Future of the BJJ Market?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by QingTian, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    Where do you guys see the market for BJJ is headed? It seems like my area is becoming saturated with BJJ schools, many opened by big names or affiliates. Now it seems like BJJ black belts are pretty common, so where does that leave all the new black belts?

    The reason I ask is because I'd like to know if it's a reasonable expectation for me to train in BJJ and earn a black belt, and not have to move to the boonies just to open a school. Assume I can earn a black belt but not be a big name competitor. I'm not looking to make a lot of money doing this - just enough to cover my expenses.

    I'm a Judo black belt but Judo tends to be low priced and not as popular.

    I'm also in California where there are a ton of BJJ schools.
     
  2. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    How much money are you looking at and what do you mean by covering expenses?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  3. ijustwannasurf

    ijustwannasurf Brown Belt

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    Your location and business acumen will matter more than your competition record. Also, don't do it 'just to cover your expenses'. If you're gonna do the damn thing, go all in.
     
  4. Hillary

    Hillary Brown Belt

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    It's going to function like everything in life functions. And that happens to be just like bacteria. The schools grow, divide, and multiply as long as resources (paying customers) are there. Eventually, those vital environmental factors deplete, and some schools will start going under. A career in BJJ will become more difficult, less appealing, and the successful schools will remain while smaller or newer clubs might fold. Every once in a while a star athlete will arise to fight through, possibly at the expense of an older organism. The BJJ community will plateau out.
     
  5. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    lechien - Cover the rent and equipment plus a comfortable margin of say $2k a month. Obviously more is better but I'm just trying to estimate a minimum for safety. I can hope to be fine with $2k because my profession may let me work remotely.

    ijustwannasurf - Good point on business acumen, but what really sells for BJJ? How do you get around the credential disadvantage?

    Hillary - love the bacteria analogy.
     
  6. ijustwannasurf

    ijustwannasurf Brown Belt

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    What disadvantage? That you're not a world champion?
    Do you think that most BJJ schools survive off the people training for Mundial gold or the people training for fun and fitness? If you have a legit lineage, and you deliver a good product in a good environment, what more credentials do you need?
     
  7. pheonix5

    pheonix5 Purple Belt

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    I would say get your Blackbelt at a well known school or a school affiliated with a champion/former champion or a Gracie. People will know you're legit and that's all they need. We have a couple of Gracie Barra schools that do okay, the guys are blackbelts under students of students of a Gracie but have no direct affiliation contact. Meaning they are not recognized by Carlos Gracie Jr. or Renzo or the other founding members. It's not to say they're not any good,they are. But then we had a guy move here who is a Blackbelt under Royler and is directly affiliated with Royler under the Gracie Humaita name. Also having Royler come in once a year for a seminar. Needless to say his school does really well. He meddled a few times,nothing major but it's his direct lineage/affiliation that brings people in. People know they're getting the real deal.
     
  8. snoop dogg***

    snoop dogg*** Baby Heath goon$quad

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    it will be legit as long as its an Aspect of MMA
     
  9. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Then do the maths. Calculate the cost of running it. Then you will know how many students you would need to break even and then how many more students to make a significant icome.
    Also you will to be yourselves a salary to teach. Because if you are not teaching all the classes all the time. You will to pay someone to teach.
    Have you tought if your future? Do you want to be teaching every night? Coming home late every night? Spending lot of weekends running open mats and attending competition event.
     
  10. TriangleMan

    TriangleMan Purple Belt

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    Lol. Try getting a purple belt before you think that far ahead. Plus, opening a business isn't as easy as it sounds. I hope you're affiliated with Gracie Barra though, trust me, it'll make things a lot easier.
     
  11. BJJ Coffee Drinker

    BJJ Coffee Drinker Amateur Fighter

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    if you haven't started training bjj yet, don't start because of the prospect of opening a school and making money off of it. start bjj training because you want to train
     
  12. ncsibiryak

    ncsibiryak Orange Belt

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    What do you consider the boonies? There are only a few Judo clubs, and even fewer BJJ schools in NC. I wish that more black belts would move here.
     
  13. soda_popinski

    soda_popinski Orange Belt

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    It's headed to the same place TKD and Karate are. If you want to open a school and survive you are going to have to enroll/appeal new students (including kids/families), have a good location, teach well, keep current students, have a marketing plan, a good website (comes up high in search results), etc. Unfortunately, the business minded owner, not the 'best' bjj black belt will have the most successful school.
     
  14. Estebanantonio

    Estebanantonio Green Belt

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    I don't live in Cali and we don't have a bunch of bjj schools just a couple but we do have a boat load of karate schools and such. From what I can tell they all do ok I mean in like the last 10 years I can only think of one that has gone out of buisness. I don't think any of them are run by champions of any sort. Personally I don't think it matters the average Jonny public just doesn't really know the difference. Also I've noticed alot of martial arts schools are now adding other classes such as cross fit, zumba yoga or whatever to generate money.
     
  15. Estebanantonio

    Estebanantonio Green Belt

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    Pretty much this.
     
  16. taylonr

    taylonr White Belt

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    If you're not looking to be full-time, maybe go in with another martial artist. Perhaps find a Muay-Thai guy and split the costs. Or a boxing guy. You wouldn't have to be an MMA gym, just a gym that has multiple martial arts that all train there. Split it 50/50 in cost & revenue.

    Or find a good gym that doesn't have a BJJ program and start one there. You wouldn't have as much revenue, because they're not going to share it 50/50, but you'd also have less costs.
     
  17. MadSquabbles500

    MadSquabbles500 Steel Belt

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    If you make a name for yourself in the competition scene, you can make the big bucks :D :D :D :D

    You can train the pro fighters, and charge exorbitant rates for private lessons. I hear Lloyd Irvin a few years back would charge $1000 per sessions.
     
  18. Ice 9 Cobra

    Ice 9 Cobra Black Belt

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    I think large corporate owned gyms that hire all their instructors are the future, they can keep memberships dirt cheap because of their size and membership range (from equipment only to specialized training packages)
     
  19. snoop dogg***

    snoop dogg*** Baby Heath goon$quad

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    to be honest it is not like other gi oriented martial arts which have become watered down, alot of people i know think karate, TKD, JKD, Wing chun is BS because they have never seen it really utilized usefully. growing up people thought boxing was legit because its televised and they have proof of its legitimacy. as long as bjj and subs are an apparent part of MMA It will stay strong imho
     
  20. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    This really depends on where I am with my life, but I would prefer 3-4 times a week. That's about how often I would train myself, and someday I would reach the level in both Judo and BJJ at the teaching level. Opening a gym seems like a way to continue the lifestyle, as it'll reduce the amount of time I have to work on other stuff. Beats going to the gym after work any day.

    In the meantime, the next 5 years or so, I hope to develop a software business that lets me work wherever I want, so the gym in a way doubles as my office. If I do well I can buy a place and get major tax write offs :)

    This is a long term plan, but I'm looking at BJJ because it's a close cousin to what I do, which expands my market. Judo in my area is heavily subsidized by Japanese cultural centers and one "Olympic Training Center"... I didn't have to pay a dime my whole time here though that is an exception.
     

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