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Why Is BJJ So Expensive? (Full Breakdown)

Why is bjj so expensive?

Brazilian jiu jitsu has so many benefits, but why does it cost so much?

It seems to even cost more than other martial arts.

There’s jiu jitsu school membership fees, required apparel such as a gi and no gi attire, other gear such as mouthguards and head gear. I know it seems like a lot of money to do bjj.

While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t exactly considered an expensive hobby by any means, the cost can rack up pretty quickly if you train on a regular basis.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is massively popular martial art and has been proven to be extremly effective as a tough workout, a martial art, and in a self defense scenario.

So why is BJJ so expensive? Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why BJJ training can be so costly and some ways you can save some money while still training jiu jitsu.

How much for jiu-jitsu classes?

Let’s start here – how much for jiu-jitsu classes?

The cost of jiu-jitsu classes and membership fees are something that will differ greatly depending on a number of factors.

The average cost of a montly brazilian jiu jitsu gym membership in the US can range from $75-$200 dollars.

CountryAvg Monthly Cost for BJJ (in USD)
South America$60-$120
here are average prices for other countries

Things that effect the cost of a brazilian jiu jitsu gym:

  • location
  • gym noteriety
  • size of the gym
  • quality of instruction
  • type of clases offered
  • number of instructors
  • amount of classes offered

A jiu-jitsu school in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles are always going to cost significantly more than those in smaller towns. 

If you’re training at a large academy that has several instructors and multiple classes a day, expect to pay more. Not only will you be covering the cost of your gym owners’ and instructor’s salary, but you’ll also have to pay for rent at the facility. 

When you break down the cost of jiu-jitsu classes, you want to ensure you’re paying for the quality instruction you deserve from a qualified instructor.

Which is why we strongly recommend taking a look at our detailed post on how to find the right gym for you – you don’t want to be stuck in a yearly contract at a gym that you hate going to.

With so many academies to choose from, you want to make sure you’re training at a place that will actually help you improve your jiu-jitsu technique and performance and offer a safe and patient learning environment

Often when signing up for bjj, there will also likely be separate prices based on the classes you are interested in (if they offer other types of classes).

My gym offers brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay thai, boxing, strenght and conditioning. They offer one monthly price just for jiu jitsu and a higher price that includes all of the other related martial arts classes.

My gym that is based out of San Diego currently charges (as of this writing) $150 a month for unlimited jiu jitsu classes and $200 for unlimited amount of all classes.

Average jiu-jitsu class costs

Now, let’s talk about average jiu-jitsu class costs:

Most bjj gyms follow the standard found in other gyms by charging a monthly membership fees for classes or sometimes will offer a yearly fee at a discount. It is quite rare that a gym will charge for a single class – unless they are charging a “drop-in” fee where you are visiting and not looking to sign up.

In this case a “drop-in” fee can range from $20-50 dollars for a single class – again this will depend on gym, location, popularity etc.

If you’re brand new to jiu-jitsu and are looking to start taking classes on a reliable BJJ academy, you’ll likely want to find an affordable option.

While you don’t want to choose an academy that is so cheap that it’s obviously underqualified, you also don’t want to be paying an exorbant amount.

The average BJJ academy likely will not list their prices on their website.

So usually you will have to physically go into the gym in order to find out the exact cost details – just beware this will likely involve a sales pitch of some sort.

Why is BJJ More Expensive than Other Popular Martial Arts?

At this point you may be wondering, “why is bjj more expensive than other popular martial arts?”

There are a couple main things driving up the cost of bjj such as:

  • popularity of the sport
  • large adult member base
  • demand of the martial art
  • related to costs of running a bjj academy such as:
    • paying for staff (such as high quality black belt instructors)
    • paying affiliation fees (such as that found in big brand gyms such as Gracie Barra, 10th Planet, or Renzo Gracie)

First and foremost, there is likely a short supply of quality instructors who want to teach at an acadamy without opening up and running their own gym.

