If you have called up a few BJJ gyms or attended a trial class at your local academy you would have quickly realised that BJJ is not cheap. BJJ is typically more expensive than other martial arts such as boxing, wrestling or Judo, but why is that? Let’s find out!
How Much Is BJJ?
The average BJJ costs $150 per month. Prices range from $80 to $240 per month based on location, facilities and instructor’s rank and name. Gyms in big cities such as LA or NY can cost $180 to $240 per month.
If you live in a small town and don’t mind being taught by a no name purple belt then you can probably find a BJJ gym for around $100 per month, even $80 if you are lucky.
If you live in a city and want to train at a high quality gym with black belt instruction you can expect to pay between $120 to $180 per month.
If you live in a big city and want to train at a world class gym where there are 20 + black belts on the mat and the gym is routinely producing high quality competitors then expect to pay between $180 to $240 per month.
The price of your BJJ gym will depend on the location of the gym. The cost of living and rent is much higher in big cities than small towns. This will be reflected in the cost of your membership.
The facilities of your club will also affect your membership dues. If your gym has a weightlifting gym, full shower and changing room expect to pay extra.
If your coach is a famous black belt then your membership fees will skyrocket. You can typically find good deals if you don’t mind being taught by a purple belt who oftentimes can be better coaches than black belts.
Why Is BJJ So Expensive?
BJJ is so expensive because gym owners are running a for profit business where they are deriving a full time income and receive no government funding. Other martial arts are cheaper because they are often coached by volunteers, receive government support and are a part of non profit clubs.
BJJ gyms are for profit businesses and many owners are making a full time income from their academies. The goal of many owners is to make as much money as possible. This is in contrast to many martial arts clubs which are not for profit organisations, where the monthly membership fee is just used to cover the rent and keep the lights on.
To maximise their earnings BJJ gyms charge as much as the market allows them to. If you think a BJJ gym that is thriving is overcharging, then your personal opinion is wrong as there are evidently enough people who are willing to pay the inflated price. The demand for BJJ in your area is strong enough to support high prices.
Another major reason why BJJ is so expensive is because of the lack of government funding. As BJJ gyms are private for profit businesses in most cases they do not qualify for government support.
Many other martial arts particularly Olympic sports such as boxing and Judo do receive government funding so gym membership fees at these clubs are actually being kept artificially low because of government subsidies.
BJJ classes are typically taught by professional instructors who are either owners of the gym or being paid to teach. Many BJJ coaches are making a full time income from BJJ. To support these full time incomes the membership fees have to be high.
In other martial arts clubs the coaches are either volunteers or receive a nominal amount of money. They are not making anywhere near minimum wage let alone a full time salary. This allows the clubs to charge a fraction of what BJJ gyms do.
Why Don’t BJJ Gyms Display Their Price On Their Website?
BJJ gyms don’t display their prices on their website because they don’t want prospective students to be turned off by the price. They want students to try Jiu Jitsu before determining if the price is worth it. By getting the new student in the gym they can also use sales tactics to win a sign up.
If you have been researching BJJ gyms you may have noticed a very annoying detail, very few gyms actually advertise their membership fees on their website or social media pages.
BJJ gyms don’t show their price because they don’t want new students to immediately reject the idea of starting Jiu Jitsu based on price alone.
Their logic is that a new student may fall in love with BJJ and therefore be willing to pay a lot for training. However, for the new student to become obsessed with BJJ they first have to try it.
This is why many BJJ gyms will offer a free trial lesson or a free week of training. They are hoping during this period that you enjoy BJJ so much that you are willing to stretch your budget and pay for a membership.
BJJ gym owners also want to get you into their academies so they can use sales tactics to influence your decision.
They might try to make you feel guilty for not wanting to sign up, they may promise some fake discount if you sign up now or tell you some sob story about how they need you to support the gym. If a gym tries to do this to you then you should immediately leave. This a slimy tactic and shows that the gym only cares about money rather than the martial art itself.
Another reason BJJ academies don’t show their prices is because they don’t want you easily shopping around and choosing the cheapest gym in your area. To a new student all BJJ gyms may appear to be the same, so they are likely to go with whatever gym is offering the lowest membership fee.
Gyms who charge higher prices want to get you into their academy for a trial lesson so they can sign you up before you even find out that you may be paying $50 more a month than if you trained at another club.
If you aren’t ready to take a trial lesson at a BJJ gym. You should call or message a number of BJJ gyms and ask about prices. The majority will respond and explain all of their membership offers.
If a gym refuses to tell you their price when you contact them then don’t bother going there. This is usually a sign that they are going to use high pressure sales tactics to sign you up after your trial lesson.
BJJ gyms are not cheap. They range in price from $80 to $240 per month with the average being around $150 per month. These membership fees are much higher than other martial arts because BJJ gyms are for profit businesses with many owners making a full time income from their academies.
As BJJ gyms are private businesses they also don’t benefit from government support. Other martial arts are usually cheaper because they are non profit organisations, the coaches are volunteers and they receive some government funding.
If you are trying to find out the price of BJJ at your local clubs you should call or message them as most academies do not display their prices on their website. They refuse to display their prices as they believe the high price could scare away prospective students.
If a club does not provide details of pricing when you contact them then avoid the gym. They are likely going to use high pressure sales tactics to get you to buy a membership.