Our Story

How Did We Get Here?

About Higher Jiu Jitsu

Higher Jiu Jitsu started with a younger John Smallios chasing jiu jitsu lessons, medals, and experiences all over the world.

Then, a nasty shoulder injury in a purple belt competition ended all aspirations and plans for competition glory.

Where to then? At this time, Coach John was born.

From chasing wins and titles, Coach John’s new focus turned to enjoying the art, sharing the joys of jiu jitsu, and running the best school ever.

It commenced with the Jiu Jitsu Commune at the PCYC City of Sydney in 2014. Soon after, it morphed into what it is today, Higher Jiu Jitsu.

It’s where everyday people build quality of life with Lifestyle Jiu Jitsu.

Quality of life is self defence skills that keep you confident and aware and able to protect your loved ones if things were to ever turn sour.

It’s the excitement of learning new things every day with teammates that quickly turn into good friends.

It’s getting fitter, and healthier than you’ve ever been before, minus the unnecessary injuries that come from fighting too hard for no reason.

It’s jiu jitsu, and it’s for a lifetime.

We’re here to help you learn. We’re ready to guide you on your path. Now let’s get started.

Some More of our Delighted Students

Being a brand new female student to Brazilian Jiujitsu with no background in fighting I found Higher Jiujitsu the perfect place to begin! The community is so awesome and loads of fun. In my very first class I felt welcomed immediately. John is a fantastic and experienced teacher. My confidence and passion for Jiujitsu grows which each class and I couldn’t be more happy with my decision to learn with Higher Jiujitsu.

I joined Higher Jiu Jitsu in January 2018 to get back into BJJ after a very long time off the mats. John has done a fantastic job of creating a school where everyone trains hard and treats everyone with respect. I felt immediately welcome and have enjoyed every session!

If you want to learn jiu jitsu in a really welcoming, safe environment, then just get off the internet and come here. Boom. Search done. Decision made. 💥 Lots of classes throughout the day and a really approachable teacher. Plus I like that John is really into holistic body movement and mindfulness, it shows in the class.

What John is doing at Higher Jiu-Jitsu is what I would argue all places of learning should be aspiring for. He has cultivated an environment that incapsulates all of the most important elements of BJJ including wonderful people, nurturing spirit and inspired teaching… This is a place of learning for all levels. I hope you come and discover what I have.