Featured affiliated academy: NOVO Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador

Where is the gym located?
Ambato, Ecuador.

How many people train there?
52 people including kids, teenagers, and adults.

Is the gym growing – if so by how many new members each month or year?
Maybe two or three new members each month.

What are the highest and lowest belt grades training?
The highest are 2 black belts and the lowest belts are white.

When did NOVO Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador open?
We opened the gym on April 15, 2022.

Some facts about you:

Name: Francisco Melendez
Age: 33
Belt: Black
Profession: Industrial design engineer
Years in BJJ: 11
Other martial arts: Judo (orange belt)
Currently living in: Ambato, Ecuador
Originally from: Ambato, Ecuador

Please tell us the story of how your gym came into existence
The idea of opening a Jiu Jitsu academy came from a friend with whom I’d trained since our first day as white belts. In addition to having the pleasure of teaching and transmitting all our knowledge acquired during all this training time.

Tell us about the people that train in the gym – who are they?
Most of our members are adults who I have known since my time as a student. Everyone, despite having their professional jobs, takes their time to train. This is something that motivates you as a teacher every day. Among them I have doctors, engineers, lawyers, chefs, and judo/MMA/karate teachers who want to learn another type of discipline.

Why do they train in NOVO Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador?
The majority of people who train are here to relieve stress from day-to-day life. Other people train to improve their health and physical condition. In the case of children, parents enroll them to develop discipline in their little ones, and so they can learn self-defense.

What are some of the challenges of running a BJJ gym in general, and in your area specifically?
I think that the main challenge of opening a martial arts gym is the economic part, because you don’t know what kind of reception it will receive. And in this area there is a general lack of knowledge about Jiu Jitsu because it is a relatively new discipline here, which is why you have to teach a love for it.

How do you see the future for BJJ in your area?
From my point of view, I see that Jiu Jitsu is going to grow a lot in this area, because we have many people who compete nationally and internationally and make the name of the city stand out.

What’s the best thing about NOVO Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador?
The best thing for me about my gym is the space. It is a very spacious place in addition to having a small area for physical conditioning. On the other hand, it is the camaraderie – the friendship that each of the people who make up the team have where we can go out with each other and share moments on and off the tatami.

What would you recommend Globetrotters to see in your area apart from the inside of your gym?
The city where I am is a very quiet place, but we are close to a very touristy place called Baños de Agua Santa, a city where many people from abroad come for its variety of attractions.


Thanks for sharing! If you’d like to visit NOVO Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ecuador can contact them here.