Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Victoria, BC


We would like to welcome you to the best martial arts academy in Victoria, BC to train in Jiu-Jitsu.

Eke Academy of Martial Arts is the official affiliate representative of legendary BJJ pioneer, Jean Jacques Machado here in Victoria — as well as the only Jean Jacques Machado Affiliate in Western Canada!

We offer the public high quality Jiu-Jitsu directly under the mentorship of both Professor Jean Jacques Machado, seventh degree red/black ‘coral’ belt and Professor Jay Zeballos, world champion competitor and Prof Machado’s right hand man and Executive Director of the JJM Affiliate Program.

We have Jiu-Jitsu classes five days a week and all classes are suitable for both men and women of all ages. Kids classes are also available. A month of classes is as low as $60 a month for our Jiu-Jitsu program.

Our Jiu-Jitsu program is perfect for both the competitive and non-competitive practitioner.

We host seminars and training camps with black belts from JJM HQ in Los Angeles twice a year and hope to expand as time goes on.

If you are looking for top quality Jiu-Jitsu with a lineage that is second to none, look no further than Eke Academy of Martial Arts.

Check out our JJM Affiliate page at:


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Jean Jacques Machado Jiu-Jitsu officially lands in Victoria, BC at Eke Academy of Martial Arts



In the landscape of Jiu-Jitsu there are legends. Few come close to a living legend the likes of Jean Jacques Machado who is not only a pioneer in bringing BJJ to North America and trains a ‘who’s who’ of A-list martial artists and celebrities but is renowned for producing some of the best Jiu-Jitsu students and black-belts around.

Victoria, BC’s Eke Academy of Martial Arts is honoured and pleased to announce that the school which already brings Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Silat, Madjapahit Martial Arts and Kickboxing to British Columbia’s Capital is now the only affiliate of the living legend in Western Canada.

“This is a huge honour for not only our Academy but for our city and our province,” James Eke, chief instructor and founder of the Eke Academy said. “This brings legitimacy to Jiu-Jitsu in our city and really puts us on the map in a very real way. It has been years in the making and today is a very big day and one worth celebrating for our school, our students and for Jiu-Jitsu in Canada and North America. It is great to be part of seeing Jiu-Jitsu of an incredible lineage like Professor Machado spread here in our beautiful city on Vancouver Island.”

Twice a year the Eke Academy has been hosting Prof Jay Zeballos, full-time instructor at both Jean Jacques Machado Academies (Tarzana HQ and Malibu) and Executive Director of the Jean Jacques Machado Affiliate Program as well as a world champion competitor and Machado BJJ Third Degree Black Belt, and has been working closely with him to create and maintain a top-notch Jiu-Jitsu program at EAMA. On top of this James Eke has been travelling and training with both Professor Jean Jacques Machado and Professor Jay Zeballos regularly.

If you would like to learn more please contact our school at or check out our affiliate website at



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Jiu Jitsu in Victoria


The BJJ Program at Eke Academy of Martial Arts in Victoria, BC is affordable — with five classes a week offered at the 201-734 Aldebury St location.

Our Jiu Jitsu program is mentored by Prof Jean Jacques Machado 3rd Degree Black Belt and World Champion, Prof Jay Zeballos from the Jean Jacques Machado Academy in Los Angeles.

In our Jiu Jitsu program you will find the perfect fit of self-defence, fitness and confidence building in a safe and mature environment.

If competition is your goal, we have an active competition team to help you reach your goals. If competition isn’t your thing, know that you will have a supportive group of people working with you to help you realize your Jiu Jitsu potential every step along the way.

Jiu Jitsu is the perfect martial art for every age.

Come out and find out how Jiu Jitsu can change your life!

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Eke Academy BJJ Competition Team: 2017 Provincials Highlights Reel

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Eke Academy Winter ’17 BJJ Camp photos

This gallery contains 5 photos.

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It is time to start your Jiu-Jitsu journey


by James Eke

We humans are an interesting bunch. We will sit for hours watching other people have amazing adventures and wonderful lives but when it comes to seeing this same magic happen in our own lives we will come up with every excuse in the book to just sit back and coast.

“I’m too tired.”

“I’m too old.”

“I’m too broke.”

“I’m too out of shape.”

Yet if we examine our lives we will usually see that while we say we are broke we actually have money for everything else from beer to coffee to vacations and so on, but when it comes to making our lives into the dream we would love to see we are habitually negligent in our actions. We squander our money on things we don’t need. We waste away our time doing things that give us nothing. We say we want something but do things that take us the exact opposite direction.