The cost of BJJ will alwaysbe higher due to the larger demand when compared to other martial arts.

Whereas many other martial arts gyms, rely heavily on kids classes to make their income, bjj draws in a large amount of adults who have the money to pay the higher fees associated with bjj.

There’s no denying that bjj is expensive but lets step back and take a look at when bjj might be worth it –

What are you paying for when signing up for BJJ – Benefits of Jiu Jitsu:

There are a variety of benefits of jiu jitsu you get when you sign up and agree to pay the monthly fee or the much larger yearly fee at a gym

Mental Benefits:

  • Improved Mental Health
    • BJJ can exponentiall help with reducing the stress and anxiety of every day life
  • Confidence
    • as you begin to learn more and go through the ranks you will gain more confidence in yourself and your abitliy to tackle any challenges
  • Increases Humility
    • immediatley when you start bjj you will gain a sense of humility that you will take with you off the mat
  • Learning How to Deal with Failure
    • bjj teaches you to deal with frustrations an failure – it teaches you to just keep showing up no matter what
  • Comrodery and Socialization
    • over the years of training you will make many friends who are going through the same rigourus bjj training as you
  • Challenging – Helps Develop Problem Solving Skills
    • bjj will always be challenging and it will help you with assessing a problem and how to stretegically come up with solutions to deal with them
  • Goal Setting 
    • jiu jitsu is all about goal setting and this makes it one of the most rewarding sports; maybe your frist goal is to compete in a tournmant, earn you blue belt, or surive one advanced class
  • Career Oppurtunities
    • may you decie that you like bjj so much that you might want to become a trainer, open your own gym, start a youtube channel, or website
  • Finally, its just fun

Physical Benefits:

  • It has a variety of health Benefits
    • Great Areobic workout
    • Increases Flexibiilty
    • Weight Loss
    • Conditioning
    • Cardio Vascular Benefits
    • Better Sleep
    • Better Coordination
    • Increased Spatial Awareness
  • Finally, it gives you realistic and effective self defense skills

How Many Times a Week Should You Train BJJ?

Once your find your gym – how many times a week should you train bjj?

It’s important to establish a training schedule based on a set number of training days, and don’t train too little so you don’t retain information or progress, or too much so that you burn out.

On average you should train jiu jitsu three times a week especially when beginning bjj in order to progress in the sport.

Based on a recent survey in our gym, three classes a week were agreed upon as the ideal number of training sessions per week which would enable you to engage in your lessons while still having focused, competitive sparring rounds.

When you train on a weekly basis, you will eventually reach a point where no more training can provide benefit and sometimes even cause more harm than good.

This point of diminishing returns will be different for each person, but we recommend starting at 3 days per week and going from there and listening to your body if you feel you can do more or if you feel that you are not recovering enough.

Is training bjj once a week enough?

If you are a white belt training bjj once a week is likely not enough.

Of course, there will be times were you are busy and can’t make it to class as often as you’d like during one week.

We recommend all white belt beginners to try to train 2-3 days per week so that they are learning and absorbing what they are being taught and able to effectively recall it during sparring.

Beyond white belt and through the ranks to black belt, hitting 2-4 times a week for training is a solid range to stay in.

This amount of training may decrease or increase depenind on your goals, schedule, and other responsbilities, but this is a safe range where you are learning but not burning out.

How much does Gracie jiu-jitsu cost?

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, was created by the legendary Gracie family in Brazil and eventually became known as moden brazilian jiu jitsu.

While their brand has certainly grown in popularity, it isn’t necessarily any more expensive than other BJJ academies. You can find a variety of gymsand brands that teach the specifc gracie techniques such as Gracie Barra and Renzo Gracie Acadamies.

Whatever academy you choose to train at, be aware that there are certain variations of BJJ that are more costly than others. 

BJJ has evolved over the years and different academies tend to focus on different aspects of the sport. That being said, GJJ tends to fall under the BJJ category. 

However, it is often considered the more “pure” form of BJJ due to the Gracie family’s stance against certain training methods and gear.

