Greater Boston area training

In a couple of months, I will be moving to Greater Boston area to work/study, and I would love to hear your comments about different training possibilities. I have tried to gather information from the Internet, but it still is pretty hard thing to do, especially when I do not know the area and I am not really familiar with the instructors and their backgrounds.

I will be studying/working at Cambridge, but I do not yet have an apartment (this is also one reason why I am asking your help, this would be a good time to know about different training locations), so I presume that I try to get an apartment near Cambridge, or at least near the metro line. I train simply as a hobby and I am looking to train mainly in BJJ (also no-gi) and maybe some MMA/vale tudo. I like to train actively, meaning averaging at 3-4 times / week.

So, here is my analysis of the possible training locations I have discovered this far (information taken mainly from their own websites). All further opinions are welcome!


One of the biggest clubs around. Affiliated with Gracie Barra. Lot of good instructors (several black belts) and practioners. Really lot of training possibilities (7 times / week for beginners, 11 times / week for advanced + 1 time standup fighting). No pricing information available.

In my opinion, looks like one of the best place to train at, but the down side is that it is located like 10 miles from Cambridge, and their website's directions implicates that you have to have a car to get from Boston. Any idea if this really is so?


Looks like a decent place to train with good instructors. Affiliated obviously with BTT. Training 4 times / week + 1 valetudo/nogi. Monthly prices 85$ for 2 times / week or 100$ unlimited training. Located couple of miles from Cambridge. They have some problems with their website, so not too much information available there.


Main instructor (previously?) affiliated with Chute Boxe. Located close to Cambridge at Somerville. Training possibilities BJJ 3 times / week, MMA 5 times / week, plus also muay thai several times / week. No pricing information available.


Also located at Somerville. Mainly a muay thai club, with some focus on BJJ/MMA. Possible to train muay thai daily, plus no gi BJJ 2 times / week, plus 1 time / week with a gi (for 20$ additional price). Monthly prices 3 times / week 85$, 5 times 95$ or unlimited 110$. Not too much information available about the BJJ instructors. Looks like a decent place, but too much focused on muay thai from my stand point I think.


Located in Ludlow, couple of miles from Cambridge, relatively near to metro line(?). Nice looking place, with supposedly decent instructor. The schedule is a bit messy, and I am not sure if I understood it correctly, it looks like big part of the BJJ classes are at the morning, but I presume there is the possibility to train at least 5 times / week. Monthly pricing, 2 times / week 75$, 3 times 89$ and unlimited 100$.

..There also are several other training locations in 20 mile radius (like MassBJJ, DragonLairBJJ and so on), but I guess they are a bit too way off.

So, I would really love to hear your comments/ideas, did I miss some clubs, what do you think about the instructors in different places, and what place you would recommend for me?

P.S. As a curiosity, it was interesting to find out that at least four clubs mention that Kenny Florian trains there. I guess he is mainly training at the BBJiujitsu and Sityodtong though.

definitely check out btt boston, and specifically any class dave ginsberg
is teaching. you'll be happy you did.

Kenny trains at several places, but sityodtong, for example, is where he works on his standup, mostly through privates. He isn't teaching classes or anything like that. Mark is an amazing muay thai trainer, and trains a lot of good fighters. Just last weekend Jorge Rivera was sparring with Stephan Bonnar at sityodtong. I have heard that boston BJJ doesn't really do a lot of no-gi training (not popular with the students?), but I have rolled with some of them and they have some really good BJJers. Sityodtong also has open mat on saturdays, in addition to the $20 gi class, and there are always lots of people there training that you can roll with. It isn't a formal class, but people will show you stuff, and there is usually at least one BJJ brown/black there on the weekends training.

The main BJJ instructors are John McDonough and Mat Santos. Not sure what belt John is, I'm pretty sure Santos is a purple (but does mostly no-gi, and is very good for a purple). There are other trainers, but those two teach most of the classes.

Another option if you want to work on your standup wrestling (folkstyle): Boston Union Wrestling Club meets in Mission Hill (south, close to orange line). Membership for a year only costs like $50 (practically free!), including a USA wrestling membership and a free t-shirt. Also, someone recently put up a webpage for a Harvard BJJ club they are trying to get together (, but there is no telling if it will get off the ground. I emailed them a while back and still haven't heard back...

Ron Mexico:
Are you saying that Kenny doesn't teach at Sityodtong, or that he doesn't teach at all? He came to DC for a seminar at Yamasaki last year and it was some of the best BJJ teaching I've seen. I've always wondered if he teaches BJJ regularly at Boston BJJ or if he had his own school, etc.

I think Matt Santos is now a brown.

I also know that Trent Lewis (Roy Harris Brown Belt) is also teaching at least some of the grappling at SYT.

Thanks for all the feedback guys, this is just the kind of information I've been looking for!

It is nice to know that BBJJ is reachable in a reasonable time, even though if you are training a lot, spending close to 2 hours almost daily on only traveling between your home and training location kinda sucks. Of course one thing that I would also be interested in would be to hear what the training costs are..

SYT starts to sound better and better, especially because I am interested in no-gi training, too bad that I would probably be interested to train a bit more than 2 instructed classes+open mat / week (even though money isn't my top priority, that $20 gi class sounds kinda expensive, when in several other places you get to train 2-3 times with the same money).

Any idea about what the general feelings towards training in multiple schools are? I mean I know people train at both BBJJ and SYT, but how about for example BTT and SYT or BBJJ and BTT?

I think that in the end I will just go to see the clubs and select my training place(s) based on a gut feeling, has worked this far. Anyway, it still is nice to hear comments, hints and little bit of background about the different training locations, so thanks a lot and feel free to keep the comments coming!

my vote goes for boston bjj (of course, i train there so.....)

I train at both Boston BJJ and Sityodtong, can't go wrong with either school. If you are looking for more ground work, Boston bjj is the place for you, if you are more interested in stand up then Sityodtong. Kenny and Keith Florian still go to both schools, but due to concentrating Kenny's fighting career, I do not see either teach much anymore. Roberto Maia(owner and head instructor at Boston bjj) is a Gracie Bara Black belt for 20 years, and is a great instructor and friend. Mark(owner of Sityodtong) could have a quadrapeligic kicking and punching properly. Great atmosphere at both.

Trent Lewis is a Professor Joe Moreira affiliate (brown belt) that has also trained with Professor Moreira's student - well known and respected black belt instructor Roy Harris. Trent is an excellent instructor- patient, very technical and a wide variety of techniques/strategies. Trent also has has his own school "House of Pain" in addition to teaching at the Sityodtong gym.


If you still have comments I would love to hear them (even though I think I start to have a picture about the different possibilities), and it would also be nice to hear how the prices at the BBJJ compares to the other clubs and if they have unlimited training possibility for a reasonable price.