Forging Champions: The Leading MMA Academies of Indonesia

September 20, 2023
From: Spartacus
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In the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia, where diverse cultures merge and vibrant traditions thrive, a new movement is taking root. The vast stretches of beaches and the lush tropical rainforests are not just the backdrop for tales of mythology and lore anymore.

Today, they bear witness to the pulsating rhythm of punches, the swift grace of kicks, and the art of combat – the burgeoning MMA culture. As the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) sweeps the globe, Indonesia isn’t just on the bandwagon; it’s steering it. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the serene coasts of Bali, MMA gyms are emerging as sanctuaries of discipline, resilience, and passion.

The rise of MMA in Indonesia isn’t merely a testament to the sport’s global appeal, but also a reflection of Indonesia’s rich martial legacy and its seamless evolution to integrate global fighting techniques

But beyond the local scene, the influence of platforms like Spartacus is undeniable. As a holistic combat sports promotion, Spartacus isn’t just a gateway to global MMA content; it’s a universe in itself. With its dynamic app offering everything from live TV and PPVs to the riveting ‘kicks’ – their own rendition of short, snappy combat sports clips – Spartacus bridges the gap between fans and fighters. Whether you’re an avid fan looking for the latest fight news or an aspiring fighter seeking tips, Spartacus serves as the ultimate hub for all things combat sports.

This list delves deep into the top 10 MMA gyms that are not just fostering talent but are also the torchbearers of this revolution.

#1 Bali MMA

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of Canggu in Indonesia, where azure waves kiss the shores and where the spirit of martial arts pulsates in every corner, stands Bali MMA. For the founders – Steven Suryadinata, Don Carlo-Clauss, and the Leone brothers, Andrew and Anthony – this was not just a gym; it was a sanctuary. Here, the rhythmic patterns of crashing waves coincide with the discipline of martial arts, intertwining two passions into one holistic experience.

In a span of merely three years, Bali MMA has transformed from a dreamy blueprint into Indonesia’s martial arts crown jewel. It’s not just the state-of-the-art facility or its proximity to the ocean that lures in enthusiasts from around the globe; it’s the champions they’ve cultivated. The gym has given rise to illustrious names, including the fierce kickboxing world champion Tiffany Van Soest, the formidable Muay Thai maestro Nico Verressen, and the valiant ONE warriors Stefer RahardianRiski Umar, and Gianni Subba. Beyond fostering elite talent, the gym promotes holistic growth, organizing events where students metamorphose from learners to warriors.

#2 Siam Tigershark

Nestled amidst the bustling energy of the Philippines is the renowned Siam Tigershark – a sanctuary that has been churning out MMA legends since 2002. Founded by the formidable Zuli “The Shark” Silawanto, a former ONE welterweight and a local MMA icon, the gym pulsates with a legacy that resonates with both budding fighters and MMA aficionados. But what truly sets this gym apart is its philosophy. Beyond the technical expertise and the grueling training sessions, Silawanto has always emphasized the importance of camaraderie and mentorship. This familial vibe ensures that every student, irrespective of their skill level, feels welcomed, valued, and nurtured.

While Silawanto himself is a beacon of inspiration for every student, the gym has also been a crucible for stars like Adrian “Papua Badboy” Matheis. These fighters, under Silawanto’s watchful gaze, have not just honed their skills, but have also imbibed the essence of what it means to be a true martial artist. Their consistent participation in competitions across Southeast Asia is a testament to the gym’s commitment to excellence and its unyielding spirit.

#3 Jakarta Muay Thai

While Bali MMA paints a picturesque image by the sea, Jakarta Muay Thai stands tall as the beacon of martial arts excellence in the heart of Indonesia’s bustling capital. The gym’s inception is credited to majority owner Steven Suryadinata, who envisioned a powerhouse of martial arts in Jakarta. Partnering with the astute Leone brothers in 2013, they transformed this vision into a pulsating reality.