You know why we look at people who do incredible things with their lives and go, “Wow!” — it is because we have become so numb to the possibility of creating an amazing life for ourself that anyone who has done so seem like they are somehow on the next level.

I’ll tell you a secret. If you want a life that is incredible, the kind of life that is an inspiration to others, then get off your backside and do something. Not tomorrow. Not in a month. Today!

What I love about Jiu-Jitsu is the power it has to create change in the lives of people. You might be a tiny girl, a middle aged man, a housewife, a student — it doesn’t matter — Jiu-Jitsu will make you into a warrior. I’ve seen it first hand and not just once but over and over again.

Jiu-Jitsu empowers us in a way that few things in life can. It doesn’t depend on power or strength or cardio. It teaches you to use what you have in this moment. It shows you that there is a way out of every situation that you get yourself into. It gives you the tools to make you able to build an impenetrable shield around you that nobody can enter into to harm you. It gives you confidence. It gives you a sense of peace. It gives you more than you would ever expect.

There is only one thing that Jiu-Jitsu asks of you. It asks you to come play. It doesn’t matter if you just lost your job or are cringing when you think of how old you are now. It doesn’t care if you think you need to lose weight or have a hard time keeping the weight on.

While I’ve been involved with the martial arts for over three decades it wasn’t until I started training in Jiu-Jitsu in my forties that I truly understood what a martial art can really do for someone. I think it was the act of putting on the white belt again but this time as a mature man that made the difference. It probably didn’t hurt that I was blessed to be taught Jiu-Jitsu by true legends of the art through the Jean Jacques Machado Academy and the Inosanto Academy in Los Angeles. When you have the likes of Professor Jean Jacques Machado and Professor Jay Zeballos showing you The Way you can’t really go wrong. Over the years I have had the great fortune to train with others who have blown my mind like Professor Boaz Brizman and Professor Gary Padilla. What they all share is one similar thing — that Jiu-Jitsu has transformed their lives into something that you have to experience to understand.

Jiu-Jitsu will change your life if you let it. It is a long path — you will be forced to look at yourself, your life, your baggage and make some decisions that other people who don’t train would never even consider. You will change as a person in ways that you will only understand when you look back on the years that have passed since you first started training and see how far you have come. You will become someone who is different from everyone else around you and you will know it right down to the marrow in your bones and you’ll carry that with you through life, like the most amazing custom-made jacket which makes you into some kind of superhero.

You will find, as I have found, that Jiu-Jitsu people — true Jiu-Jitsu people — are different. You will find yourself in a family — a band of brothers and sisters — people who you have gone to war with, sweat with, hurt with, laughed with and maybe even shed a few tears with. The reason is that Jiu-Jitsu will never lie to you. Jiu-Jitsu is honest, powerful, life-changing.

So what do you have to do?

Find yourself a good school with good teachers.

Understand that Jiu-Jitsu is not about earning medals and trophies.

Understand that Jiu-Jitsu is not about beating people down.

Understand that Jiu-Jitsu is about building people up from the ground floor. It is about maturity and honesty and helping and community and hard-work.

You’ll know when you have found the right place because it will feel like coming home.

You will know when you are with the right people because they will be your family and when they are not around you will feel the hole in your life without them.

You will know that Jiu-Jitsu is right for you because you will crave the mats, the Gi, your beat up belt.

Jiu-Jitsu will give you everything that you could want in your life.

Doesn’t that sound like something you need?

We only have one lifetime. Don’t squander yours. Make it incredible. Build a family. Do great things. Make something out of your life.

Jiu-Jitsu will get you there. Trust it.

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EAMA BJJ December Syllabus


Pinocchio didn’t like it much and you don’t like it either — being puppeted around by the other person. That is, you don’t like it on the receiving end and other than making your opponent look funny, unless you know what to do from there, spider guard is fun but not exactly your ‘A game’ (because you don’t have any idea what to do next other than hang on for dear life).

This month at Eke Academy of Martial Arts we are going to not only look at spider guard but look at everything from sweeps to different submissions from the position.

Also, we will be returning to the Darce choke, after a few requests, and investigating modifications and different ways to play around with the technique.

And, we will be continuing to expand on our ‘submission flow drill’ that we have been working on through November. You don’t want to miss a class!

Don’t forget we have BJJ five days a week at EAMA so come on out!

