Are BJJ Private Lessons Worth It?

You have been thinking about taking some private BJJ lessons. However you realise they are pretty expensive. Now you want to know if they are worth the investment or if you are better off sticking to group classes. We will give you all the info you need to make an informed decision on whether BJJ private lessons are right for you.

Are BJJ private lessons worth it? Yes, BJJ private lessons are worth it as they can help you improve your BJJ and fast track your progression. In BJJ private lessons you are able to get individualized coaching which can result in you addressing any mistakes or technical deficiencies much faster than in group classes. Whether BJJ private lessons are worth it depends on your budget and goals. If you want to improve your BJJ rapidly and you’ve got the money then go ahead and book a private lesson. 

What Are The Advantages Of BJJ Private Lessons?

What are the advantages of BJJ private lessons? The major advantage of BJJ private lessons is the faster rate of improvement you can generate compared to group training classes. In private lessons coaches can more easily identify your mistakes and fix them while also adding new weapons to your game. This results in you improving at a rapid pace.

Private lessons are a safe environment to learn BJJ. In private lessons your chance of being injured is much lower as you are training with a coach who is an expert. They know how to perform the techniques safely and can ensure that you are performing them safely too. You don’t have to worry about some crazy white belt accidentally elbowing you or the MMA fighter heel hooking you. Instead you can focus on learning BJJ in a calm and safe environment. This is why most celebrities who train BJJ choose to only learn via private lessons.

Private lessons also provide you with a great opportunity to bond and form a relationship with your coach. This can lead to your coach giving you extra attention during group classes. At big schools it can be easy to become lost among the sea of white and blue belts. By taking BJJ private lessons your coach will get to know you and next time when he is walking around the training room will likely stop and give you some extra tips and make sure you are doing the technique correct. I have personally seen this happen and the added tips people have received have compounded leading to rapid progression.

What Are The Disadvantages Of BJJ Private Lessons?

What are the disadvantages of BJJ private lessons? The major disadvantage of BJJ private lessons is the cost. For the vast majority of people having regular BJJ private lessons is a major cost. Not many people can afford to spend hundreds of dollars a week on a hobby.

Another disadvantage of BJJ private lessons is the lack of stress testing the techniques you learn during them. In most cases your coach is at a much higher level than you are and therefore you can not effectively spar against them. You need to try your newly learned techniques out on people who are less skillful than you are. BJJ private lessons don’t allow this to happen. This is why private lessons are most beneficial when they are combined with group training classes.

How Does A BJJ Private Lesson Work?

Private Jiu Jitsu Lesson Video Guide

A BJJ private lesson usually follows a typical structure which differs a bit from a normal BJJ class. At a private lesson your coach will expect you to be warmed up and ready to go. If you haven’t previously talked about what you will be doing during the lesson then before the lesson starts your coach will let you know. You can ask to focus on certain things.

Once the lesson begins your coach will start showing you certain techniques and explain different concepts. You will practice the techniques on your coach or on a training partner you brought or on one supplied by the coach. You will be able to ask questions and be shown specific techniques or ask your coach help with particular issues. The vast majority of the lesson will be based around drilling and learning.

Your coach may incorporate some situational sparring and rolling into the lesson but this is up to you. Many private lessons don’t include rolling and are just focused on drilling. Once your lesson finishes you may ask your instructor to roll with you a bit. This can be helpful to try out the new techniques you learned while facing resistance and can be a good way to get in a bit of extra mat time.

BJJ private lessons are more informal than typical group training classes. As the student you can choose how you want the lesson structured. It is up to you if you want the lesson to be purely technical instruction, if you want some cardio training or you want some rolling. It really depends what your goals are. Typically BJJ private lessons are focused on technical instruction as most people book private lessons because they want to improve their BJJ prowess and work towards their next belt.

How Long Does A BJJ Private Lesson Last?

A BJJ private lesson typically lasts 60 mins. However you can request a private lesson be any length you want. I recommend your lesson last at least 30mins so you learn enough to make it worthwhile. I don’t recommend your BJJ private lesson last longer than 2 hours as you will be overwhelmed with the amount of information you are learning. 60-90mins is the ideal BJJ private lesson length.

How Much Does A BJJ Private Lesson Cost?

How much does a BJJ private lesson Cost? A BJJ private lesson typically costs between $50-$200. Blue and purple belts charge between $30-$60, while brown belts charge between $50-$80. Black belts charge between $60-$120. The cost of BJJ privates lessons depend on your location and the skill and credentials of your instructor. A legendary black belt world champion from New York can cost as much as $500 per hour.

Why Does The Cost Of BJJ Private Lessons Vary?

The cost of BJJ private lessons vary because like all things it is based on supply and demand. A black belt is perceived as being more knowledgeable than a purple belt and there are less black belts than purple belts therefore the price for a private lesson with a black belt is higher. The location of the instructor also matters. The cost of living in New York is higher than in Montgomery therefore private lessons are going to cost more in New York.

There are few famous BJJ athletes and they are able to make money in a variety of ways so to make it worthwhile for them they have to charge a high amount and there are enough people who are willing to pay this high amount so they can continue charging a lot for their time. This is why someone like Gordon Ryan can charge $500 for a 1 hour private lesson.

Which BJJ Instructor Should I Choose For My BJJ Private Lesson?

