About Our Academy
How It All Began
Matt and Nick Serra started their BJJ careers in the early 1990s as students of Renzo Gracie. Matt quickly became one of the main competitors at Renzo’s New York City gym, and in 2000 became the first American black belt under the legendary Gracie.
Between 1999 and 2001, Matt made a name for himself in the competition circuit, earning top honors as the Pan Am Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gold Medalist and runner-up at the world’s most prestigious submission wrestling tournament, the Abu Dhabi Championships, after giving passage to his teammate Marcio Feitosa in the final. It was this performance that got him invited to fight in the UFC, where he’s been a popular fighter and personality ever since.
The First Serra BJJ Academy (aka The Barn)
With Renzo’s guidance and blessing, Matt and Nick began teaching in 1997 (when Matt was still a purple belt), at a ramshackle location appropriately referred to as "The Barn," in Babylon, Long Island. Known for its poor ventilation, minimalist amenities and intense training, The Barn was the perfect sparring grounds for Matt’s devoted students, many who now teach at the Serra academies.
Our First Two Storefronts
In 2001, when The Barn could no longer handle its growing student body, Matt and Nick opened a small school in East Meadow and, two years later, another in Huntington. Matt competed in the UFC over the course of ten years. He then competed on season 4 of the Ultimate Fighter which led him to win the UFC welterweight title. Nick also continued his MMA career in Reality Fighting, Ring of Combat, UFC and winning a title in Cage Fury. The schools quickly gained a reputation as the best training facilities for BJJ on Long Island, and as its popularity increased (along with the popularity of MMA and the UFC), so did the schools’ enrollment. It was time to move, again.
Where We Are Today
Our Long Island locations have expanded tremendously, with new (and much larger) schools in Huntington and Levittown. The academies boast over 7,500 square feet of mat space combined, as well as a full octagon cage in the Huntington location, professional grade Muay Thai striking bags, plenty of locker room space and modern showering facilities for both men and women. Matt remains dedicated to the progress of his students and, along with his brother Nick, continues to offer the best instruction on the island.
If you are ready to begin your training, or if you would like more information, fill out this form and one of our program directors will contact you as soon as possible.
“Without a doubt, joining the Serra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy is the best decision I have made. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is so helpful and willing to put the extra time in on the mats.”