Someone wise once said: choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. To many of us, these words sound like a dream. Because who wouldn’t want to get paid for doing what they love? And that’s why many people who are passionate about BJJ, at some point in their adventure with jiu-jitsu, start to wonder how to cash it. So it is high time to discover these ways of how to make money with BJJ.
The best ways of how to make money with BJJ
Become a pro
Being a professional grappler is probably one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about how to make money with BJJ. At the same time, however, at first glance, it seems almost impossible for most of us. It is because it seems to us that you cannot earn money from participating in competitions. Most of us only want to prove ourselves at least once in their jiu jitsu career and decide to compete in some BJJ tournament just for fun. For some, it is a one-time adventure, and they find it simply not for them. Others like to test their skills just from time to time.
Rewards from tournaments
However, there is also a group of people that have competition in their blood, and try to participate in tournaments as often as possible. And if you belong to this group, a professional BJJ career might not be such a far-fetched idea. You can really make some money by competing and winning the respective championships. To make it happen, start look to enter any and every cash prize competition at a local level. In the beginning, building up a reputation and experience is more important than looking for huge prizes only.
To get to the “big money” tournaments you need an established position at a lower level first. Ones you are there, you can look to truly earn from BJJ by making it to the top cash-prize tournaments. Getting down to business, for example, among others Abu Dhabi Pro offers quite a lot of money. Eddie Bravos EBI submission-only tournaments are also a really good bet to earn from jiu jitsu.
Of course, participating and, in addition, winning at such large events is not easy. However, when you already hit that level of competition, and your name is more and more recognizable, you can also count on additional benefits. Moreover, when you do grappling seriously, you can count on sponsors and promoting some products, etc. too, which is also a source of income.
If participating in competitions is not your greatest passion or you want to do also something besides that, you can always teach others BJJ. The reason people enjoy it so much is that they learn and polish everything they teach as well. Plus you get to spend even more time on the mats. Moreover, when it comes to teaching, you can start it in various ways. For example, in the beginning, you can start it as a part-time job. You don’t have to be a full-time trainer right away. You can only teach, for example, one group, twice a week in the evenings, etc. And only develop over time when you see that it is the right activity for you.
Which is also cool, you don’t have to be a black belt to start teaching others. You can be a lower belt and teach e.g. children at the beginning. And if you are wondering how to get such a coach job, the best you can do is ask your trainer or club owner about it. They will know best if there is a free teacher’s place for you at your academy or some other befriended place.
And once you’re well established as a teacher, you can broaden your range by teaching seminars. Conducting a seminar is a really fun and practical way to make money with BJJ. Just remember, whenever you land such an opportunity, look for travel expenses and make sure you agree on a fee beforehand. And as you get more experienced and sought after, you can always raise your fee. Seminars are just really great stuff. Not only are they a source of income for you, but they also help share knowledge and experiences, making the entire BJJ community grow.
Your own place
And if you dream big, you can always think about starting your own BJJ gym. To do so, however, first, you need to be patient and take things to step by step. You have to think carefully about everything. Also, you have to ask yourself questions like how many students you could get at a certain location, do you want to buy or rent a place, etc. Moreover, be sure to prepare a business plan and contact a few investors, preferably from the grappling community. Just remember that this is, unfortunately, an unpredictable and challenging business so be ready to adapt and evolve.
Remote ways of how to make money with BJJ
For those who do not see their future as competitors or trainers, there are also many options on how to make money with BJJ without leaving home. Also, always remember that you do not have to limit yourself to just one earning path. You can even combine them all together. For example, you can compete and/or teach others, and in the remaining time, you can still cash your passion for BJJ online.
To promote BJJ stuff you don’t have to be a world champion. Actually, on the mat, you may even be quite average. Here it is more important how many followers you have on social media and how well you can advertise things. The truth is, many companies will offer you commissions if you help them advertise. So, if you have a decent following on social media or a website, you can just sign up to be an “affiliate”. You can do this either directly through a company website, or join an affiliate network and promote multiple products. Companies will give anywhere from a 10-50% commission. If you’re good at it, they may even start sending you free products to help you promote. The great thing about this is that you get to promote the stuff you’re already using, loving, and supporting.
Run social media
If you as you don’t want to pose in photos in new rashguards and say how cool they are, you can always engage in social media from the other side. Simply, instead of running your own social media about BJJ, you can run such channels for others. There are several options here. You can take care of running a social media of jiu-jitsu gyms, clothing/gear brands, and other products such as instructional videos, books, etc.
Moreover, even if you don’t know how to run ads on these platforms, you can search online for this stuff, and fortunately, you will find hundreds of tutorials and even free courses about it. You don’t need to learn super advanced things to start. So if you think this could be something for you just reach out to a few places and ask if they need help with running their social media.
If you are creative, have some design / drawing talent, ethical sense, etc. you can also think about designing logos, etc for others. Every single business needs an army of creatives to run. Everyone needs logos in different sizes, banners for the sites, Facebook images, apparel, even ads. BJJ is no exception. So, for example, if you find a business that uses fairly mediocre graphics, you can send them a few of your designs and ask if they would be interested in collaborating. Just remember to send them low-quality, watermarked images so that they cannot use them without your consent.
If you feel better at writing than graphic design, you can always try writing about jiu-jitsu. It is a great way of how to make money with BJJ because you can do it in different ways. For example, you can start your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu themed blog or website. If developing something from scratch is not for you, you can also become a freelancer writing for different websites at the same time. Or you can devote yourself to one site and write only there, becoming, for example, the main author over time.
It’s all possible because every site needs regular content to share on social media and show up on search engines. Moreover, you don’t need to be “connected” or have a deep portfolio to get a paid gig. It is just good to know a bit about keywording and SEO, and you can go ahead to reach out to sites and share links to your work.