Jakarta Muay Thai has now cemented its status as the largest martial arts facility in Jakarta. But size isn’t its only virtue. The gym thrives on the expertise of national boxing and Muay Thai champions and medalists who impart their vast knowledge daily, shaping the next generation of martial artists. Their philosophy is not just about punches and kicks, but about imbibing the true essence of martial arts. As students shadow their masters, it’s evident that Jakarta Muay Thai is not just crafting fighters, but legends in the making.

#4 Synergy

Deep in the heart of Bali stands a beacon of martial excellence, the Synergy academy. Established in 2003 under the vigilant guidance of Niko Han, a distinguished Rickson Gracie BJJ black belt and a stalwart of Indonesian martial arts, this institution has fast become an epitome of world-class martial arts training. But Synergy is more than just a gym; it’s a philosophy, an ethos that Niko has infused into every brick, every mat, every corner of the facility.

At Synergy, martial arts isn’t just about the punches, the kicks, or the accolades one can amass. It’s about an inner journey, an exploration of the self. The academy’s curriculum is meticulously designed to not just hone one’s fighting skills but to also imbue a sense of character, discipline, and personal growth. Every student here is not just trained to be a fighter, but a warrior in life. Their core tenets revolve around self-defense, fitness, character development, and personal achievement, providing a holistic approach to martial arts.

#5 Gorilla Fight Club

Change is the only constant, and in the dynamic world of MMA, Gorilla Fight Club stands as a shimmering example of evolution and rapid ascension. Though a relatively new entrant, having been established in 2015, its impact on the Indonesian MMA scene is nothing short of meteoric. With two state-of-the-art facilities in Jakarta, the gym boasts a roster of coaches that would be the envy of any establishment. These are not just trainers; they are national champions in submission wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and wushu sanda, bringing a rich tapestry of expertise to the training mats.

What truly sets Gorilla Fight Club apart is its unwavering commitment to holistic development. Every training regimen is meticulously crafted, ensuring that students are not just physically robust, but also mentally agile and technically sound. As the gym’s popularity surges and its footprint expands, there’s a palpable buzz in the MMA community. It’s not just about producing fighters; it’s about forging legends. And given their trajectory, it won’t be long before the warriors from Gorilla Fight Club make their mark in the ONE cage, echoing the gym’s ethos of passion, perseverance, and prowess.

#6 Zealot 

In the serene landscapes of Bali, amid the rhythmic sounds of waves, there stands Zealot, a gym that reverberates with the fierce energy of traditional Muay Thai. Founded in 2011 by Jeremias Abraham, a man whose passion for the art form knows no bounds, Zealot has etched its place in the heart of martial arts enthusiasts.

Nestled on the Pantai Berawa road, a stone’s throw away from the famed Finns beach club, Zealot isn’t just another gym; it’s a sanctum where tradition meets passion. Abraham’s certification from the acclaimed Sinbi Muay Thai Camp ensures that every student experiences the authenticity and depth of Muay Thai training. With multiple group sessions running throughout the week and the option of immersive one-on-one sessions, Zealot offers a bespoke training experience tailored to every individual’s needs.

And the best part? Zealot throws open its doors to everyone! Whether you’re a novice lured by the dance of Muay Thai or a seasoned fighter prepping for the next big bout, Zealot has something for you. It’s not just a gym; it’s a community, a family that trains together, grows together, and celebrates the spirit of martial arts together.

#7 Rituals Jiu Jitsu

Mastery Through MethodAmidst the idyllic landscapes of Bali, Rituals Jiu Jitsu stands as a testament to the profound depth and beauty of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Founded by Justin Sidelle, a UFC stalwart who began his journey in Jiu-Jitsu back in 2005, the academy is a culmination of years of relentless pursuit of mastery.Justin’s approach to teaching is holistic. At Rituals, it isn’t just about learning moves; it’s about understanding the philosophy, the intricacies, and the very soul of Jiu-Jitsu. Students are introduced to techniques with meticulous breakdowns, ensuring they grasp the foundational principles before diving into advanced maneuvers.

