Top San Diego MMA gyms, which one is the best?

San Diego is a jiu jitsu hotspot and it has had a reputation of a serious fighting town for decades. Which San Diego MMA gym is the best?
San Diego MMA

Here at Legion American Jiu Jitsu, we specialize in grappling. We regularly have UFC fighters on our mats who come to sharpen their grappling skills, a good percentage of our instructors have fought in MMA, but you will not find MMA or striking classes on our schedule.

If you are looking to sharpen your jiu jitsu, judo and wrestling with us here in Mirarmar, we can definitely help you out,

but if you’re intent on also punching people in the face and sending kicks and knees their way…

and you also don’t mind eating some of those in return…

then let’s look at our top San Diego MMA gym recommendations.

#1 San Diego MMA gym – Victory MMA

In our professional opinion, Victory MMA in Point Loma is the premier San Diego MMA destination. The gym has been around for more than a decade and is still trafficked by active UFC fighters such as Dominick Cruz & Jeremy Stephens with many others coming before them. The Alliance MMA team, which used to have their own location is now under Victory’s roof.

Why does Victory MMA sound familiar?

Victory MMA may sound familiar because it is also the home of the supremely popular Jocko Podcast. In fact, Jocko, a former Navy SEAL commander and jiu jitsu black belt is one of the founders of the establishment. Recently he’s been doing an amazing job using his platform to promote not just jiu jitsu, but martial arts in general. Jocko Podcast is recorded on the premises.

Jocko Willink Dean Lister San Diego MMA

Here you can see Legion founder Keenan rolling with Jocko, with Miha & Sloan also sharing the mats.

Solid Jiu Jitsu at Victory MMA

It may feel wild for us to promote a jiu jitsu program in the same city, but it would be dishonest to not acknowledge that Victory MMA has a solid jiu jitsu program of its own. The most notable instructor there is Dean Lister, an ADCC champion, UFC Veteran and the Godfather of leglocks. Even the esteemed John Danaher credits Dean with the idea that there’s 50% of the human body doesn’t get attacked enough in jiu jitsu.

Gregory McIntyre, Adam Mazin and a troop of other black belt instructors round out their jiu jitsu program crew.

Striking for MMA

As mentioned, we don’t do any striking at Legion apart from 1 kickboxing class for kids (part of our anti-bullying program) and the occasional rogue private mitt session. Victory has plenty of classes ranging from boxing to Muay Thai and MMA striking. While we haven’t participated in those classes, it’s easy to see that they are popular and also have a variety of instructors.

Other San Diego MMA gyms

Fun fact, Legion AJJ’s location used to be a Black House Nogueira MMA gym. It went out of business and our 10,000 sqf facility stayed unused until we swooped in and re-introduced fighting to the spot.

Other notable San Diego MMA gyms are Arena MMA, where the venerable Baret Yoshida used to teach. He has since moved his program to Chris Leben’s Training Center. That gym also offers MMA. There are other gyms that also advertise an MMA program, but we recommend doing further research as it’s common for gyms to promote a program like that, but there are only a few truly World Class gyms around.

As you can tell we are fans of Victory MMA, because several of our members cross-train there and because the coaches and staff are always extremely receptive of our black belt when they visit as well.

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