Royal Marines train with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master in New York

Storyline: Martial Arts

As part of Exercise Virginia Gauntlet 3, Royal Marines have been training with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu masters at local facilities in New York and Quantico.

Embracing the opportunity to train in new environments with some of the most renowned faces of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), the Royal Marines BJJ team have spent the last week honing their skills in the lead up to their Virginia Gauntlet showdown against the US Marine Corps. 

The group kick started their week with a visit to the veteran owned, Process Over Prize Academy in Stafford, Virginia. The centre’s owner and founder is an active-duty military service member with over 20 years of combat sports experience.

Then straight into their next session of the trip at the KOA Martial Arts School where Royal Marines BJJ’s very own Jimmy Carter is a regular, he commented, ‘Thank you to Kelly Grissom for allowing the Royal Marines to share the mats tonight. Having the two teams I represent on the mat together was pretty special for me.’

After an 8-hour journey to the big apple, the association stepped into the world-famous Blue Basement of the Renzo Gracie Academy in Manhattan. Mike Jamarillo held several sessions for the team over the week at the centre founded by multiple-time BJJ champion and 7th degree coral belt BJJ practitioner and coach, Renzo Gracie.

Mike said, ‘It’s been an honour to have the Royal Marines BJJ group visit the Renzo Gracie Academy as part of their training camp for the Exercise Virginia Gauntlet 3, when they will engage with engage counterparts from the US Marine Corps in a BJJ tournament. They have shown an admirable attention to detail, discipline, camaraderie, and spirit.

‘I’ve always been appreciative of the men and women in the armed forces who make great sacrifices so that we can enjoy the safety and freedoms that many of us often take for granted. It’s inspiring when BJJ can play a role in bringing people together, whether that’s through training for fun or competing.’

The team also visited the Essential BJJ school in White Plains and Unity Jiu Jitsu school, a few blocks away from the Empire State Building. 

Each session has opened doors to new skills and a higher level of experience in the sport, allowing the team to make connections, build friendships, and grow stronger as a unit. 

The new techniques picked up during their stay in New York will put the team in a good position for their upcoming Virginia Gauntlet showdown against the US Marine Corps.

It’s inspiring when BJJ can play a role in bringing people together, whether that’s through training for fun or competing.

Mike Jamarillo