Built upon Justin’s unique system, honed over 15 years of training, teaching, and competing at the highest levels, the classes at Rituals are both rigorous and revelatory. Every drill, every technique, is curated to provide a dynamic yet systematic approach, ensuring students evolve not just as fighters, but as thinkers, strategists – true martial artists.

#8 Soma Fight Club

Nestled in the heart of Canggu, Bali, the Soma Fight Club has quickly carved out a name for itself despite its recent entry into the world of martial arts gyms. Founded by Mike Ikelei, the former head striking coach of Bali MMA, the gym exudes a passion for the craft and is rooted in unparalleled expertise. Further solidifying its position in the industry, Soma Fight Club boasts of its partnership with Gianni Subba, a renowned professional from One Championship.

The gym seamlessly draws an eclectic mix of individuals, from curious tourists to dedicated expats. But perhaps what truly sets Soma Fight Club apart is its budding fight team, primarily made up of Indonesian fighters, a testament to its dedication to nurturing home-grown talent. Living by the mantra “train, fight, recover, repeat”, the gym offers a relentless pursuit of martial arts mastery.

For those keen on a personalized touch, private sessions with both Mike and Gianni promise an unparalleled learning experience, each bringing their own distinct teaching style. Adding a unique twist to the conventional gym experience, Soma organizes regular social training sessions set against the picturesque backdrops of Echo Beach, Uluwatu, and even the majestic Mount Batur. It’s more than just a gym – it’s an experience.

#9 Bali Training Centre

Positioned just moments from the breathtaking Bingin Beach, Bali Training Centre is more than just a martial arts hub—it’s a sanctuary where the rigor of intense training seamlessly merges with Bali’s inherent tranquillity. Nestled in the scenic locale of Uluwatu, the gym’s unparalleled beachside location does more than offer a stunning view; it provides a serene ambiance for fighters. After a gruelling session, fighters can find solace in the calming waves, drawing inspiration and rejuvenation from nature itself. It’s this harmonious blend of physical exertion and mental tranquillity that sets Bali Training Centre apart, offering a holistic experience that nourishes both the physique and the spirit.

#10 Tatsujin Dojo Jakarta 

As a towering pillar in the realm of MMA training across Indonesia, Tatsujin Dojo Jakarta effortlessly stands out. The dojo’s acclaim doesn’t merely rest on its expansive and all-encompassing training regimen; it’s magnified by its prestigious affiliations with globally renowned gyms. Adopting a deeply immersive and holistic approach, the dojo delves into every nuance of MMA, ensuring fighters are well-rounded and formidable in every aspect of the sport. Under the watchful eyes of seasoned professionals, the curriculum is meticulously structured, ensuring every trainee receives tailored guidance, honing their prowess and mindset. It’s not just about physical skills; Tatsujin Dojo Jakarta champions the philosophy of mental resilience and strategic acumen, equipping fighters to ascend to unparalleled heights in their MMA journey.


The Indonesian MMA panorama is as diverse and expansive as the archipelago itself. Venturing through its top-tier gyms showcases a snapshot of the burgeoning talent and the robust infrastructure that’s propelling the sport to unprecedented levels in the country. Every facility, with its distinct training methodologies and ethos, enriches Indonesia’s MMA narrative, adding layers of depth and complexity.

The upward trajectory of Indonesia’s MMA domain is further amplified through strategic partnerships with global platforms such as Spartacus, enhancing its visibility on the world stage. It’s evident that Indonesia’s passion for combat sports isn’t just thriving—it’s set to leave an indelible mark on the global MMA canvas, heralding a future that’s luminous and boundless.


What is the significance of MMA in Indonesia’s cultural landscape?

