Success Story

I had started Training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in January, one month later I got into a fight with someone that had to be at least 25 kilos heavier than me and I am 66 kilos. I tried to talk my way out of it, but this guy wanted to fight, so he tried to take me down at my waist, I wrapped my right arm around his neck and pulled him into my Guard and applied a Guillotine Choke until he passed out. If I remember it took about six seconds... after I got up I made sure he was ok and then I just walked away... That proved to me without any doubt that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective form of self-defense, especially since I only had one month a Jiu-Jitsu Training.

Justin Angelos

Gracie Family Approved

Over the years I have learned to appreciate certain Jiu-jitsu techniques more than others because of their applicability. I have also learned to appreciate some instructors more than others because of their ability to teach  Jiu-jitsu to anyone. James Smart can and will teach you Gracie Jiu-jitsu all you have to do is step on the mat.

Ryron Gracie
Co-head Instructor
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

It comes as no surprise that James Smart owns and operates the most successful international Gracie Academy Certified Training Center. His passion for the art and his uncanny ability to inspire his students puts him head and shoulders above the rest, even within our organization. South Africa is lucky to have him.

Rener Gracie
Co-head Instructor
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy


I love Gracie Jiu Jitsu because it is just so unique in how you advance. It is not about beating anyone else but yourself, and learning more and gaining experience. Also... the best form of Self defense in the word!!!

Shaun Spruch

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town is so much more awesomer than any other jits club, I travelled 5979 miles to do a beginner's session there: FACT!

Philip Whitfield

After dabbling in just about every martial art out there (karate *various forms*, aikido, judo, boxing,etc) I finally found one that keeps my attention. It challenges the mind and body. You can never get bored as there is always something to learn. The Gracie academy is the best place as it promotes that learning culture without ego's or fear of being hurt by more experienced students. All adults should come to the academy for fitness, confidence in a street fight or just to learn an every changing martial art for the fun of it. I also highly recommend it for kids that are tired of the same old punching air technique they learn in karate.

Dudley Drummond-Hay

There is no doubt in my mind that every single person who has ever dropped by at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town academy have reaped incredible value from it - even if it was from just ONE class. Gracie Jiu Jitsu is the ONLY martial arts in the WORLD that empowers the smaller, weaker person to effectively defend him/herself against a larger, stronger attacker. Gracie Jiu Jitsu's effectiveness has been proven numerous times when a skinny kid from Brazil named Royce Gracie won back-to-back no-holds barred Ultimate Fighting tournaments against larger, stronger opponents - shocking the world. James Smart, head instructor at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town, is one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of self-defense and Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He will get you street ready in no time. You'll be more confident than ever. You'll be combat ready. You'll never look back. Oh and if you're an aspiring MMA athlete who wants to WIN his/her fights, you CANNOT enter the cage without this!!! ;) No matter what your current martial arts experience (if any), I challenge you to visit Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town. It's a warm, friendly environment where even the most shy person will feel at home. Ladies are welcome too! It will be the best decision you've made in a long time - maybe even your life.

Reinhardt Gallowitz

Gracie Jiu Jitsu definitely changed my point of view in life in general. It's great for fitness and and physically training against opponents bigger and stronger. No one have a ego problem cause everyone knows it's not always the weight and size that matters, but also the skill. The structure of the program is great.

Jaco Blom

Training at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town has been a life changing experience for me. After just 6 months of training, I am the fittest I have ever been. I have cancelled my Gym membership as I get more of an all body work out in one class than I ever would in a gym. I also found that when I used to go to Gym, I never escaped my work, while I was working out, I would still be thinking about the day that had passed and the work that lay ahead. My brain was never switching off and I was on the point of burn out. After a Gracie Jiu Jitsu class, I feel so energised and for that hour or 2 of training, I don’t think about work at all as I find myself so focused on learning the new techniques and perfecting the techniques I have already learnt. So not only does my body get a great workout, my mind escapes work for a few hours, which gives me a renewed energy and a greater ability to focus on my work with a clear mind the following day. Being a woman I find Gracie Jiu Jitsu to be the best form of Self Defence as the focus is always on a bigger stronger and more aggressive opponent. From the very first class I was hooked :) being able to get a bigger, stronger and much heavier guy towering over you while you are on your back to having him on his back with you on top with just technique and leverage was so rewarding!! I am very proud to be part of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town Family, Thank You James for being such an inspiring instructor. I have heard that a good instructor has students, but a great instructor has Fans! You definitely have an Academy full of fans!! :)

Robyn Taylor

With no egos on the mat, and a passion to push students to be better than they were yestereday, Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town is a true embodyment of the Gracie way.

