The Capital of Silicon Valley is a stunning city for work or play. For some of us, it’s the kind of place where we want to work through blood, sweat, and tears to test ourselves and become fighters.
This article will describe eleven of the best MMA gyms in San Jose, California.
Keep reading to find out some of my picks. There’s a wild mix of Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ, and even Krav Maga specialisms. Let’s crack on!
American Kickboxing Academy
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.8/5 (124 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 7012 Realm Dr, San Jose, CA 95119
- Phone: (408) 225-9000
American Kickboxing Academy is a gym that prides itself in specializing in striking martial arts like Kickboxing, Boxing, and Muay Thai. But they have also expanded their programs to offer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The class schedule is packed five days a week, with drop-ins available in the mornings and evenings.
This gym has been providing martial arts training since 1985, when the World Champion Kickboxer Javier Mendez first opened its doors. Since then, the programs have evolved to include the mixed training methods that are in such demand these days, with the popularity of UFC rising. The facility is of a very high standard. The quality is undeniable, with many heavy bags, cardio and resistance machines, and even an MMA cage to work with.
The academy is spread out across 13(!) different rooms. It’s a well-equipped space. Not only that, but this gym has played its part in offering training to many high-level fighters. Cain Velasquez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Islam Makhachev have walked through these doors. This might be the best option available on this list and one you should try.
UFC GYM Sunnyvale
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.1/5 (108 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 733 S Wolfe Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
- Phone: (408) 913-9800
UFC GYM Sunnyvale is just one franchise in the UFC Gym’s network. This particular gym has been open since 2014. They offer aspiring fighters a good quality of training across various martial arts. You can expect BJJ, Boxing, MMA, and Kickboxing. But on top, you’ll also find some other classes that you might expect in a more traditional “gym” like Pilates, HITT, and “Bodypump” classes.
Plenty of people debate the actual effectiveness of a franchised gym like this, and maybe they’d be right. It feels more like a glorified gym with the UFC brand on the front. It’s also a bit further out from the center of San Jose, in Sunnydale.
All that being said, if you live or work in the Sunnydale area, then this could be a great choice. You can get started in each necessary martial art and see where it takes you! You’re getting a high-quality gym floor with a ton of equipment and classes every day of the week.
Samurai Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 (74 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Location: 2125 S Winchester Blvd #130, Campbell, CA 95008
- Phone: (917) 310-5870
Samurai Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is, as the name suggests, a BJJ gym that tries to teach its students the old school methods and values of the masters that came before. Rich Jackson created Samurai BJJ, which Professor Alan “Gumby” Marques awarded his black belt. Marques tuition lineage comes under Master Relson Gracie, one of the actual Gracie family members of the original BJJ system.
Rich spent over ten years training with Renzo Gracie in New York. He received his purple and brown belts before moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area to receive his black belt from Marques. All this is to say that you would be in excellent hands learning old school Jiu-Jitsu from a lineage of masters and the Gracie family.
You can expect to be learning advanced BJJ in Gi and No-Gi forms, so you can build up a solid base for self-defense and grappling should you decide to go into MMA. They even hold several seminars and workshops here with the likes of Ryan Hall and Pete “The Greek” Letsos in the past. This will be an excellent choice if BJJ is where you want to focus yourself and in the Campbell area.
Academy of Self Defense
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.5/5 (45 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Self-Defense / Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 3475 Woodward Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95054
- Phone: (408) 844-8485
Academy of Self Defense is a gym with a primary focus on self-defense. Still, I’ve included it in this list as an exciting option for anyone whose primary goal is to be able to defend themselves and build confidence. There are still martial arts you expect in an MMA gym, like Muay Thai and Kickboxing (both can be very effective in self-defense!). Still, they also have Krav Maga added and even Hapkido.
There’s plenty of debate about Krav Maga’s actual usefulness in self-defense. Still, I think there’s enough value to combine it into your training if it is essential to you. You can still learn plenty of striking here alongside it. If you want to train at home, they even have online programming to benefit from. Though getting there in person is recommended.
You can join this gym with a free two-week trial, which is pretty generous and good enough to get used to the schedule and what they can offer. If you’re looking for a self-defense focus in the Santa Clara/Sunnyvale area, this might be a perfect choice.
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.6/5 (42 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 2268 Quimby Road, San Jose, CA
- Phone: (408) 239-0881
Smash Gyms is a bold chain of gyms that does it all. There are classes for Strength & Conditioning, Boxing, Kickboxing, BJJ (Gi and No-Gi), Muay Thai, Wrestling, Judo, Bootcamps, MMA, and even classes in most of these for kids. They have locations in Milpitas, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Mountain View so that you can take your pick.
Additional classes provide more fitness training like Body Burn for maximizing fat burn and cardio and Yoga for improving mobility and flexibility of your body, which is essential for resisting injuries.
Smash is a place suitable for adults and kids who want to apply themselves to various training styles, build confidence, create a strong character, and become the best healthy version of themselves.
Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – San Jose
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.8/5 (35 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Location: 4607 Cherry Ave, San Jose, CA 95118
- Phone: (408) 320-9848
Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – San Jose is another gym on this list that is for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fans. Yet this one was founded by an actual Gracie family member, Ralph “The Pitbull” Gracie. Gracie is now retired but a former MMA fighter and BJJ competitor. He debuted his MMA style at the Battlecade Extreme Fighting event in 1995. His brand has birthed many BJJ gyms across America, with this San Jose location being one of them.