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Forget Black Belt. What kind of White Belt are you?


by James Eke

Times have changed since I first started training in the martial arts. When I first started training as a child over three decades ago, a person with a black belt around their waist was usually someone we could trust and look up to, or in the very least, someone we knew could prove that they deserved what was holding their uniform together.

Since then people have made it so that you can pay them money and go away for a weekend and become an instructor in a system. Others have done pretty much the same thing in making belt ranking something you just have to pay money for and you’ll get it. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t put the time in. It doesn’t matter that you are less than honest. It doesn’t matter that you set yourself up as something you aren’t. It doesn’t matter that the belt for you, the rank, is something about power and ego and business instead of what it should be: integrity, respect, selflessness, compassion, discipline, honour, loyalty, decency, and dedication.

For some, rank is something to hold as being proof that you are better than everyone. That you have all the answers. That you have something that others don’t possess.

My experience however, is that rank is more about admission of what you still need to learn and humble, honest admission that you have much further to go.

I’ve been very blessed in my time training and have been granted black belt ranking in a number of systems over the decades from some truly great martial artists. The one thing I have never done, even as a youngster in the martial arts is rest on my laurels. I’ve never seen the black belt as being anything altogether special; just the obvious result of a whole lot of hard work, admission of faults and constant work to improve and find not just more answers but more questions that need answering.

The one thing I have never had much patience with are those who grandstand over rank. Do you honestly think that you are any different than you were yesterday when you were the rank you had, compared to a day or two after you have been promoted? Yet you see it all the time. Especially these days where we seem to need others to give us a pat on the back and tell us we are awesome whether we really are or not.

For me, it has never been about what kind of a black belt a person is (or for that matter, what kind of blue, purple, brown or whatever belt). It is about what kind of white belt they are.

This may not make sense to some of you but the reality is that for me, despite having instructor ranking in more than five martial arts I don’t see myself as something special for having it. I don’t boast about my ranks. I don’t expect people to think I’m special just because I have been lucky and blessed enough to know, train with and be certified by some legends of the martial arts. For me, every time I come into my Academy (or leave), I bow and say thank you, usually out loud, to my teachers. This way I always remind myself that what I do and what I give comes not from me but as a gift from someone else. I remain humble. From there it is up to me to prove my own worth.

When I train, I never do so with the thought in my head that I am a great martial artist, or that I am a ‘whatever’ rank in this or in that. What I say to myself every single time that I train is, ‘what kind of white belt am I going to be today?’

White Belt? Yes. White belt.

I am honest with myself enough to realize that rank is something that is given at most by another to show that you have worked hard, progressed, suffered and endured. Sometimes it is given simply to show that you have kept going. In the end, rank is at best the opinion of another person about where you stand. That to itself though is nothing special — any rank doesn’t mean anything if the person wearing it treats it like it is something more than it is.

What kind of white best am I going to be today? Asking myself this is admission to myself and the universe that I am not perfect. I don’t have a monopoly on the truth. I don’t have all the answers. I am still a work in progress. I still have a long way to go with a whole lot of hard work to do.

With time if you keep it up you will invariably get rank in the martial arts. It just happens. You will spend more time if you train for your whole life as an ‘advanced rank’ than as a ‘beginner rank’. Really though, what is a beginner and what is an advanced practitioner?

Myself, despite training in the martial arts almost my entire life and looking back from the age of 47 years I have to admit to myself that I am still a beginner. Do I know more than a lot of other people, sure, but mostly because I have somehow kept on this path all of this time. I know the trail, I can point to the mountain peaks, I can warn you to look out for the mud around this bend but I myself am still on it, still slogging away, still looking around me, still learning, still growing, still fighting. Every. Single. Day. I still though, know a whole lot less than a bunch of others who have been walking this path or others close by for longer than I have.

Nobody has given me anything in this life. It has been a fight. I’ve never given money for a rank or made arrangements to get something that I didn’t deserve. I have what I have because I realize that the true nature of the martial arts and for becoming a warrior is in the realization that it is about hard work over a long period of time.

More than that, I realize that the greatest thing that I have ever done in this lifetime and in my training is in wearing a white belt.

A white belt is open to everything and bound by nothing because they admit that they know nothing and have a universe to learn and grow from.

A white belt is brave because they don’t know what is going to happen — they trust the process, have faith in their partners and teachers because they realize that without them they would be lost.

A white belt is honest because they know they have a far way to go, they know it will be tough sometimes, and the universe itself will try to see if they can be led astray and in the end this honesty is their shield against everything that will come against them.

