Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia — I am certain everyone has heard of Bali as a tropical paradise. So why not go? My buddy, Sebastian, and I booked our one-way flight from Macau to Bali without any hesitation. Despite our lack of knowledge of Indonesia, we ended up spending over a month in Bali/Lombok. There I found Synergy BJJ MMA Academy fulfilling my dream of surf & Jiu-Jitsu.
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Bali is an island in Indonesia with popular tourist destinations such as Ubud and Canggu. Also, it is also adjacent to Lombok Island, which includes its notorious Gili Islands. Although Bali is known for its beautiful beaches and mountains, certain areas (i.e. Kuta) are overly crowded with tourists. However, with relatively affordable prices and unforgettable sceneries, the island remains one of the most famous international tourist destinations in the world.
Synergy BJJ MMA Academy was founded by a Rickson Gracie black belt, Niko Han. He previously traveled to the U.S and Brazil to dedicate himself to martial arts, and now he is spreading his knowledge to his home country, Indonesia. Currently, there are approximately 35 academies under Synergy’s banner in Indonesia with top current MMA contenders training and fighting under his guidance.
Professor Han’s teaching philosophy was to teach more practical and realistic techniques to students. He chooses to teach all types of submissions to students of all levels apart from IBJJF rules. He believes that students should not only be informed of the “forbidden” techniques but also be able to escape properly in order to protect themselves. His classes are full of intriguing techniques I’ve never encountered before including twisters and heel hooks.
The classes are all taught in English, and the gym is geared towards BJJ Globetrotters as the gym is located near the popular tourist district in Bali. While training at Synergy, I had an opportunity to meet a fellow BJJ Globetrotter who I shared our traveling and training experiences around the world (Hope you’re doing well in South America, Adam!)
After surfing in Seminyak and eating Indonesia’s famous Nasi Goreng, Synergy Academy is a must visit. Thank you, Synergy Academy, for making my dream of surf & Jiu-Jitsu a reality!
Synergy Academy is located near Seminyak / Kuta, which are known for tourist hangouts. Since we are now in Southeast Asia, the easiest way to get around is to rent motorbikes (~$5 a day) or to take a motorbike taxi, which cost less than $1 from Kuta. Once you arrive at the building, Synergy Academy is located on the second floor of the building. (Google Map: Link)
Synergy Academy is equipped with everything you need for BJJ and MMA training including a spacious mat space with an MMA octagon and heavy bags. The gym also has a basic weight training equipment for the strength training.
Synergy Academy offers no-gi classes on Monday / Wednesday / Friday evenings and gi classes on Tuesday / Thursday mornings. The academy’s most recent schedule is posted below:
The drop-in fee is Rp 150,000 (~$10 USD) per class.
<<Exchange Rate: Rp 100,000 =~$7 USD as of July 26th, 2018>>
Synergy BJJ MMA Academy has an English website that you might find helpful.
- Kuta / Seminyak — With their luxury hotels and spas, these beach resort areas draws tourists from all over the world. Beaches in these areas are beginner surfer friendly as well. Also, don’t forget their infamous nightclubs and bars if you like to party!
- Lombok — The Island is located 150 km east of Bali (2-hour ferry ride). Since this island is less known to tourists, beaches and mountains are basically empty. Lombok is what most people would expect Bali to be. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation in Indonesia, Lombok is what you are looking for.
- Gili Islands — Gili Islands (Trawangan, Air, Meno) are smaller islands off of Lombok. I would highly recommend visiting these islands for their clear white sand beaches. Gili T is known for its crazy beach parties while other islands are more geared towards couples. You can also scuba dive with turtles in Gili Islands.
- Canggu — Located in 20 min North of Kuta, this small village is a haven for surfers and foodies. Recently, the area is gaining its popularity with expats.
- Ubud — Ubud became famous after the movie Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts. Despite Ubud is filled with beautiful waterfalls, temples and rice paddies, it has become crowded with tourists due to its increased popularity.
– Indonesian Map