Ralph even taught the former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion, BJ Penn, during his time in Hawaii. And now, Ralph Gracie’s fighting and teaching methods are passed down to his black belt students, that are the instructors at this San Jose gym. These include Justin “Machine” Holder, a 3rd-degree black belt, and Dorian Cartwright, a 2nd-degree black belt.
Classes center around Gi and No-Gi, with options for kids and even women’s self-defense. Suppose you plan to center your martial arts training around an aggressive and competitive style of Jiu-Jitsu. In that case, this Ralph Gracie center could be the perfect option for you.
Royal Boxing & Training Center
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.9/5 (27 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Boxing
- Location: 1111 Felipe Ave, San Jose, CA 95122
- Phone: (408) 816-8583
As you might have guessed, Royal Boxing & Training Center is a Boxing gym. They have a prime focus on teaching you the fundamentals and building your skill set to grow mentally and physically. It’s a five-thousand square-foot facility with plenty of floor space, heavy bags, a full-sized boxing ring, and even free weights to build up your strength and conditioning.
Classes here run every weekday and span across every Boxing angle you could want. There are classes specifically for technical skills, cardio boxing, Bootcamp, weights, sparring, etc. There are even a couple of kickboxing classes per week if and when you want to add kicks into the mix.
Located on Felipe Ave, this gym is central and perfect for anyone working in the city and needing some post-work fitness. This will be an excellent option if you have the bug and majority interest in building a Boxing base.
Condition And Competition Kickboxing
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.7/5 (27 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Kickboxing
- Location: 1754 Junction Ave, San Jose, CA 95112
- Phone: (408) 406-2234
Condition And Competition Kickboxing focuses on providing high-level Kickboxing tuition to aspiring fighters. You’ll be able to learn different styles like power, conditioning, circuit, and Thai style training that complement building up strong kickboxing skills. If you want to learn how to kick someone’s head off, then this is where you want to be.
The instructors here will help you become a warrior with your feet and hands. Supporting you are instructors like Ed Carpio. Ed is proficient in multiple disciplines like Kickboxing, MMA, Judo, Sanshou, and Muay Thai. There’s also Amon Prasad, who has experience in Sanshou, Taekwondo, and Kickboxing. You can also join in for weightlifting or Boxing on the focus mitts to refine yourself.
Kids can also train here with the Junior classes on the schedule, suitable for ages 8-17. The location near San Jose airport is central enough to enjoy before or after work. Classes start as early as 6.15 AM for the early bird on their way to the office. An excellent choice for Kickboxing fans.
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 (24 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Boxing
- Location: 157 W San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Phone: (669) 600-9984
Checkmate Boxing is a gym where “the hard science meets the sweet science.” They center their training around the principle that “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” When you walk through their doors, it’s clear that there is a priority on doing things in the most technically sound way possible.
Suppose you are someone who agrees with the pursuit of perfection and using a scientific approach to developing these technical skills that are required for Boxing (I’m one of them, too!). In that case, Checkmate Boxing is an ideal location for your personality. They bring this scientific approach into all training, including the gym’s premium training equipment and machines. You’ll be among the right crowd.
This isn’t to say that Checkmate isn’t a friendly environment, but one that they want to train dedicated folk who are willing to put in the work to learn skills that real fighters use. Those students will then reap the benefits of advanced skills and physical ability. Science. Community. Progress. These are their guiding values.
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 (22 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Krav Maga / Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 1039 Sunnyvale Saratoga Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
- Phone: (408) 617-9692
KravZone is another Krav Maga gym included because of its mix with other martial arts. You can learn Krav Maga, BJJ, and Kickboxing while also taking advantage of fitness orientated programs like KravFit and TacFit.
KravZone has a ton of tools at your disposal. The gym has plenty of floor space, bags, and even a cage wall for anyone who wants to practice their MMA abilities in a simulated environment. What’s particularly good about this gym is that they teach a lot about self-defense and fighting in general so that you can develop a multi-disciplined knowledge base.
If you want somewhere to learn how to defend yourself, this is a great option. I’d recommend mixing your classes with Krav Maga, BJJ/grappling, and Kickboxing. This way, you’ll learn to fight from all angles and situations. There are kid’s classes available if your little ones want to get involved. Classes are running almost every day of the week in the mornings and evenings.
Xtreme Martial Arts and Fitness Center
Rating: ★★★★★ 4.7/5 (19 Reviews)
- Gym Type: Mixed Martial Arts
- Location: 15405 Los Gatos Blvd #103, Los Gatos, CA 95032
- Phone: (408) 293-5326
Xtreme Martial Arts and Fitness Center is a martial arts gym focusing on the fitness side. You can learn to develop Boxing, Muay Thai, and “XFIT” Kickboxing skills.
Their classes and schedule mainly suit someone looking to begin their martial arts journey, whether an adult or child. If you’re in the Los Gatos area, this gym might be a good choice.
Occasionally they can offer classes specific to MMA, Karate, and Muay Thai, but you’d likely need to ask them directly. Luckily they offer a 3-day trial, so you can test what they have and decide if it’s right for you.
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