Ruben Miribyan; Creating Armenia’s 1st Jiu-Jitsu Federation

After watching Bruce Lee movies as a child, Ruben Miribyan started practicing martial arts. He mastered different fighting types including karate and taekwondo before earning his black belt in jiu-jitsu  with the help of “some really great teachers.”
“I wanted to find out more about what could happen when two fighters had completely opposite skillsets,” said Miribyan, who has won many tournament titles around North America today

Presently, there are three international jiu-jitsu clubs. One of them is Rio Grappling Club Armenia,  Hayastan MMA, under the eye of  “the Legend” Gokar Chichavan and “Legacy BJJ” Yerevan team under Professor Alberto Crane. The first tournament was held with about 80 participants in 2017.’ Alongside athletes participating were Sambo practitioners & judoka instructed during this event too.

In conjunction with the UWW Grappling Federation of Armenia, Ruben’s organization conducted three tournaments this year. Out of 400 professional athletes who attended each event Based on the results of these tournaments a national team was assembled. Moreover, since 2015 athletes from his federation participated in international competitions and won medals as well. Since 2015 athletes from his group have participated in international demonstrations and won medals. “so we can expect big things coming soon for these grapplers.”

Miribyan directs his efforts to promote the art but also invited various world-class athletes to Armenia to share their valuable experiences with young athletes. Up until now, he invited such big names as Professor Alberto Crane, Joao de Sousa, Arin Adjamian and Gokar Chivichyan.  Recently at the invitation of the President of Armenia, Roger Gracie visited Yerevan to help the effort of spreading jiu-jitsu.

Ruben believed that jiu-jitsu is one of the most legitimate paths for self-development and self-defense, he further added that the worldwide growth of this art confirms that its ultra-positive in every aspect. The Armenians are already quite good in various martial arts that’s why BJJ has a bright future in this country. Our athletes have proven that even after short training sessions they can participate and win international tournaments.

Future plans:                

The first and foremost task of the federation is to find and prepare inbstructors so that they can open new schools. Here are some other things in the pipeline. 

  • Creating awareness about jiu-jitsu and opening up new academies in various parts of Armenia 
  • Starting qualified referees courses 
  • Continue the expansion of tournaments in the region
  • Conduct summer camps for training

Final word:                          

Although Ruben and his federation are doing a lot for the art, a lot of effort and work is still needed to keep jiu-jitsu’s continued growth. Over the last decade, jiu-jitsu has reached new levels of fame due to the rise of UFC and mixed martial arts as a mainstream sport. Similar arts like judo, karate and taekwondo are a part of the Olympics but for jiu-jitsu, that’s not the case. A lot of people will watch and pick up this art if it becomes a part of the Olympics. And with the continued efforts of people like Ruben Miribyan, this too may one day chancge.


Jim Lawson is a US Marine Corps veteran, jiu-jitsu black belt under Rodrigo Teixeira, who loves to travel and teach jiu-jitsu to anyone who will listen. He has a lot of other experiences and credentials but who really cares about all that. He’d love to keep in touch with you. You can stay in touch with him either through email or on his social media (where his numbers could really use a boost).

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