This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.


Belgrade offers a range of diverse opportunities to be physically active. There are numerous sports centers and it is easy to find a local gym that suits your style. But if you want to become more than just a gym member, we believe that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu could be perfect for you.

We had the opportunity to speak with Danijel Brajčić, one of the founders of Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu in Belgrade who trained with some of the biggest names in the world such as Marcio Feitosa, Braulio and Victor Estima, Carlos Lemos and many others. We bring you a story that may inspire you to become a member of this unique community of dedicated enthusiasts and, above all, athletes.

What distinguishes Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu from other jiu-jitsu schools?

The largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu organization in the world, Gracie Barra has more than 1000 schools where its members can practice. The Gracie Barra Association must certify all instructors, and this requirement extends to first aid training and stringent background checks. Without requiring any additional preparation beforehand, any new member can easily join in and continue training thanks to the design of our programs. Additionally, Gracie Barra highlights family values and the value of the team, which always comes before the individual but still allows for extraordinary physical benefits for everyone and supports individual personal growth.

To whom would you most recommend this sport, what skills and capacities are boosted through Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu can be trained safely by anyone from 3-63 years old.

Due to the fact that the training regimen can be customized for each person’s needs and capabilities makes this sport extremely popular in the world. In our school, we work with children aged 3-6, 7-12, 13-16 and adult groups aged 17- 60.

Jiu-Jitsu encourages practitioners to look for quick or more efficient solutions in stressful situations, in that way makes everyone develop and gain enormous confidence through a series of trials and errors which helps them see where they need to improve.

In addition to the obvious fitness benefits (strength and overall physical condition), Jiu-Jitsu fosters self-confidence and has a very positive impact on all cognitive capacities.

Is Jiu-Jitsu recommended for children, and do you have family members in your community?

It is definitely advised for kids because it fosters the development of their psychophysical skills and has a beneficial impact on it. It happens frequently that kids find harmony inside the group. The children effortlessly apply the knowledge they get on the mats to their daily life, which helps them grow stronger and develop in a healthy psychophysical way.

Our program for simultaneous training of parents with children is particularly interesting, and we even have babysitting for the smallest children who are not yet ready for training, so that parents can use their time for activities in the best possible way.

Are there any competitions and events that can be visited by the audience from outside and in this way become familiar with this sport?

There are many international and local competitions that are organized all over the world, but also here in Belgrade. Our club organizes three tournaments of the largest World Jiu-Jitsu League and our club is ranked extremely high in the same league, we won first place in Europe in the 2021/22 season.

How does one become a member of your club?

Our club's policy is that your initial visit should only be to observe one of our training sessions. By doing this, we decrease the anxiety associated with getting started and establish a clear understanding of what and how we do. After that, we conduct an introduction training session where the safety rules are explained to the members and a self-defense sequence is shown to a significant extent, it reveals guidelines for further training. After the introductory training, members continue to train at times and with groups that suit them.

What other advice do you have for people who would like to try Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu?

Like any sport, jiu-jitsu requires practice and needs time to test and tempt, but once it does, everyone gains a lot from it. All practitioners can see the benefits very fast, but it takes time for the knowledge to be absorbed, sustained, and deepened.

Because everyone can train as we do, jiu-jitsu is truly accessible to all people. Make the decision to dedicate yourself, get started, and you will enjoy the benefits of this expertise, which are well worth your efforts.


For similar stories, check out our Belgrade Insights page.



This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.





Stay up to date on the latest that Belgrade has to offer!

Sign up for our monthly update and be the first to know about upcoming events.