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How To Make Money In Jiu Jitsu

How To Make Money In Jiu Jitsu


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a relatively new martial art, especially compared with Judo, Karate, and may others. This is interesting as it Jiu Jitsu was able to evolve much more readily with the technological evolution of the last century. BJJ has a much more influential online presence than many other martial arts and is growing at rates faster than all the other ones.

Historically, the was one way to make money in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and that was to own an academy and teach. Although this is still the primary method Jiu Jitsu practitioners make money, the availability of E-commerce and large-scale competitions allows Jiu Jitsu practitioners to make a living off of what they love doing.

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In this article, I wanted to discuss some of the many ways Jiu Jitsu practitioners can make doing what they enjoy lucrative. Jiu Jitsu can become both a primary or secondary source of income depending on the level of commitment too.

One of the most interesting yet difficult ways to make money in Jiu Jitsu is competition. Prior to 2000, maybe even later, there was little to no money in Jiu Jitsu competition. Even the highest level black belts were dishing out money to attend and compete only for the sake of winning. Nowadays, all sorts of different promotions are offering not only hundreds of dollars, but thousands of dollars to win.

For example, in 2016, Felipe Pena was able to make $34,000 for winning the open weight category at UAEJJF. In the same year, Gordon Ryan was able to secure $25,000 for winning EBI 6 with two submissions. This is a remarkable feat since these competitions only last 1-2 days and the competitors can compete multiple times a year.

Competitors are also often promoted by various brands that can offer them a lot of money just to wear their gear.

As time progresses, we will probably see a time where many high level competitors are earning 6-figures easily from just competition and promotions alone.

Now, not everyone can breakthrough to the levels of Gordon Ryan and get on the EBI stage. For most grapplers, there will be no money in competition without a big enough commitment, which many can’t do. So how else can they make money?

The most common method of making money in Jiu Jitsu is teaching. If you look back to the late 20th century, there were probably less than 100 Jiu Jitsu academies in the whole country. Nowadays, there are hundreds of academies in each State, and many of them have a ton of students.

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Depending on the size of the academy and their rates, an academy can make 6-figures easily. However, running an academy is a huge responsibility. First, you are managing a business, and not everyone is business oriented. Second, you also have to teach many of the classes, especially at first. Finally, not everyone is a skilled teacher.

There are a lot of details that go into owning an academy. Before you even consider this, you should be at least a brown belt or black belt to have an academy. Historically, some purple belts have managed their academies, but that was a time when the sport wasn’t as common and popular as it is today.

The next two methods of making money in Jiu Jitsu require less commitment would most likely be secondary sources of income.

The first is working in Jiu Jitsu E-commerce/merchandising. If you go online right now and search up Jiu Jitsu brands, you will find a list of hundreds of different websites to buy merchandise from.

These different companies usually sell the Jiu Jitsu basics like Gis, shorts, rash guards, belts, etc. Many, however, are now delving into Jiu Jitsu fashionware like T-shirts, streetwear, accessories, and so on. There are huge companies like Fuji or Shoyoroll and smaller companies as well.

Many students have their personal favorites that cater to their specific needs and preferences. Some of these companies are expensive, offering Gis for $200-300 while others are more budget friendly with Gis for less than $100 too.

There is a steep entry curve for this type of business today considering the competition. You also have to be creative and invest a decent chunk of capital before becoming successful.

The final means of making money in Jiu Jitsu is related to technology. Although this hasn’t taken off quite yet, I predict a time where technology and services will be huge in Jiu Jitsu. One method would be to develop mobile applications for Jiu Jitsu techniques, which would be widely useful.

Although making money doing Jiu Jitsu sounds awesome, it might not always be so great. Jiu Jitsu is a hobby for many people. Making Jiu Jitsu a job might kill your passion for the sport, so every person must weigh their options before trying to get into it.

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