How much do BJJ private lessons cost?

Depending on how often you choose private lessons over group classes, you could save money in the long run. That being said, private lessons can be extremely costly especially if they are taught by a bjj famous black belt instructor

Expect to pay anywhere from $20-$200/session for private BJJ lessons at an academy. If you’re paying more than that, make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth. 

As far as how often you should be taking private lessons, that all depends on your skill level and learning style. If you’re brand new to BJJ, you definitely want to take group classes first. Make sure you have a solid foundation before moving on to private lessons.

How to reduce the cost of BJJ classes

There are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of BJJ.

  • The first thing you can do is shop around and compare quality of teaching and prices at different academies in your area. (If there’s a big difference in price, try to find out why.)

Maybe the higher price academy has better instructors, and better training facilities or they offer different classes (e.g. kids BJJ, women’s only BJJ). Be sure to check out the duration of the trial period, as well as the type of payment that is offered. 

  • Another thing you can do is to train less often and see if your gym offers you to pay per class and you can supplement your training with online material and instructionals

While BJJ is a great sport, it can be addictive. Many people find themselves wanting to train more and more as they get more experienced with the sport. 

While learning in class is always recommended and shouldn’t be avoided, you can train less in class and learn from instructionals with a partner or friend

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can wind up costing you a lot of money if you aren’t careful. Make sure to only train as often as you can afford, and consider some of these tips.

How much does a gi cost?

A high-quality gi will cost anywhere from $100 to $300. You can find cheaper models, but tyou may be sacrificing quality and durability.

In fact, you might find that cheaper bjj gis fall apart after only a few months of training. If you plan on doing BJJ for the long term, it’s worth investing in a good gi. 

You can find gis at a variety of retailers. Many academies also sell their own gis and rash guards, which are usually fairly reasonably priced.

How much does no-gi gear cost?

No gi gear, such as bjj rash guards and grappling shorts, will cost anywhere from $50 to $100. You can also try to find used or discounted no-gi gear online. 

What is worth noting is that you will need to replace your no-gi gear more often than a gi. This is because the no-gi grappling shorts and rash guards aren’t as durable as the material used to make a bi.

How much do BJJ tournament fees cost?

Depending on where you’re competing, your tournament fees may be covered. However, if you plan to compete in IBJJF tournaments (the most widely accepted organization), you’ll have to pay a fee. 

If you’re a bjj competitor, expect to pay a fee of $60-$100/per tournament.

Many tournments also offer discounts for early registrations so if you are think about competing we always recomend signing up early.

Since tournaments are usually held during the weekend, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of travel.

If you’re driving, you may have to pay for gas and parking. If you’re flying, you’ll have to factor in the cost of flights and lodging.

How much does other BJJ training gear cost

Here is a breakdown of some of the most common gear used in bjj. While these aren’trequired for training items such as a mouthguard and bjj bag are strongly recommended:

  • Mouthguard – $10 to $20
  • BJJ bag – $20 to $50
  • Knee guard – $10 to $50
  • Ankle guard – $10 to $50
  • Headgear – $20 to $50  

For our full post on bjj gear that I’ver personall used with reviews take a look – here

Is BJJ worth the money?

In the end, is bjj worth the money?

That is a tough question to answer.

BJJ is a martialart that you can truly benefit from at any age or skill level. It is a sport that can be enjoyed by both genders, of all ages, and even people with various levels of athleticism.

If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay for BJJ classes, it is possible to train at home and learn through online material with a friend or partner.

Although you won’t be able to spar, you can still do plenty of drilling and learn some basic moves. 

While in class training and sparring is always preferred you can still learn the basics at home.

If you’re serious about training, you’re going to have to make sacrifices. That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and train full-time, but it does mean you have to be smart about your money and prioritize your spending.

I know for me bjj is always worth the money – leaving class you feel reborn, got a great workout in, and learned invaluable skills.

I hope this post has been insightful – see you in the next one! – Zack

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