A white belt is humble because there are always others who have more answers than they do and they know that they are going to learn from everyone around them and that without the people that make up their world on the mats there is nothing.

A white belt is respectful because they know deep down that it all begins and ends with respect and that this beautiful art is nothing without it and that the people around them will be key to their own development.

A white belt is selfless because they know that the moment their ego gets involved they will be shown just how little they actually know and that true growth in martial arts, or life, demands a letting go and admission of just how little we all know.

An old man once told me that when someone receives their first rank in the martial arts they will run through town telling everyone they come across, with their chest puffed out and their uniform on; the second rank they get they will still go through town, this time walking, uniform on, telling those who will listen;  by the time they get their brown belt they will have their new belt holding their uniform hoisted proudly over their shoulder telling only their friends; by second or third degree black belt they will now have their uniform hidden in their bag with their belt, walking humbly on their way home, asking everyone they meet how their own days went, helping everyone they can. I love this story. I was told it when I was probably about 15 or 16 years old and it made a lasting impression on me.

What it says to me is that we all are slaves to the ego and opinions of others but what we need to be striving for and what true martial artists should be is something far better. We should live our lives in humble service of others. We should know that just because we may have rank in this or rank in that doesn’t make us anything special — in fact, if we have trained and were trained properly we should be far different than what the world would expect of us, if what it expects is someone who believes a belt or a piece of paper defines or gives anything to us.

I will always be a white belt. Every day it is a struggle to see and prove that I am worthy of that white belt. Certainly other things will come and go as happens in life, but what could be greater than to live your life as a beginner, open to the world, learning from everyone and everything, finding answers and questions that need answers, working hard, researching, developing and becoming not some lofty ego-filled fool but a true and humble person who simply wants to keep going on this path with a worn and beat-up white belt around the waist, seeing what there is to see and helping everyone and everything along the way?

James Eke is head instructor of the Eke Academy of Martial Arts in Victoria, BC, Canada and author of the books Warrior’s Way: A Guide to Lifelong Learning in the Martial Arts and Warrior’s Way Martial Arts Training Journal, both available on Amazon.

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Why should I do Brazilian Jiu-jitsu?


by James Eke

You are thinking about trying Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Maybe you have tried other things or maybe you still do. Maybe you’ve heard how much fun it is from friends. Maybe you have done a little research or have seen it on TV or other places.

But why do it?

Why should you drag yourself out to the Academy when you have a perfectly good couch to sit on, a big screen TV and all the stuff you fill your life with — why would you give up all of that to roll around on the ground with other people a few days a week? Why would you want to train in something that from everything you’ve heard will take a decade or longer before you can say you are a black belt when the people you know all got belts in their martial arts every few months and a black belt in three years or less?

The answer to all of this is pretty simple actually — because Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is one of those things in life that allows for no BS. It is one of the most honest, most intimate, most sincere, most real and most human martial arts you are going to find.

Sure, there are plenty of schools out there that will place the emphasis of the training on competition or on the belt around the waist but at the end of the day, BJJ is a deeply personal and satisfying martial art that teaches us about ourselves in a way that few other places in our modern world will.

You can tell yourself how awesome you are. You can spend hours in front of a mirror doing a myriad of things to make yourself believe you are something. Then go one round in BJJ and you will see where your self-delusion stops and reality is shown to you and exactly what you need to work on becomes obvious.

BJJ teaches us about respect for ourselves and those around us in a more old-school way of thinking and doing. You might not think much of that older guy who you think is out of shape until you try to roll with him and find yourself crushed and struggling just to breathe. You might be the most sexist guy on the planet until that young girl wraps you up and taps you out. You might give the thought of quitting smoking, hitting the gym, eating better some token  acknowledgement but within a month of going to regular Jiu-jitsu classes you will not only start to watch what you eat but the thought of doing something that is only going to ‘gas you out’ sooner will be quickly deleted from your lifestyle.

Jiu-jitsu is one of the last bastions of what our ancestors knew to be obvious and regular and normal every day life. You know you will come to class any given night and have to run the gauntlet of ‘rolling rounds’ with people who when you are finished will love you like your closest friend but at the time simply want to see what they can do to make your life suck, find your weakness, exploit it, and walk away smiling.

It is a modern game of something very ancient. Two people becoming intimate with the ultimate understanding of life and death. And the knowledge that nothing makes you feel more alive than a little suffering and enduring.

Jiu-jitsu is hard. Sometimes it is very hard. But it is also one of the greatest gifts that the martial arts world has given to us.

