It is safe to say that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is in a state of infancy and the industry is still in the process of maturing in comparison to many other sports - even the ones that are less mainstream. Although the number of practitioners is growing worldwide and more “professionals” are popping up, it is not a sport where you can cut a deal with a team and be financially free. The truth is, unless you’re the best of the best, you’re going to run into some difficulty paying the bills if jiu-jitsu is what you will depend on to feed yourself, especially if you want to start a family too.
So what are some of the ways you can help yourself financially when jiu-jitsu is the only thing you can depend on? The following list is made in order from easiest to achieve to the hardest to achieve. Most likely if you’re involved with BJJ full time you will make most your income from a combination of these points. The truth is, being in BJJ is not easy but if you love it, it will give you a strong sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in your life. However, you have to accept the grind that comes with it as well as some entrepreneurial responsibilities you may need to tackle.
- Teach at an academy
Already at purple belt you are able to comfortably teach at many academies. This doesn’t just include BJJ only academies. Now, with the growth and popularity of MMA, there are even traditional martial art schools that want to implement a BJJ program and they will be more than happy to employ purple or brown belt instructors to start a program. At more purist BJJ schools, you have the options to teach several different types of classes such as children or even beginner classes if you’re not a black belt yet.
Either way, it’s worth looking for the many different schools in your area and trying to teach at as many as you can fit into your schedule. This will definitely help with the bills - but make sure you find a good way to balance it with your training if your main focus in life is BJJ.
- Teach self-defense at regular gyms/schools
Martial arts schools are not the only establishments out there that are interested in reaping the benefits of BJJ. Many normal fitness gyms are starting to incorporate jiu-jitsu into their schedules in one form or another because of the popularity of the UFC. Although, these classes are marketed slightly differently for the masses than what you would see at an MMA or BJJ school.
Women’s self-defense is something that is really appealing for the public and most women would like to know how to defend themselves. So there are gyms that offer these classes and hire BJJ instructors to do the teaching. Not only do these gyms pay well, but it’s also a nice way to advertise the sport. Who knows, you could inspire some of the ladies to take BJJ even more seriously.