When you have a captive audience you don’t need to try as hard. Well, that’s been our experience too many times as we’ve visited some remote parts of Australia.

It’s a good thing that Victor Harbor BJJ hasn’t taken this approach…

How I came to train at Victor Harbor BJJ

The in-laws live in Victor Harbor. Because we lived in Adelaide, most of our visits have only been a couple of nights. Filled with good food and red wine.

But after spending a year travelling Australia, we’ve ended up staying at their place for a month.

Until recently there’d been no Jiu Jitsu in the area. So I was pretty happy to find out that a BJJ club had recently been started in Victor.

Victor Harbor Recreation Centre - Home of Victor Harbor BJJ

Where is Victor Harbor BJJ?

Training is held in the Inman Room of the Victor Harbor Recreation Centre.

This is a large room that’s much larger than the mat area. It’s almost the size of a basketball court. The Victor Harbor Recreation Centre itself is a multi-purpose facility. There’s people coming in and out for other sports and activities.

Victor Harbor BJJ Mats

This gives the training a really casual feel. It helps to put you at ease and creates an atmosphere of learning… because beginners aren’t afraid to ask questions to clarify teaching points.

This makes the place perfect for people who are considering learning Jiu Jitsu, but are intimidated by permanent BJJ or MMA clubs.

Victor Harbor BJJ: First impressions

The best way I could describe Victor Harbor BJJ is ‘casual attention to detail’. It’s a relaxed environment but the job is getting done.

There’s all the signs of running a tight ship. An attendance book. Disclaimer forms. Payment follow-ups. Teaching preparation.

But the way it’s done? The coach, Matt, has a relaxed way of going about things so it doesn’t feel rigid at all.

Victor Harbor BJJ No Gi Training

My experience as a visitor at Victor Harbor BJJ

Did this casual approach detract from learning?

Not at all.

This place was a great example of how people will listen if you have something important to say.

The class I attended was a No Gi session. Matt taught an entry into a variation of guard. Then a submission from this position. An alternative based on the opponent’s reaction. And then a sweep.

The amount of effort that Matt puts into preparing for each session is obvious. A written lesson plan. Thought behind how things are taught (so that this ‘mini-system’ of techniques could be plugged straight into your rolling).

This was a pretty small class. This meant Matt was able to go around and watch every person. There was a lot of focus on attention to detail.

Victor Harbor BJJ - Instruction

The barometer of this club was its open mat. What impressed me was that a pretty fresh white belt was apply to apply the system of techniques that had just been taught straight into live rolling.

This shows that the teaching method is effective.


What other people say about Victor Harbor BJJ

I hadn’t checked the ratings and reviews on the Victor Harbor BJJ Facebook page until I was writing this… looks like my experience there wasn’t a once off:

Matt is a highly respected and passionate coach. He is committed to helping his students learn, and is especially supportive to beginners, including students who have never trained in martial arts before. Attending your first class at Victor Harbor BJJ can only be a positive experience – do it!


After starting bjj in Adelaide i was stoked to find a bjj gym in victor harbor after moving to goolwa a few months back. Matt is a friendly and very approachable guy as well as the guys and girls who train there. Dont be scared homie, come give it a try if you have been thinking about it. It wont disappoint!

But hey, this review is aimed at the BJJ’er who wants to know what it’s like for casual visits. Here’s one from a fellow traveller:

Coach Matt has a wealth of knowledge and really great approach to his methods, everyone down at Victor rolls hard leaving it all on the mats. Can’t wait to come back!

Victor Harbor BJJ Logo


Victor Harbor BJJ: Would I go back?

I will go back in the next few weeks. I feel pretty lucky to have this place just around the corner from the in-laws’. We try to visit Victor Harbor as much as we can.

From now on I’ll definitely be packing my travel Gi.

If you’re visiting Victor Harbor, drop in for a roll.

If you live local, Victor Harbor BJJ is definitely a great place to find out whether Jiu Jitsu is for you.