unless you got some hookup with apartments i'd imagine you'd be paying 1500-2000 just for training and housing. I can't remember what it costs to train there, but i think i remember hearing some crazy numbers (obviously their not as crazy if you work in NY since you get paid accordingly, and i'm sure he's worth the money, but still i remember it being pretty steep).

But who knows maybe you can find someone cool to be your roommate or something and get it cheap :) But the impression i got when i was asking around about NY was that it'd be VERY steep.

once a day 5x a week in brazil is all I'm gonna do. Train hard for 3 hours and thats plenty, any more than that and you will get injured and be on the beach anyway. If you can make it through 4 classes a day and not want to fall asleep on the mat the more power to you. When I first started trainning about 5 years ago I moved to Dallas for 2 months and trainned at Carlos Machado's M-F with tues and thurs being 2x a day and also on Saturday and that lasted about a month before I was just doing 3-5 x a week regular classes.

Brazil, my friend!!! It is the mecca of Bjj, you can train with all the world champions for next to nothing. Also if you go when the mundials are on you can see all the best in the world and probably roll with some of them at their respective academies. If you truly love Bjj you have to make the trip down at least once. I have had the opportunity to go down 2 times and will try again next year if my wife lets me!!! Plus the price for training is ridiculus!!!