academy of pensacola class in progress

about the

NoGi class in session

12 years and going strong

The Academy of Pensacola was born out of a need to provide a level of Jiu Jitsu training previously unavailable in the area.  John Henson founded the gym in 2011 with the sole intention of creating the best Combat Sports gym in Pensacola.  In the ensuing years the gym has grown in size, membership and diversity of training.  The single most rewarding benefit of the gym is the community that has grown with it.  Students have met future spouses and best friends within these walls.

*Due to popularity, The Academy has evolved into an exclusively grappling oriented gym. We are now specializing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, following IBJJF guidelines and USA Judo standards.*

our facilities

We offer a large, clean, air conditioned facility which includes changing rooms, large lobby and 2500 sq. ft. of FUJI 2inch mats.

Japanese, American, and Brazilian flag hanging over practice mats


Dream Art was founded by Isaque Bahiense and is one of the most exciting competition teams in the world.

why the big boy?

One of the most humorously odd things about our student population is their average size...which is BIG.  While we do have many smaller students for some reason since its inception, this gym has attracted an unusually high number of larger members.  As a result, the BIG BOY has become a running joke that has grown over the years both literally and figuratively.  We hope you will join us here, in the home of THE BIG BOY.

Big Boy Hamburger Statue