The BJJ instructor you choose for your private lesson depends on your budget, your skill level, what you want to learn and your relationship with your coaches. If you are on a tight budget then it makes sense to book a private lesson with one of the lower belts who usually charge a lot less than a black belt. Also if you are a white belt and are just trying to learn the basics then a purple belt is more than capable of teaching you basic positional movements.

If you are looking to learn something specific you need to make sure you choose a coach who is capable of teaching you what you desire. There is no point in asking a coach who knows very little about heel hooks to teach finishing mechanics from outside Sankaku.

You should choose a coach you will comfortable with. BJJ is an intimate close contact sport. In a private lesson it will be just you and your coach will usually at least an hour. To have a pleasant lesson you need to feel comfortable. It is best to choose a coach you have some kind of relationship particularly if you are new to BJJ so you feel comfortable during your lesson.

If you do choose to book a private lesson with someone other than the head instructor at the gym make sure the head instructor is aware of the situation and ok with it. I know some lower belts sometimes go behind the head instructor’s back and teach privates without their knowledge. This can create conflict as the head instructor may feel like the other coaches are stealing his clients.

How To Get Ready For A BJJ Private Lesson?

You should arrive to your lesson 10-15 mins early so you are be ready to go on time. You don’t want to be late and potentially miss out on key learning time which you paid for.

You should bring what you normally bring to your group training lessons. Your Gi, rashguard, water bottle, tape ect. In addition you should consider bringing a notepad or camera to write down notes and record your lesson so you can refer back to it and you don’t forget what you learnt.

Before your private lesson you should make sure you warm up and stretch. You don’t want to waste your private lesson time doing forward rolls and stretching your neck. You want to turn up at the gym get dressed and start learning some new techniques. I know some shady coaches who have tried to include a warm up within the private lesson. If your coach tries to do that politely object and tell them you are already warmed up.

BJJ Private Lesson Plan

You should have a plan before you attend your BJJ private lesson. Do you want to focus on something specific like a particular sweep or submission? Or do you want to focus on something more broad like a position? For example maybe you want to know more about the principles of half guard. You should have identified key areas of BJJ you want to learn about before you attend your lesson. You also need to let your coach know your plan in advance so they can prepare and be ready to help you get the most out of the lesson.

If you don’t have any plan for your BJJ private lesson, that is ok. Then your coach will determine what to teach you. This is can still beneficial but is a more risky approach as your coach may teach you something that doesn’t suit your game or body type. It could also force you to try out new techniques and positions resulting in you becoming a more well rounded BJJ practitioner. The approach you take is up to you.

Should I Bring A Training Partner To My BJJ Private Lesson?

Yes, you should bring a training partner to your BJJ private lesson. Bringing a training partner can help your coach assess your technique and fix any mistakes you may be encountering. It can be hard for a coach to see what you are doing wrong when you are performing the move on them. However you should also practice the move on your coach as your coach will be able to feel if the move is being done correctly. Bringing a training can also reduce the cost of the lesson. Most coaches will offer a discount if you bring a training partner.

If you bring a training partner you may not get as much 1 on 1 attention but your coach will be able to better diagnose your technical issues and solve them and the cost of your private lesson will be reduced.

Should I Record My BJJ Private Lesson?

Yes, you should record your BJJ private lesson. I know too many people who have taken private lessons who have struggled to recall anything that they learned during their lesson. To avoid this situation you should record your entire BJJ lesson. By recording the lesson you also have the ability to continually reference what you learned which may come in handy in the future if you are looking for a solution to a BJJ problem or you can’t remember a crucial detail on how to finish a particular sweep or submission.

I recommend you take notes during your lesson and you record the entire lesson. This both can be done easily on your phone or if you like you can bring a note pad or a video camera. Before you record just double check your instructor is ok with you recording the lesson. You may have to ensure them that you won’t publish the material publicly or try to monetise the footage. I think most instructors will be fine with you recording the lesson especially if you tell them it is only for private use. I know some instructors are very strict about not letting their seminars be recorded but a private lesson is a little different.

After Your BJJ Private Lesson

When your BJJ private lesson finishes thank your coach and ask them if they want to roll with you. Many coaches will be happy to roll with you after your lesson. This can be a great way to get some extra training in and try out some of the new things you have learned. Don’t expect a marathon 1 hour rolling session but most coaches will be happy to do a few rounds with you.

Once your lesson finishes it is beneficial to reflect on what you learned and how you can incorporate it into your training going forward. On the way home from the gym or later that day take 10 mins to review your notes or watch some of your recordings to help your mind absorb the new information your brain is trying to process.

It is also important to review your coach’s performance during your BJJ private lesson:

  • Were they able to answer your questions?
  • Did they teach you effective techniques?
  • Were they focused?
  • Did they address your mistakes?
  • Were they generous with their time or were they clock watch?

If your coach taught you well during lesson and you found it beneficial then you can consider booking another private lesson with your coach. If things didn’t live up to your expectations you can always look for another coach or stick to group classes.


BJJ private lessons are worth it because they can help you make big leaps in your BJJ skill and knowledge. The only downside to private lessons is the price can be considered high for a lot of people. However if your goal is to learn BJJ rapidly and the price is within your budget then book as many private lessons as you can and combine them with your regular group training and within no time you will be a force to be reckoned with on the mats.

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