3. Teach seminars
Seminars are one of the best ways a BJJ athlete can make easy money. A seminar usually lasts for two or three hours and all you have to do is teach, which is one of the great joys of jiu-jitsu along with actual rolling. Of course, you should be a black belt, to not only be most qualified to teach a seminar, but also your marketing power is much higher. So although this is one of the best ways to make money in BJJ, you do have to be advanced and have a positive reputation.
But remember, you don’t have to be a world champion to do a seminar. World champions can do more seminars, charge more and do more internationally, but local instructors have a lot to share as well, especially in areas where there are not as many academies and affiliates. Rather than charging $100 - $150 per head, like many champions do, you can charge a no-brainer nominal fee of $50 per head. If you even pull in 15 people, that’s already $750 for a few hours of work.
4. Find sponsors
Sponsorships can vary in scale. You can be sponsored by both international brands and local businesses. This really depends on how you market yourself. If you’re an active competitor and you’re winning, larger BJJ brands will keep an eye on you and they will contact you at some point. You can make money, or get free gear this way, depending on your level and value to the brand.
Even if you are starting out and you compete seldomly for now, you can still find local businesses related to sports and fitness that can maybe give you a little help. They can cover fees for training, conditioning and even supplements. This is great for guys that are starting out.
5. Start your own academy
This is one of the bigger commitments but also one of the more rewarding methods of making a living with jiu-jitsu. One of the best ways to do this is to partner with someone who is business savvy and divide the responsibilities accordingly.
As an instructor, you need to uphold all the values of jiu-jitsu you learned throughout your experience and give your students the best possible BJJ education. This attention to detail will keep your business healthy and will help your partner reel-in further sales. Membership sales are the lifeblood of any academy - make sure you do what is needed to keep them coming and staying.
6. Start your own BJJ brand
You don’t necessarily have to be a jiu-jitsu phenom and win all the tournaments to make a living with BJJ. Although the industry is still small, it’s always growing and there is still some room to develop a business that can cater to their needs. Companies you can start range from gear all the way to supplements. You just have to find what you know well and direct that to the jiu-jitsu market.
7. Compete for prize money
Prize fighting is actually illegal in many places in North America, so you will rarely find an opportunity to openly win cash at a jiu-jitsu tournament. However, you can still compete in tournaments that have valuable prizes that can help with your career, such as flights to large tournaments or even gear. If you travel abroad, to places like Brazil, there are many tournaments held where you can win actual cash.