In an era of physical distancing, the Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Society brings people closer together

Posted on December 16, 2021 | By Jeremy Hull | 0 Comments

Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Madeline Hughes and Miles McPhee demonstrate for students


Miles McPhee and his business partners like to train full contact. “It’s hard to do anything else and sweat as much as you do rolling.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the art of submission wrestling. It’s also one of the fastest growing sports in the world. “Rolling” refers to sparring, only in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are no punches or kicks. This explains the broad appeal of the “soft” martial art, which emphasizes control over concussive force.

Miles is the president of the Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Society. Jiu Jitsu isn’t new to Prince Edward Island, but Miles and his business partners offer a more focused curriculum than the province’s mixed martial arts clubs. “Me, Chris White and Lance Campbell were getting together on the weekends to train more. We wanted to train Jiu Jitsu full time.” Existing MMA gyms split their training schedules between striking and grappling. They starting talking about having their own gym, then they put words into action.

Today, at their gym, students ‘roll’ morning and night, six days a week. Some train twice a day, just like Miles. “I always tell my kids, if you’re going to do something, you might as well get it right. I wouldn’t say it’s an extreme training schedule, but it’s what you need to get better quickly.”

Miles, Chris and Lance developed the idea for the Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Society while they travelled the competitive circuit. They dreamed of opening a club on Prince Edward Island like Marcelo Garcia’s in New York City. It was a big project that needed investors who shared their passion, so they approached their training partners. “It seemed like a crazy idea, but before I knew it, we had six of us going all in.” The team was inspired by their sister society in Halifax to register as a non-profit. The founding members became a board of directors. The Charlottetown Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Society opened its doors on November 1st, 2020. They have navigated pandemic protocols and built their roster to over a hundred members in the first year. Their success is a testament to the strength of community in the face of isolation.

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