Jiu Jitsu schools in southern Maine

I am looking to start training and with working in Portland I am wondering what schools there are in southern Maine that teaches legit Jiu Jitsu. Thanks for the suggestions.

Jay Jack is a legit BJJ Black belt.


I just want to clarify that when I said "legit" I just ment a school where the instructor has learned BJJ themselves and is in the position to teach others. There just seems to be so may McDojos around that offer jiu jitsu in one form or another and it may not be the real deal. I certainly did not intend to come off as snooty. Thak you for the suggestion of Jay Jack. I have heard good things about his school. I have also heard about another BJJ BB that teaches at Chois? Any info on that school?

Alexey Cruz teaches at Choi's Monday and wednesday 6pm, tuesday and thursday at noon. Alexey's third degree BB under DelaRiva. Come and try at class we are at 616 congress st.

Alexey is indeed a thrid degree BB from Brazil. He started with the legendary Ricardo Dela Riva at age of 17 and has been training with DLR ever since.

He moved from Rio to Belem, where he founded that city's first BJJ club I believe. One of his earliest students (and best friend) was Lyoto Machida! They remain close to this day.

Alexey grew up with, and trained with many of the original pioneers in BJJ. They were second generation contemporaries of his.

He is a kind, generous instructor. Any of his students will tell you that. Dela Riva told me himself last year that Alexey is one of the students he is most proud of.

If you're looking for fantastic Gi BJJ, I would recommend Alexey. He teaches at a few academies in Portland, Chois and also at Fourniers in Portland. I've worked out with him there, I like the gym, a lot more space.


Alexey really is awesome guy with phenomenal BJJ. IIRC, he is 1st student to go from white to black with DLR and he speaks perfect English. 

Thanks for the suggestions and info guys. I will definately check them out. Its amazing how much talent Maine has now.

Contact him through Choi's or Fourniers Olympic Karate school. BTW, GG you could include me in the group of "legit" BBs in Maine. Alexey promoted me to BB last week. I am his first American BB. I don't teach publicly though.

Waveman, thanks. Yes, I started my first Gracie JJ seminar in 1988! It was in Parsippiny, NJ. I believe it was one of the first GJJ seminars on the east coast. Didn't do anything with it until 1992 when I brought Rigan Machado, John Machado and Bob Bass to Maine. I kept training with the Machado family doing seminars in NJ and New Mexico.

I took a couple years off and started with Julio Fernandez in 1997, remained with him until 2004. A student and friend of mine moved to Brazil for a few months and trained with Alexey in Belem. Ironically Alexey's mom lived HERE in Limington, Maine and I helped him get settled to the area.

He has been a great friend and coach. The last couple of years have been a nightmare for me...my wife of 20+ years left my sons/I, then I lost my mom to COPD thisw Jan., I lost a friend and fellow SWAT member to sudden death/cardiac event. Through it all my friends, training partners and Alexey kept me positive and well cared for.

As you well know, your friends/students/coaches in BJJ are some of the best lifelong friends you will ever have. It is a great sport with a LOT of fantastic people in it, no matter what school you are from. It is a unique connection we all have, like a fraternity really.

Maine has now a lot of talent, not like it was in 1992 for sure! You, Jon, Jay, Aaron, etc. all have done so much for the growth of BJJ here in the state. For a small state we have produced a lot of champions in BJJ/MMA. Hopefully I can contribute to that with Alexey in some small way.

Thanks for the kind words.


Are you not still living here in Maine?

Yep, the Machado seminar was the first seminar they did publicly outside of California. They had just split from Rorion, and were calling their art "Carlos Gracie Jiu Jitsu"...it was on the patch they wore. Shortly thereafter Rorion threatened to sue them so they changed the name to RCJ Machado JJ.

NO ONE in Maine had heard of the art yet and they wanted no part of the seminar. Two 6 hour days on the mat with Rigan, John and Bob Bass! Only about 12 people came. The Machados to this day are some of the nicest, most humble BJJ instructors you will ever meet. Truly decent, kind human beings and great examples for their art.



ttt for Waveman. Was interested in hearing if you are still living in Maine or did you move? Is the Foundry still operating?

Noel, my email is: soetia@msn.com. I have some info/input on schools in the DC area. I am sure you have already checked some out but feel free to email me for my opinion, for what it may be worth.

Good luck in DC. I will pass your message on to Alexey and Chris. Be well, represent Maine!