Our Story

Burlington BJJ started back in 2009 with one thought in mind: start a jiu-jitsu school that puts jiu-jitsu first. We started in a community center where things were far from fancy. Mats would be pulled from the storage room and taped down before every class.

Although not glamorous, training was still effective. Fast forward to today where we now find ourselves in a beautiful location in Burlington, right off of the QEW. Although the location has been upgraded, we still put jiu-jitsu first. Our mission is the same as when we started…

Our Mission

We are for ordinary people looking to build extraordinary skills. Our school is all about having a close-knit group of people who love jiu-jitsu. It’s a culture where members support each other to be the best they can be while having fun doing it. We do this by focusing on a few value pillars.

Value Pillars


BJJ provides a set of techniques that are meant to work for everyone, regardless of physical attributes. We strive for excellence by teaching in a tailored manner which allows students of all athletic ability to have the opportunity to excel.


Over time, martial arts has become susceptible to ambiguity in standards. We strive to uphold a meaningful standard which takes into account the evolution of BJJ. Rewards are a reflection of merit, persistence and commitment.


Although BJJ can be seen as an individual sport, a practitioner’s success will come down to the quality of the team supporting them. We strive to maintain an atmosphere of teamwork that supports the wide ranging goals of all members. 

Head Instructor

Ahmad (Alex) Zahabi

Alex Zahabi started his BJJ journey in the late 90’s when his brother, Firas Zahabi, introduced him to the martial art. At that time, he was beginning a science PhD program at McGill but was also intrigued by the effectiveness of BJJ techniques. Alex trained regularly and started coaching the martial art in Montreal in 2002 as a purple belt. On his way to achieving his black belt in 2013, he taught at some of Canada’s leading martial arts academies, including Tristar gym in Montreal, before founding Burlington BJJ in 2009. Alex has since helped his students achieve success at various reputable local and international tournaments.

The Burlington BJJ Difference

Proven Approach

  • Our curriculum is in line with the world famous Tristar gym in Montreal, home of world class MMA coach Firas Zahabi, UFC hall-of-famer Georges St. Pierre along with many other talented MMA and jiu jitsu athletes
  • Our competitors have had success at local and international tournaments. Don’t worry, competition isn’t mandatory
  • Our methodology offers various classes that are  tailored to differing skill levels
  • Our culture ensures that every member’s goals are supported by the team, regardless of experience level

Experienced Instructors

  • The majority of our classes are taught by BJJ black belt, Ahmad (Alex) Zahabi
  • Remaining classes are taught by our experienced instructors
  • We also occasionally invite special guest instructors. In the past, this has included world class BJJ competitors, UFC fighters and elite MMA coaches

What to Expect

  • No need to buy a branded Gi from us; You can bring/buy your own
  • A one-on-one walk-through from an experienced member on your first day
  • Promotions that don’t cost anything (except your effort and persistence)
  • Memberships that are on a month-to-month basis and can be cancelled or paused at any time

Ready to Start?