Why BJJ is so expensive

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Kyuktooki, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Kyuktooki

    Kyuktooki Blue Belt

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    I here a lot of people complain about how expensive BJJ is where they live and, honestly, I think often the complaints are reasonable. After all, if you train at a Judo club in the same area you often pay, what, 1/3rd the amount.
    The difference, I think, is profit. Most Judo clubs I have come across are run by people who are not looking to make money of it. After all, how could you make money teaching Judo to people at $50 a month unless you had huge classes?
    If I ever become qualified to be an instructor (at my current rate of progress probably sometime next decade) I want to start a club style program and, hopefully, share space with either a Judo or Wrestling club. How is our sport ever going to become as mainstream as either Judo or Wrestling until kids have access to cheap quality training? Just my two cents.... I wanted to procrastinate rather than write a research paper about
    What do you think? Can BJJ ever become a truly mainstream sport with instruction as expensive as it is?
     
  2. Varth

    Varth Green Belt

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    People pay so why not milk the cow? If you were a stock broker wouldn't you like prices where you wanted them and make a lot of money? It's still their job. Loads of guys come all the way from Brazil and around the world expecting more money and a better lifestyle. With guys like the Sheik supporting BJJ I don't see how it could not get famous in future years.

    Also I may be wrong about this but BJJ has a lot of injuries (Judo does too but it's pretty consolidated around the world), so guys have to stop doing BJJ and stop paying. With what they payed before the instructor can still keep living his lifestyle depending on that and other students. Honestly I think BJJ guys are more interested in money than traditional Judo guys with their japanese philosophy. Us brazilians like money.
     
  3. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    I think it is main stream and because it is such a young sport in the US (what 20 yrs old here?) there are still a limited amount of instructors.

    Also the marketing hype behind it is amazing. Almost every move from the guard or every submission is considered Jiu Jitsu even if the grappler has limited BJJ skills. Just watch any UFC, Strike force or WEC to make my point.

    So the uneducated associate every grappling maneuver a "Jiu Jitsu" maneuver even though there are a handful of styles that have similar maneuvers from similar positions.

    Also you have to consider that teachers charge what they think they can get away with. So if you have 3 schools in 15 miles charging $150/month the only way to break that habit is to have a quality instructor come in and do it for $75. THAT will force some change.

    You are correct though, I have done some searches on Judo in the Tampa area and it is not like 100 schools pop up. There are probably a few more in the area than there are BJJ schools or mma schools and still the Judo clubs charge about 1/3 of the BJJ clubs.

    Lets not get started on wrestling, how many places can you go as an adult and learn wrestling? Very Very few yet the places I know are either dirt cheap or FREE!
     
  4. DkMacaw

    DkMacaw Brown Belt

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    I train BJJ for free, there is this guy from the army at my academy and he teaches me from time to time.
     
  5. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    interesting! but you are wrong...

    a lot of sports are way more expensive and are main stream.
     
  6. Blue145

    Blue145 White Belt

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    I share your feelings but people are willing to pay it (me included) so why would they drop the price, as long as people don't feel as they are being ripped off I guess its ok.
     
  7. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    BJJ is often expensive because many BJJ academies have full-time instructors who teach 6-7 days a week. Judo clubs meanwhile are usually open just two or three nights a week, and the instructors all have day jobs and only charge enough to cover the rent and utilities for the facility.

    But I used to train at a BJJ academy where the instructor had a full-time day job and he only charged $75 a month. There are cheap places to train, you're just probably not going to have access to a black belt six days a week, morning and evening, if you're paying less than $100/month.
     
  8. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    Good point but it is even more simple than that. Supply and demand.

    My family has 2 restaurants and nobody gives 2 shits that they work all day long as long as the food is good and it is reasonable. If either is not true they go to the next restaurant. In the case of BJJ schools people perceive that there is not another "restaurant" nearby.

    Trust me, it would be nice if my family could charge 3x's more than average for a"similar" product too.
     
  9. fourfif**

    fourfif** Banned Banned

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    it's a big reason I stopped going to bjj and took up judo. when the money gets right, I may go back, but for now, judo ftw
     
    richardb likes this.
  10. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    In Brasil, they have academies in every corner but it is still a sport for the rich kids.

