"I spent my first few years in BJJ training under the tutelage of Ryan. The quality of his instruction is apparent not just in the techniques he teaches, but in the way he breaks down concepts and strategy for competition. In addition, his teaching style provides a calm and relaxed environment in which to learn. After starting with Ryan in 2007, I have since gone on to win multiple titles at the international level. I owe a lot of my success to Ryan and recommend him, especially for new students to the art."

Gabe Sagman - IBJJF NoGi World Champion

"I have been training BJJ alongside Ryan O'Shea for almost 6 years. I have nothing but good things to say about his Jiu-Jitsu as well as him as a person and teacher. If you are looking to learn from someone with BJJ legitimacy then Ryan is your man."

Thomas Beach - IBJJF World Champion

"Ryan O'Shea has worked with me in MMA, BJJ, Kick Boxing, and Conditioning. He pushed me to reach my mental and physical potential and this elevated my martial arts to a whole new level. Now as one of Canada's top BJJ and No-Gi athletes I can attest that Ryan is the REAL DEAL! I can't wait to see his new location!"

Jon-Taine Hall - Multi-tournament champion

"Nothing but good things to say about Ryan O'Shea. Great BJJ instructor, good training partner and very good MMA coach. Everyone that I know has nothing but glowing reviews of his classes and MMA training sessions. I strongly suggest you check him out!!!!"

Kerry Marine - Toronto BJJ Kickboxing Head Instructor


Welcome to Stratford Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Home to Perth and Oxford Counties preeminent and most highly accredited Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

We pride ourselves on the environment our instructors and members have created. Open, welcoming of all, and completely free of ego.

Experience the difference that professional and experienced instruction will have on your technical development. We leave competition as an individual’s choice, but with the best instruction and training in Stratford you will be ready for any competitive aspirations.

Our inviting facility is bright, modern and fully equipped.

We hope to see you on the mats soon!

Try us today with our Free 30 Day Trial…

100% risk free and absolutely no obligations!


Our Kids program returns from summer break September 10th!

If you want your child involved in a Martial Art that teaches respect and discipline through experience, look no further.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about applied technique. We do not practice moves through “Kata”, all techniques are performed on partners, and live resistance based training is a major part of every class.

In this way students learn to work with and respect each other, because it would be impossible to build knowledge and ability without said respect. A healthy ego and humility is enforced because they WILL lose and win against their teammates on a daily basis. Their discipline will be reinforced because without effort and work ethic they will not improve as quickly as their more disciplined teammates.

All of this is gained through real, live interaction with Stratford BJJ’s top notch instructors and coaches. As well as with a fantastic group of kids we have training here at the academy.

Your child will gain real self-defense skills, build confidence, be healthier in body and mind and have a great competitive outlet should that be within your goals.

We offer two age groups to make sure your kids are taught safely and intelligently. So register soon, our classes fill quickly.

JJfL_horizontal_longThrough our ethos and curriculum as part of the  Jiu-Jitsu for Life Team we will teach everything your child needs to know to grow into a great martial artist and member of our community. We “Promote the positive practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu”.

 Sign up today for our Free 30 Day Trial and see for yourself why we are an award winning academy!


This November marks a very important milestone in my life. I have always had ongoing hobbies and passions in my life, but none such as this.
No other sport has impacted and changed me the way this one has. No other activity has so influenced my behavior as this. No other job has given me so much.

November 2015 marks the completion of my 10th year in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

After getting my start in martial arts through Karate, I fell in love with the idea of hand to hand combat….



Did you know that Stratford BJJ offers classes tailor made for people just getting into the art?

We follow a meticulously crafted and tested curriculum that was designed to build a solid foundation of technique and applied ability. There is no better way to try out BJJ!

Our curriculum takes 10 weeks to get through, and slowly layers techniques together so you get a clear and concise understanding of the basics.

Starting Tuesday October 6th our White Belt curriculum is restarting at the beginning! So there is no better time to give our FREE 30 DAY TRIAL a go!

Our White Belt BJJ classes run every Tuesday and Thursday, in 3 different time slots – 7:30am, 11am and 6pm.

Call 519-301-3288 to register for your Free Trial now…

We can’t wait to see you in class!


…So how can a full contact competitive martial art be relaxing to the point where one can meditate?

Simply put, meditation doesn’t have to be relaxing. Most people have heard of “runners high” before, where long distance runners or swimmers get to a point of exhaustion where they literally get a euphoric feeling. The issue is that generally only very good athletes are able to push themselves to this point and it usually takes a very long time to get to get there.

Let me run you through a basic single hour Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class…Click to read full post


Niagra Open

Recently we were featured in the local news because of our most recent tournament results.

Read the article below!

Stratford BJJ Academy strikes gold again

NIAGARA FALLS – Stratford Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy competed in Southwestern Ontario’s largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament here Saturday, March 28.

This was a new experience for the downtown Stratford martial arts academy. For the first time, they were competing as a larger team, with many of the competitors being their first time in competition.

“We had a few established martial artists with experience in competition from other martial arts,” said head instructor Ryan O’Shea. “They were who primarily competed during our first year of being open. This time we had a ton of new guys getting out there and testing themselves for the first time.”

For those who are not in the know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art, developed by the Gracie family in Brazil.

It is a system of self defence based on techniques from Judo, Wrestling and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. It is known today as the most effective fighting system for self defence, proven in the first couple of UFC events held in the early 1990s that were no rules style versus style fights.

“The first few UFC events were essentially an infomercial for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu; they made martial arts champions put their skills on the line against each other to see who would win,” O’Shea explained.

“Royce Gracie walked through the competition for the first few events; no one had any idea how effective it was to nullify punches and kicks by dragging them to the floor. He submitted everyone.”

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now a popular sport in its own right. Gyms are popping up all across Canada to capitalize on the ever growing demand for the art because of its no-nonsense technique, and friendly on the body training methods.

Unfortunately, BJJ instructors are hard to come by in rural areas due to the low number of Brazilian born Black Belts in Canada as well as the time it takes to achieve a high enough rank to teach legitimately under them.

“We have construction workers, chefs, doctors, teachers, office people and factory workers that are women or men and range between 15 year olds and 50 year olds all training together safely,” O’Shea says.

“BJJ is low impact, doesn’t utilize strikes and focuses on the submission. All which leads to a controlled training environment. So long as you don’t have an ego and are always ready and willing to tap, you can train at full strength and with full resistance with anyone, which leads to an amazing workout of course.”

The tournament was held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Stratford BJJ sent a contingent of 10 competitors and for the first time ever a few kids competed as well. They returned with a total of 11 medals: two gold, three silver and six bronze.

“BJJ tournaments are held on one day, depending on your division you normally have to fight a minimum of three times over the course of an hour to medal, some larger tournaments it’s more like five minimum,” O’Shea says.

“Whereas other full contact arts you fight maybe once or twice. It means a lot that these students accomplished what they did.”

Stratford is already known for its food and music contributions. Martial arts seem to be evolving into a new area to be proud of.

Stratford BJJ Academy is located just blocks away from City Hall at 145 Erie Street, Unit 4.



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