Krigan Naicker

It starts out as something to impress your friends. Quickly becomes an addiction. Then evolves into a way of life. Respect and discipline forms the corner stone of anything in which you wish to succeed. You are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of respect between the students and instructors at GJJ. I can't imagine my life without the new friendships and skills I've gained.

Buks Saayman

Great health and general fitness while learning something of real value for our world today - all done in a professional, well managed and fun environment. Beats the stereotype fitness centres any day and Life Changing to many.

Marco Savio

Thanks to Gracie Jiu Jitsu I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. The vibe at the academy due to passionate, entertaining instruction and relaxed, sharing atmosphere make Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town the best place to train. I like that there is a distinction between the sportive and self-defence aspects, with special attention paid to Real Self-Defence, the Gracie way.

Dan Taylor

I have been training in mma, wrestling and no-gi grappling for the last 4 years but always wanted to train at GJJ but lived in Joburg. After moving to CT I started training at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town a couple of weeks ago and realised how much I missed out by going to so called grappling gyms and training with the wrong instructors. I have only been training at GJJ only for a couple of weeks now but learned more technique and discipline in this short time then ever before. Im proud to be part of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu family at last.

Quentin Vogel

You haven't done Jiu Jitsu, until you've done Gracie Jiu Jitsu. The quality of instruction and the family atmosphere at the club is superb. How often can you say that you've just spent an hour getting beat up, choked, had your joints hyper extended and you cant wait to do it again the following day !!!!

Edwin Pietersen

The quality KEEP IT REAL training that is done with an honesty, sincerity and integrity that keeps changing you for the better even when you have been off the mat for a long time.

David Banks

I just really enjoy going to class every night and learning new things from one of the most enthusiastic, fun and professional coaches I have ever had. The students are patient and have a great attitude towards learning which makes it easy and fun. The facilities are fantastic with every thing that you would need. Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town is where I hang out 5 nights out of 7. Thanks Karen and James for all your hard work.

Wesley Stewart

If you should ask me how I have benefited from or why I like to train at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Cape Town or why someone should join I will give you the usual reasons. It’s a great exercise/ workout; you will get fitter and lose weight (I have lost 13kg so far, in 10 months). You will become part of a community made up of people from all walks of life that are keen to help and walk with you on this exciting journey. Yes, your self-esteem and self-image should improve as mine did as you learn this new skill/sport/ self-defence. But the main reason why you should join or train at GJJ Cape Town is because of the owner/instructor, James Smart. I believe James to be a man of integrity who is absolutely passionate about Jiu-Jitsu and in my option has been given the gift of teaching. Everyone is treated with the upmost respect and each student given personal attention and time. James must also have the patience of a saint because if he can teach me who is, shall we say, “grey matter challenged” with a memory like a sieve, then he can most probably teach anyone. So, at the tender age of 45 I got off the couch onto the mat and into a much more healthy lifestyle, in fact, I can’t remember when I have ever felt as fit and as confident as I do now. To sum up GJJ Cape Town in just one word, easy: Awesome!

Craig Duke

When someone starts something new they are usually slightly apprehensive and nervous, Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town has a brilliant instructor James Smart with his energy, everyone takes a learning approach and the atmosphere of training is almost tangible! Lets not forget the Gracie Jiu Jitsu combative course and the unique learning approach!

Stuart Davies

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Cape Town has an incredible structure in every class and every lesson is packed with more meaty details than what I can usually handle at one time. I am always fully satisfied! They are truly keeping it real!

Chrisjan Jansen van Vuuren