In the vast and culturally diverse archipelago of Indonesia, MMA has carved a significant niche in recent years. The backdrop of Indonesia’s beautiful beaches and rainforests now resonate with the rhythm of punches, swift kicks, and the art of combat. From the vibrant streets of Jakarta to the tranquil coasts of Bali, MMA gyms have become emblematic of discipline, resilience, and passion. Thus, the significance lies not just in the sport itself, but in its symbolic representation of Indonesia’s ability to blend tradition with modernity, and to merge local martial legacies with global combat styles.

How has Indonesia’s rich martial legacy influenced its MMA culture?

Indonesia has a storied history of martial arts, from traditional combat forms to modern interpretations. This rich martial legacy serves as the bedrock upon which its MMA culture thrives. The rise of MMA in Indonesia isn’t simply a byproduct of global trends but is deeply rooted in the country’s own traditions, reflecting an evolution that integrates age-old techniques with contemporary MMA practices.

How are global fighting techniques being integrated into Indonesia’s MMA culture?

Indonesia’s MMA culture is a reflection of its agility to adapt and evolve. While the country holds its martial traditions in high regard, there’s an evident openness to embracing global fighting techniques. This integration is seen in MMA gyms across the country, where trainers and fighters combine indigenous martial arts with styles from around the world. It’s a seamless fusion that not only enriches the sport locally but also positions Indonesian fighters effectively on the international stage.

Which are the top 10 MMA gyms in Indonesia?

The top 10 MMA gyms in Indonesia, as showcased in the article, are:

  • Bali MMA
  • Siam Tigershark
  • Jakarta Muay Thai
  • Synergy
  • Gorilla Fight Club
  • Zealot
  • Rituals Jiu Jitsu
  • Soma Fight Club
  • Bali Training Centre
  • Tatsujin Dojo Jakarta

What makes Bali MMA stand out among other MMA gyms in Indonesia?

Nestled in the serene beauty of Canggu, Bali MMA is a synthesis of nature and combat. Its founders have blended their passion for martial arts with the rhythmic patterns of crashing waves. Beyond its breathtaking location, Bali MMA’s reputation is elevated by the champions it has cultivated, its state-of-the-art facility, and its holistic approach, which goes beyond just physical training to promote events that transform students from learners to warriors.

How are Indonesian MMA gyms promoting holistic growth and development for fighters?

Indonesian MMA gyms place a significant emphasis on the holistic development of fighters. This includes not only the physical skills needed for combat but also the mental, emotional, and strategic aspects of the sport. For instance, at Bali MMA, there are events that help students evolve from mere learners to seasoned warriors. Similarly, Synergy academy focuses on an inner journey, promoting character, discipline, and personal growth. The gyms aren’t merely producing fighters but are molding warriors for life.

What is the role of traditional martial arts, like Muay Thai, in Indonesia’s MMA scene?

Traditional martial arts, like Muay Thai, play an integral role in the Indonesian MMA tapestry. Establishments like Zealot focus deeply on the authentic experience of Muay Thai training. These traditional forms not only enrich the MMA curriculum but also serve as foundational pillars, ensuring that fighters have a strong grounding in time-tested techniques even as they learn modern combat styles.

How do Indonesian MMA gyms foster community and camaraderie among fighters?

Community and camaraderie are core values in many Indonesian MMA gyms. At Siam Tigershark, for example, the emphasis on camaraderie and mentorship creates a familial atmosphere. Zealot stands as a testament to this, emphasizing the spirit of martial arts and fostering a sense of family among its members. These gyms prioritize creating an environment where every fighter, irrespective of skill level, feels valued, welcomed, and supported by peers.

How do the training methodologies differ across various top-tier gyms in Indonesia?

Each top-tier gym in Indonesia has its unique training methodology, reflecting their ethos and core principles. For instance, while Bali MMA is known for its serene integration of martial arts with nature, Rituals Jiu Jitsu emphasizes the profound depth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Tatsujin Dojo Jakarta adopts a deeply immersive approach, ensuring all-round development, while Gorilla Fight Club focuses on mental agility and technical prowess. Each establishment, with its distinct approach, adds layers of depth and complexity to Indonesia’s MMA narrative.

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