It was never my original goal to create these destination guides. Rolling Through’s first vision was to be a personal blog of my adventures around the world, training Jiu Jitsu, and eating good food. I look to keep very active in places where people tend to get distracted by parties and seeing the sights, and it’s not that i’m against them (who doesn’t love to party?), but I prefer to extend my everyday practices to life while abroad, not treat it as a ‘break’. I’m here to train in new places, embrace new environments and live it all!
However, I found myself in every new destination spending a huge chunk of time researching the best spots that would allow me to achieve what I wanted whenever I landed somewhere new.
These guides are here as a result of my research and (mis)adventures checking out gyms, martial arts academies, sampling food which fit my needs (aka, large portions for recovery) and anything else which fit with the ‘martial artist on the road’ lifestyle. So you can get more out of your time away in a new country.
Less time spent figuring out the specifics is more time training or, even better, less time spent online while you should be out exploring a new culture and meeting new people!
Canggu Bali is the first place i’ve found that I would call a ‘Hub’. For me, a Hub location ticks my biggest requirements:
I can get online there.
I can train Jiu Jitsu there.
It’s not going to break the bank.
The food is good.
Sun is out a lot.
Plus the bonus tick: I can surf there.
Canggu is a great spot for all of these, in fact it’s world class for some. It’s also full of beautiful and friendly people, a huge travelling community and isn’t short of cool things to see and do. It’s a great home base for you to use to take trips to other parts of Bali.
Want amazing food from around the world at a low price? Canggu has you covered.
Want to surf some amazing breaks in the morning and then party in to the night. You’re about 30 minutes ride from living the dream.
Businesses can have a quick turn around in Canggu, and new ones are popping up even faster.
The landscape is forever changing and adapting to the increased amount of visitors. The secret is pretty much out about this gem of a destination which you can tell by how many Instagram posts and travel blogs centre around this beautiful island. I’m fully prepared for my next visit there to be completely different.
There’s a hundred guides out there on this country so I won’t go in to the nitty gritty on costs, accommodation etc as Rolling Through’s guides focus on the important stuff for the world traveler who trains hard…
This is the best spot for Jiu Jitsu in Canggu. At the time of writing there’s multiple classes everyday in the Gi, (morning and evening), with some No Gi classes about 3 times per week. There’s also wrestling and more MMA based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if that’s your thing.
There’s also a great Muay Thai program here with classes every day, and strength and conditioning sessions if you want.
This gym is also conveniently located right opposite Crossfit Wanderlust so if you’ve got any energy left after Jiu Jitsu (training the humid wet season meant that I didn’t) You can hop over and get a workout there.
The cost is a bit higher than I was personally used to paying for martial arts training but the gym has a lot going for it. I think as most of the people visiting here are tourists or non locals they can afford to charge a bit more. Call this one of your couple of ‘luxury’ expenses for your trip and you’ll be fine. Eat cheap, then train hard!
A small studio which had a few Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu classes that I saw.
However this is not a pure martial arts gym. There’s a lot of dance, yoga and other activities going on here.
A nice option if you want to mix it up, another bonus is this places location, on the one of the main roads just off the ‘shortcut’, where as Bali MMA is a short ride away for most of the accommodation in Canggu.
My first introduction to Crossfit and still my favourite spot for doing the sport of fitness worldwide. This box is HUGE compared to most Crossfit gyms i’ve come across since. Enough weights, rig space, ropes, air dyne bikes, and other equipment I don’t know the name of you could ever want to get in any kind of WOD. A membership isn’t too much compared to other Crossfit gyms, infact it’s on the cheaper side (although it is expensive by Bali standards).
A more ‘local’ gym. Lacking all the bells and whistles of a Crossfit but certainly way cheaper. No classes, no thrills, but If you’re only looking to do some weights and invest way less in your gym membership then this is the gym for you.
A quick note on food. If you’re going to Canggu, get yourself a Bali SIM card and get the Go-Jek app. You can get pretty much any food Canggu delivered for a (very small) fee. Eating out is great, but sometimes eating a burrito on your bed after you’ve trained and surfed all day is even better.
This place was my go to from pretty much the moment after I found it. Burritos, Wraps, Nachos, Smoothies, curries. Not too greasy, all pretty healthy. I got most of this stuff delivered as it travels well and it is big portions. My post training staple.
Amazing burgers and full meals. Menu changes quite a bit throughout the day but it’s got amazing brunches and main meals. Good portions, pretty healthy. Nice to visit as it’s a nice vibe. Membership at Crossfit Wanderlust get’s you 20% off here too.
Satu Satu Coffee
Super cheap breakfasts and smaller meals, and really great coffee. This place is also not too far from Bali MMA and Crossfit Wanderlust and opens pretty early, so hitting it up en route, having a lazy breakfast with a coffee and then on to training is a great option.
Rise and Shine Cafe
The best breakfast Burrito i’ve ever had. Serves mainly breakfast and brunch food. Is a great price, tax always included, super friendly atmosphere and is open early so you can get some food before a surf at dawn.
All you can eat on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Get there early cos it get’s full and they run out of food. If you’ve trained like a beast all week and want to gorge yourself for recovery, here’s your spot.
This is a full spa and is awesome. There’s a huge sauna and a couple of ice cold plunge pools just outside of it so you can practice your XPT Life or Wim Hot style cold exposure.
A few sessions jumping between the sauna and the cold will get you back to training the next day with minimal aches.
If the surf is calm then go take a dip and absorb all that sweet natural magnesium. Like going for a swim in the worlds biggest epsom bath. May cause naps.
The biggest thing in Canggu by far is to surf. The whole spot is pretty much built around surfing. There’s no shortage of other sites that do a much better job of covering this aspect than me but i’ll just say if you’re a beginner or a seasoned surfer then you’re going to be able to find something in Canggu, or a short ride away.
If you want to combine your recovery with some activity then there is no shortage of Yoga studios in Canggu. A lot of people head over to Ubud (which is about an hour by scooter away from Canggu) and although this is very much a home for yoga in Bali, you’re not short of options in Canggu either.
If you’re there to train, live clean, and fully get stuck in to the local culture as you immerse yourself in fitness and martial arts, then you can do that. However, there is no shortage of parties. Each venue having it’s own ‘Night’ where it’s the most popular spot in Canggu. The Lawn on Friday nights was a particular favourite of mine (often because there was no, or at least reduced, Saturday training, at a lot of the gyms). It’s up to you how many you check out!
All in all, this is the spot that got me super excited about travelling the world and training as I went. Canggu is always gonna be the benchmark for other destinations I go to. It’s combination of having everything a travelling martial artist could want, the surf, the sun, the sea, the people, the food and the lifestyle is hard to beat. If you want to pursue the martial arts lifestyle in the sun then you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot than here.
Here’s hoping I can find somewhere like it, or that beats in on my next trip.
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