You don’t have to be super flexible. You don’t have to be built like a track star. You don’t have to develop high kicks or super powers. What you need to do is show up, leave your ego outside, push yourself, have fun, admit you know nothing, and repeat this for good.

There is good reason it takes so long to get a black belt in Jiu-jitsu because it is the lessons of sweat and time and pushing ourselves that matter the most.

We learn that our own personal dramas don’t matter. We learn that no matter how great we think we are will will still be pinned to the mats. We will give up on any desires for new belts because we know that all they do is hold our uniform together and too much grasping for them leads to the exact opposite of what is true and good about Jiu-jitsu.

In the world we all live in today where we have allowed ourselves to become over-complicated and distracted from what it really means to be a human being we need things like Brazilian Jiu-jitsu more than ever.

We need to be reminded of what it means to be human. Not from a lofty view but from the ground up. We need to feel the struggle inside. We need to be uncomfortable and stuck and pinned under something and then to find it within ourselves to break the chains that bind us and learn what it is to discover that with time, with control, with understanding we can do anything.

Jiu-jitsu teaches us that we already possess everything we need. To master it though — to master life — takes time. It takes courage. It takes sacrifice. It takes letting go of ego and fear. It takes pushing ourselves. It takes shutting our mouth. It takes opening our mind. It takes stepping onto the mats and making a change in our lives that will forever change every single aspect of who and what we are.

That is what Jiu-jitsu is.

That is why you should do Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Any questions?

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Being awesome at Jiu-jitsu takes hard work over a long period of time


by James Eke

When we start training in the martial arts we might think that we are going to suddenly gain amazing skills and be this image that we have created for ourselves over night. The reality though is that becoming amazing at anything takes dedication and hard work.

We can always come up with reasons why we cannot train — I’m busy, I’m tired, I have this to do, I have that to do, I don’t think my instructor likes me, I don’t think that student likes me, I’m too old, I’m too out of shape, I’m too blah blah blah. Excuses are like a poison once they take hold. We may start with the thought that we really do need to not train for whatever reason for this one night and then before you know it you have gone from one of the students with the best turnout to one of the ones people are happy to see just out training for a change.

While it is good to have balance in our lives and there are obviously things that happen in life to keep us out of the dojo we also need to make every effort possible to see that our training remains consistent.

As I like to point out to students, that one class you miss might be the one class you really needed to attend.

When it comes to Jiu-jitsu this idea of simply showing up and never giving up is key. There are a lot of systems out there that call themselves ‘reality based’ but few come to the mats with the no-BS philosophy and application that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu does. Every time you hit the mats, even on nights that your heart just isn’t in it, you are still learning and getting better. And if you aren’t there, guess what? Yeah, Captain Obvious, the other guy is getting better and you are exercising your ‘sit on the couch muscles’.

Over time the excuse mill will be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The ‘I have to do this’ or ‘I have to do that’ will win. We will make this our new norm. Our growth potential will dwindle. Our peaks will now be valleys and as happens, we will dream up new excuses why we should just throw in the towel.

No BJJ black belt got there after a decade or more of work without first beating down the excuses.

If you want to be awesome. If you want to reach your full potential. If you want to be the martial artist you can become it means putting in the work.

Kung Fu translates roughly into ‘hard work over a long period of time’ — this is awesome. It is an action. It is an oath. It is an acceptance of doing what needs to be done.

The hardest part of training in the martial arts is going from the ‘I want to do this’ and walking through the doors of the Academy and starting. It takes courage and drive. The next part that is daunting is to simply put in the time.

Nothing worth having in this life came as a result of it just being given. The best things in life are discovered through hard work. They are the things that matter. Martial arts, if you let them will change every aspect of your life. You will not be the same person 10 or 20 years down the road that you are today because of the work that you do today.

In the same way, nobody is going to give you anything that you don’t deserve in the martial arts. Cultivate a bad attitude and act like your training don’t matter and you will get that back simply because it is what you put out there and allow. Work hard, show up, have a great attitude, go out of your way to be the kind of martial artist and person you want to be and what you will find is that is what will come back to you.

It takes on average about a decade at least to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, maybe longer. Hopefully you will still be alive and kicking a decade from now. Time will likely fly. You’ll look back and wonder how it could be ten years that have gone by. Now you can be sitting on your couch still, coming up with excuses or you could be tying on your BJJ black belt. One thing is for certain, whichever it is, you will have earned it.

Which do you want to be? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be?

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