    I knew they have a few programs for the lower income people but it is the exception rather than the norms.

    Well, anyway, I might be starting some free classes at my local high school if possible.
     
  11. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    NICE! Thats awesome of you to do.
     
  12. Brawler B

    Brawler B Green Belt

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  13. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Yeah, I am happy at the project.

    I already have a 8-5 job and i am your average Joe BJJ guy.

    I just feel it is time to give back to the community and provide the opportunity for kids that could not afford BJJ at the first place.
     
  14. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Yeah but look at San Diego, you cannot throw a stone without hitting a BJJ academy, but the going rate is still near $200/month. How do you explain that? Is the demand for BJJ in San Diego just so high that the market can support dozens of academies all charging high rates? And if so, why is the demand so high in that city? Could there be another reason? Is that just what it costs to run a BJJ academy in such an expensive city? Or are there just enough other factors distinguishing the service offered at different BJJ academies that they don't need to compete with each other on price?

    BJJ is a very different product from restaurant service, the demand elasticity is different. People need to eat, they don't need to train BJJ, and they go to a BJJ academy for very different reasons than they go to a restaurant, so the analogy is flawed.
     
  15. knoxpk

    knoxpk Black Belt

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    Well I gave other reasons prior to the post you are replying to.

    For example UFC marketing from the onset. The general public's perception of the sport or not recognizing that other (more affordable) systems are available...ESPECIALLY for your average Joe not looking to be an ADCC champ.


    Also supply and demand still plays a role, while people need to eat, they don't have to eat out. They choose to eat out and specifically (in the example above) at my folks restaurant. As soon as they triple the price they will lose business to other restaurants doing something similar (even if not the same) at a reasonable cost.

    You did not mention if any of those schools in San Diego charge substantially LESS than the other with similar instruction level.

    I doubt that, if they did you would certainly see the effect of supply and demand.

    Its almost like price fixing in the case above. All the instructors know what people will pay and continue to charge that rate. As soon as one of them falls on tough times or a NEW GUY with credentials comes in and does it for $100 you will see an impact.


    **********
    Oh I dont know cost of living in San Diego or rents and insurance so that plays a factor. MAYBE $200 IS the best that anyone can do and make a living.

    IE if a school has a base of 50 people at $200 per month, is $10K per month enough to pay everything and still live in San Diego? I don't know.

    I know in Tampa FL area you can get maybe 2.5k-3k sq feet space for about $4k per month.
     
  16. Graunie

    Graunie Blue Belt

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    I don't see this as a bad thing. I live pretty close to NYC and there really isn't much in the way of judo but there is some quality bjj for sure.

    By allowing the instructors to make a living I think they can provide a better service because they can concentrate on running an academy and perfecting their art rather than just teaching a few classes in their spare time after a long day at work, not that there's anything wrong with that either.

    For the amount of time I spend at the academy and the amount of personal instruction I get I think I'm getting a deal. When you guys get your black belts and start teaching for free let me know. For those that are willing I commend you (seriously).
     
  17. danim

    danim White Belt

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    When you compare BJJ's price to Olympic sports like Judo and Wrestling, it doesn't work. Olympic sports are usually subsidized in one way or another by governments with lots of volunteers helping out. They're not meant to be viable business models. There are so many judo schools in community centres that have really nice mat areas, but they may not even have 20 students total. The instructors are just volunteering in most cases (this doesn't take away from their skill/instruction abilities).

    BJJ is strictly a private enterprise, so you have to pay the costs for it.
     
  18. pailum117

    pailum117 Blue Belt

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    I pay alot for BJJ, no doubt about it. But I take into consideration what I get for it.

    Between the two locations of our school that I go to I could literally do jiu jitsu as a full time job. Seriously 30 classes a week between Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. That's 120 classes a month!

    So am I gonna piss, bitch and moan for having to pay $1.50 for an hour with a BJJ champion? I think not...
     
  19. Varth

    Varth Green Belt

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    Depends on where you live. Some places have a fuckload of gyms but some places don't. I could be training with Fabio Gurgel but traffic + he only teaches purple belt and up classes= no can do (considering I'm a minor). Also it's like double the price of every BJJ gym in S
     
  20. tysnw

    tysnw Brown Belt

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