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Expense Of Training BJJ
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Expense Of Training BJJ

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Whether you have been training for a long time, just started or are currently thinking about taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is likely you experienced a bit of “sticker shock” when you first researched how much a monthly membership at a local school costs.

To someone that doesn’t know what is involved in the sport and the different elements that contribute to the pricing, it can seem to be an inordinate amount of money to spend on a “hobby”.So what are some of the core reasons you find yourself paying that monthly membership fee? 

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Among the different martial arts, there are various time tables on how long it takes to reach black belt. Typically speaking, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is on the top end of that list. Other Martial Arts average about 5 years to reach a black belt rank, such as Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Taekwondo, while Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is 10 years if you are on the fast track. Due to the length of time it takes to earn a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, there are far less of them available in America to teach and run schools. Often times these black belts are attempting to make Jiu Jitsu their full time job, which differs from a lot of other martial arts practices. However; the competition prize money has yet to rise much in America, so they are bound to live off of the modest earnings their gym provides. 

Another difference between Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts from a teaching perspective is that a technique has to be taught, demonstrated and observed on each individual student in order to produce quality grapplers from your school. Many times the instructor or professor has to spend one-on-one time with each of their students rolling or drilling to determine their progression and ensure they are grasping the concepts correctly, making it a much more labor intensive sport to teach than others. In relation to the time spent with each student, there is the topic of mat space per individual in class. Jiu Jitsu takes up a lot of space when you get multiple pairs rolling at one time, and to adhere to safety regulations (and just to make sure your students don’t get injured in general) they are either faced with getting a much larger facility (which means more rent) or having a higher monthly fee from less people. 

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Even with all of these things in play, you could argue that the expense of jiu jitsu is nothing compared to the benefits it gives back to the individuals participating. For example, it provides the ability to defend yourself in multiple different scenarios from both trained and untrained opponents. There is also a built in community that will welcome you with open arms as one of their own. It is amazing the level of camaraderie that one can develop with someone through this sport! Lastly, there is the obvious benefit of a great stress relief and exercise outlet. 

All in all, Jiu Jitsu does come with a high price tag, but not an unreasonable one. When you break down the amount of time you get out of your partners, instructors and the community as a whole it is clear why memberships and tournaments can be expensive. Next time someone asks you why you don’t pick a cheaper sport, or uses cost as an excuse not to train, remind them of the immense benefit that they are forgetting. What has Jiu Jitsu done for you that is priceless? 

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