9 Ways To Make Money While Training BJJ

bjj_moneyJiu Jitsu is not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. You’ll find thousands of BJJ enthusiasts across the world swear by this mantra. Yet if you have been training for a while and have a fair amount of competitive exposure, you would also be well aware of the sacrifices that one has to make when it comes to time and money to stay at your peak and continue learning. Most BJJ practitioners, even gym owners and affiliates, still work a day job alongside training in Jiu Jitsu. It’s their passion that keeps them going. Real estate agents, corporate employees, insurance salesmen – these are some of the professions most BJJ practitioners are still holding on to to support themselves.

Hence we wanted to take a look at a few avenues through which you can support your passion for BJJ without draining yourself out. They don’t require extraordinary talents in any specific area but a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness combined with hard work. No matter how small the percentage is, the culture of BJJ is seeing a growth every year which means associated products, content and schools are also positively affected. With the power of the internet and by building the right connections, you can remain stress free as you continue to improve and progress on the path of Jiu Jitsu.

Write

This can not be emphasized enough. A writer who can clearly put across BJJ specific information is appreciated by thousands of readers who scan through such articles everyday.

Many well known BJJ bloggers started by posting basic information on BJJ and their own views on training. The personal touch in their posts combined with a bit of creative flair ensured that their readership increased organically. As people enjoy your writeups, you also tend to make new connections and get invited to new schools. Supplement and fightwear manufacturers can send you free swag and other stuff for review which over time can translate into a mutually beneficial and financially healthy relationship. With increasing readership and reach, you can start charging for ad space on your blog. Initially though you might want to employ a free ad service(like Google Ads) or ad networks focused on MMA and BJJ. You can earn up to $500 per month in ad revenues if you maintain a regular posting schedule and concentrate on reader engagement. Getting hired as a freelance writer is also easy at this point as you can contribute to multiple publications and earn a decent amount that takes care of your training and travel expenses.

Here at Ojimas we are more than happy to publish and pay for your work. Contact us for more information.

Sponsorship

If you are already an athlete with a few wins at the lower belt levels and someone whom others view as a rising prospect, you can explore the option of being sponsored by companies who are associated with BJJ like fightwear and Gi makers, supplement manufacturers, and video producers and publishers. Please read our in-depth guide on finding sponsorship to fuel your BJJ journey in this post: A Guide To Sponsorship For BJJ Athletes.

Compete

This applies to you if you have been bagging prizes at the entry level tournaments and possess the momentum and training to take on tougher competition. There are a few major tournaments that offer increasingly handsome cash prizes for podium finishers, especially the winners.

Abu Dhabi Pro offered over US$ 425,000 in 2014 as prize money.

The Metamoris supertournament reportedly distributed $100,000 among its 14 competitors.

The Abu Dhabi Combat Championship offers $206,000 in total prize money with weight class toppers winning $10,000 and the absolute class winners awarded with $10,000.

The Jiu Jitsu World League started by Rigan Machado offers $25,000 in prize money and is aimed at revolutionizing the sport to make it more spectator friendly, aggressive and action packed. Check out some more information on its innovative rules and point system.

There are also smaller tournaments which offer prize money in the range of thousand dollars for finishers. As noted, as you work up the ranks also expect to get more sponsors and you can put out your own BJJ specific content to utilize the other options listed here.

Conduct seminars

If you are already a black belt and have a few prestigious titles under your belt, there will be takers for your personal flavor of Jiu Jitsu. You can pull in a decent amount of cash by conducting seminars that serve multiple purposes of:

  • As you ensure that you are putting out stuff that has already been proven to work for yourself, you also attract those at the top of their game who are looking to sharpen their edge. It keeps you on your toes and the more you teach, the more you learn.
  • They also pay for your travel which in itself enriching and gives a new dimension to your style of Jiu Jitsu as your absorb new influences.
  • By tying up with apparel manufacturers and video publishers, you can sell their products at your seminars and earn a certain percentage on it. More than the money, this seals long time partnerships and enhances goodwill.

Depending on your level of experience and competitive success (whether personal or by coaching others), you can expect to earn anywhere between $1000-$5000 per month on an average.

Promote BJJ products digitally

The internet attracts close to millions of people interested in BJJ, whether as a beginner or a specialist. Digital products empower you as a marketer to reach out to this potential goldmine and build a system that generates a decent income and at the same time grows in popularity by the value it offers. The well known BJJ competitor and champ Don Faggella runs an online resource on BJJ through which he markets digital products and is known to earn close to $45,000 per month. This podcast dives deep into the strategies that he undertook to build a digital empire.

Jiu Jitsu Artwork

If you happen to be a doodler in your free time, you can try your hand out at Jiu Jitsu inspired artwork. Fightwear and Gi makers, most notably, are always on the look out for artists that can add that little bit of uniqueness and edge to their designs. Look no further than Seymour Yang aka Meerkatsu who was recently interviewed on the Ojimas blog.

Jiu Jitsu Photography

There is an increasing competition among BJJ sites to provide rich content and stand out among the plethora of resources and blogs out there that cover the sport. Nothing captures the spirit of Jiu Jitsu better than well composed photographs of athletes engaged in a battle. This makes high quality BJJ photographs a most sought after asset as they are few and far in between. The intensity and realness of the photographs also lend well to be listed on stock photography sites and picked up by those looking to add that extra dash of reality and intensity in their graphics. You can begin by covering local classes and tournaments and build up to a content publishing empire in this track as you meet more athletes and travel more. It’s only your creativity and having an artist’s eyes in capturing the right moments that set the limit here.

Youtube Channel & Podcasts

Digital publishing is easier than ever with youtube, podcasts and online radio. It takes almost no technical skill to record decent audio or video and publish it online. Promotional tools like social media and cheap ads on the publishing platforms ensure that you reach out to the right audience. As long as you publish relevant information that’s fresh and interesting, you can expect your audience base to grow organically. As more people start to take note of your content, you can invite guests to speak or train with you thus giving your audience exclusive insights into BJJ. Everyone is hungry for the latest piece of knowledge once they get into the groove for Jiu Jitsu and you can be the supplier.

Open your own BJJ gym!

This would be a dream come true for most BJJ fanatics who live, eat, breathe and sleep Jiu Jitsu. For this you already need to be well connected and familiar with faces not just from the world of BJJ but entrepreneurs and businessmen as well so that you instinctively have a sharp sense of business and profit. To open and run a center that’s profitable needs thorough planning and always being in touch with the pulse of your target customer base. Begin by befriending those who are already running well-established gyms and schools and try to cultivate a relationship of learning and mutual respect with them. Make as many such connections and absorb whatever useful they have to offer in terms of their own experiences in this field. Prepare a business plan and contact a few investors, preferably those who are BJJ or martial arts enthusiasts already. Once your plan makes business sense, you can get down to work to set up something that will put you on the warrior’s journey for the long haul. Be prepared for new challenges that endlessly seem to prop up everyday. You can not afford to be lazy with this but if excellence is what drives you at the core, this is the way you should be aiming towards. Let all your strategies lead up to this venture.

To sum it all up, we are sure that no doubt remains in your mind about the possibilities that the subculture offers to Jiu Jitsu enthusiasts. You can adopt more than one of the strategies listed above and become an entrepreneur in the true sense who designs his lifestyle around his passion and not the other way around.

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