Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Joins the UK’s GCSE Curriculum

The popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the UK has been on the rise, and is making its way towards mainstream recognition in general. So much so, the sport is now becoming eligible in the GCSE PE curriculum.

The move has been driven by the UKBJJA, who have been consulting with the CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment) in order to run pilot studies on the idea of offering BJJ as part of GCSE PE, which is a qualification generally taken by teenagers aged 15-16 in UK schools. Providing guidance on the curriculum for generic assessment and additional support to the Qualifications provider for Independent Moderator assessment, including suitably qualified UKBJJA members.


This is a huge move for BJJ and for schools all across the UK. Especially now, as BJJ athletes have reached a point where they can make full time careers off being a BJJ athlete (look at the likes of Gordon Ryan and Ffion Davies etc). There are also a lot of positive attributes children pick up whilst training martial arts, especially one like BJJ: respect, discipline, being an active learner and a good listener to name a few. Now it is possible for children and adults to be assessed in GCSE BJJ, provided they have some prior experience in the sport and their local authority is willing to offer that option.

After Slovakia recently introduced MMA as a physical education (PE) option in schools, it seems that the United Kingdom is following a similar path – but with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

UKBJJA Statement

In a statement published on the UKBJJA website, the Chair of the organization Neil Williams gave the following statement on the news:

“This exciting news is a reflection of the relentless efforts that take place, often behind the scenes, by our board members to further grow and legitimize the presence of BJJ as a sport across the whole of the UK. We’re very proud to be able to say there is now a route to recognised, national qualifications in BJJ. When paired with the safeguarding, coaching, first aid and referee courses available via the UKBJJA this builds a strong arsenal of skills to all sports leaders within jiu jitsu so that we may continue to raise standards and provide a positive environment within which UK BJJ can grow.”

This will eventually apply to Northern Ireland as well, with it expected to be rolled out in May 2023. The UKBJJA Director for Northern Ireland, Robert Cullinan, also commented on BJJ becoming eligible to be part of the GCSE PE curriculum:

“I’m thrilled to see this now formalized and out there in the public domain as an opportunity for anyone who is passionate about developing their BJJ through a formal and nationally recognised route. Working with the CCEA has been a pleasure and we’re very grateful to them for their collaboration and support on making this project a success”

Lucy Wynne

BJJ Purple Belt living in, London, England. I began training BJJ back in 2017, when I was at university, and have trained ever since. #OSS Instagram: @journowynne

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