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Christchurch BJJ, machado brazilian jiu jitsu, machado bjjAcademy of Combat BJJ Instructors

Led by Dr Geoff Aitken, 3rd degree BJJ Black Belt, the Academy of Combat is the biggest and most experienced BJJ school in Christchurch, NZ. The Academy offers a unique, radical and innovative approach to teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA known as the Open Training Format. This has proved very popular with our students as it focuses on their learning needs as individuals. We feel this is important as everyone should develop their own fighting style as not all techniques suit every body type or game plan.

This revolutionary method is only possible due to the depth of knowledge and vast experience of the Academy instructors. The Academy also hosts regular in-house workshops with 5th Degree BJJ black belt John Will and 8th degree red and black belt Rigan Machado, keeping us at the forefront of grappling instruction.

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Benefits & Advantages of Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) at the Academy of Combat:

  • Access to knowledge and experience unmatched in the South Island.
  • As a member of the Will/Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Organization, you are ensured, as a student that you are learning and ranking in quality BJJ and have Academies that you can train at around the world.
  • The main focus at the Academy is teaching high quality technique so that the student gets a full understanding of the concepts, principles and techniques of BJJ.
  • The Academy  teaches a complete Brazilian Jiu Jitsu syllabus including gi and no gi competition training, self defence and MMA.
  • BJJ will provide an incredible boost to your physical and mental well being.
  • The Chief Instructor is continuously updating our BJJ curriculum by attending workshops with the greatest practitioners of the discipline both in New Zealand and overseas.
  • Our timetable provides plenty of classes throughout the week and open mat time for sparring.


BJJ Technique Laboratory:


Dr Geoff and his students constantly develop new techniques in all of the disciplines that we teach at the Academy

We share glimpses of them throughout our website to provide our viewers insight into the quality and level of coaching that we provide:

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 The History of BJJ at the Academy of Combat

The Academy of Combat was New Zealand's first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, established in Christchurch, in 1996 following the Chief Instructor, Dr Geoff Aitken's, return from the USA where he trained under Andre Pederneiras and John Lewis of the Nova Uniao BJJ academy.

In 1999, Geoff met John Will of the Will/Machado BJJ Academy, who was establishing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Australia.This was the beginning of the Australasian Will/Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu network, of which the Academy is an associate Academy, now the largest BJJ organization in Australasia.

The Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association is one of the Main Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Organizations in the world. Led by the Machado brothers; Rigan, Jean-Jacque, Carlos, John and Roger they are known for their very innovative and creative approach to their art.

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Testimonials From BJJ & MMA Students

...Since I left New Zealand I spent 3 years in Japan training with high level MMA and BJJ names like Shinya Aoki (No.2 ranked lightweight in the world, Shooto world champion, Deep champion, Dream Champion, BJJ black belt etc) Satoru Kitaoka (Sengoku world champion), Masanori Kanehara (Dream world champion) and Dai Yoshioka (BJJ mundials blackbelt world champion) and found the training I received from Geoff held me in good stead.

Although I never competed in MMA again I've found success as a grappler including multiple medals in various high profile BJJ tournaments in Tokyo up to Purple Belt level. The highlight so far was representing Great Britain at the World Grappling Games in Turkey in 2007. I am currently based in London and train out of the London Shootfighters gym which boasts some of the top grapplers in the UK as well as several top UFC prospects.

The whole point of this is to say that without you guys I never could have done any of this and my life would definitely not have been as rewarding as it has been. Win or lose MMA/BJJ has taught me to aim high, never give up and that every problem has a solution and for that I'm forever grateful.

-Bennet Jarvis (see Bennet's Past Fighter profile here)


I love it, the classes are fun people are friendly and always willing to help. The instructors are always happy to take the time to coach and assist your development.

-Jono Huntley


A hidden treasure in the heart of Christchurch. It would be difficult to find a more motivating environment. Thanks to Chief, Jason, Scott and crew.

-David Williams


It will be the best thing you've ever done! They offer a lot and you get back a lot. It's great.

-Luke Johnson


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