If you’re not familiar with BJJ (Brazillian Jiu-jitsu), it’s a martial art that focuses on ground fighting techniques. It involves takedowns, guard passing and sweeps to gain dominant positions in order to score a submission.

But this explanation does not give the complex sport justice.

The only way to gain a realistic idea of about the sport is to try it.

Roger Gracie Academy Salford is a big part of the local community, helpings its students with their physical and mental wellbeing. Owner and black belt instructor Mike Dorrian said, “The last 8 months has been extremely difficult and confusing. We were locked down, then we were given permission to train again with the government relaxing the rules, then putting in another lockdown.”

The pandemic has proven difficult for businesses to survive, however Mike and the Academy adapted by offering online techniques as well as an online fitness program for their students to follow.

Dorrian explains, “We didn’t know if we were coming or going. The thing that upsets me the most is that many of our students are unable to train and release stress, energy or train with their team mates.”

“Jiu Jitsu is a massive part of our students lives. They come here to get away from their everyday lives. Just for that one hour they train. It makes a huge difference.”

With Greater Manchester currently in a tier 3 lockdown, the government has stopped BJJ specific gyms being able open as normal. Like many other BJJ schools the academy didn’t receive the help it needed from the government.

Thankfully, it continues to be supported by its students who continue to pay their membership during these difficult times.

“Were a Jiu-Jitsu school not a keep fit club.” Dorrian added, “it’s very confusing with a lot of conflicting advice and information.”

“I’m hoping we can get back to some normality where we can train as normal without restrictions.”

Nevertheless, despite these hard times, the Academy has some exciting plans for the future.

Their kids programme will restart from ages 4 years to 15, with a focus on self-defence in a fun environment scheduled for every Monday – Thursday at 5:30pm. Additionally, there will be a Women’s Only self-defence class starting on a Thursday evening.

If you’re interested in starting BJJ and want take a look at your local academy you can visit their website: https://rgasalford.co.uk/


  1. Really great feature. Sometimes we run the risk of viewing sports as a mere novelty but in times like lockdown, we are reminded of just how critical physical activity is for our mental health and overall well-being. It’s so important that we can pour passion into something and have an expressive/emotional outlet, for some people this can mean the difference between a happy life and pure misery. I wish Mike Dorrian and the Roger Gracie Academy Salford the best of luck in the future!

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