The truth is, the word itself “pro BJJ” is still a little obscure. When someone is a professional athlete, generally it means that that person makes their living playing a certain sport. BJJ is still in its infancy and only the best performing athletes are able to focus completely on training full time. In addition to that, you not only have to be at the top of the division, but you won’t really see the full financial potential until you are at the black belt level – and getting there, training full-time, is not easy either. Here are a few tips that can help you stay afloat on your journey, especially if you’re young and broke…
Find the best possible academy within your limits
Let’s say you are a blue belt and you realized that jiu-jitsu is your calling. You want to get your black belt as soon as you can and win as much as possible on your way there. So you’re left with several big decisions to make. We are going to assume that finances are not great, which is realistic for most young athletes, so possibly moving to a different city where there are big academies is out of the question. If you want to be a top athlete, you will have to afford healthy foods and plenty of it. It’s best to stay in your city and just find the best possible academy there. The temptation to move to California or Rio de Janeiro can be compelling for training, but its best to go later in your career.
Get local business to sponsor you
Local businesses, like privately owned restaurants, health foods stores, and anything related to sports and health, can be a good way of pulling-in some small funds to help you. Some of that money can be set aside for supplements or gear in exchange for stitching a patch for their business on your gi. Competing at local tournaments will give those businesses the exposure they will want. Start with businesses where you may know some people so your sales pitch is much easier.
Create a regimen
A regimen is super important for anything if you want to get it done efficiently. Chances are that you will want to train at least two times a day. This could be a combination of jiu-jitsu classes and conditioning, depending on your needs. If possible, ideally, you would want to train early in the morning and then at nights specifically. Why? The next point will explain…
Get a part time job
As a blue belt, it’s going to be hard to get paid by sponsors or already teach classes at your academy, it’s just too early. Getting a part time job is a must. A lot of guys think they can live with their parents, train two to three times a day and rest. Sure, rest is important, but not everyone has that luxury and bills have to be paid. So train in the morning, work during the day, train at night, eat well and go to bed early. This is the backbone of a healthy regimen to start. Better get used to it because it will get more intense as you rise through the ranks.