Hi everyone, how is everything going?
Today we are going to talk about living off Jiu Jitsu, and how it’s possible depending on the stage of life you’re in.
I believe that everyone who comes to Jiu Jitsu, at some point falls in love with our art and our sport, and there is nothing better than to be able to live from what you love. This is not always possible today, and if we could choose, we would obviously choose to do something we enjoy working with, not just to practice it during leisure time.
Working with something we love and knowing that this work is useful, I believe is something important. But working with the focus of serving others is one of the best scenarios in the world. This is my case, I have been doing Jiu Jitsu since I was 13 years old and I feel totally alive with the art of Jiu Jitsu. It’s my professional activity and my leisure, I really love what I do.
It is on this topic that I want to chat with you. I see many people today wanting to live off Jiu Jitsu but not knowing how to prepare for it, not really understanding which path to follow. For example, if you are an athlete living from competitions, training and battling to be the best, what is your expectation? When do you think you will be a world champion?
Many times we think that living off Jiu Jitsu is just winning world competitions and that will guarantee the future, that living from sport is just being a champion and ready. This plan is fine if you only want to be an athlete, but do you think you’ll be able to live off Jiu Jitsu by just winning championships?
And when that is over, what will be your path and your career?
Most people desire to open a gym after having the career as an athlete, but to set up a successful academy you need more preparation. First, you need to be an excellent teacher, which is totally different from being an excellent athlete. You need to understand your abilities – often there are people who have the ability to transfer knowledge, but others that have control, dominance, and ease of executing a technique. The guy who has technical ability is often the champion, but if he doesn’t have the methodology to teach other students he won’t become a good teacher. If he doesn’t prepare to be a good teacher during the time he’s an athlete, it’s going to be difficult for him to succeed in the academy that he opens, so he will not be able to support himself, even if he was the greatest of champions.
When we think about these issues, we need to look at the sport and ask ourselves: will my time as an athlete be able to pay for me to live off Jiu Jitsu?
We can’t compare Jiu Jitsu with other sports, for example basketball, if you play in the NBA 5 or 6 seasons in a strong team, you’ve made your living, and no longer need to be involved with the NBA world if you don’t want to. Jiu Jitsu doesn’t have, and will not have that option. If you do not know how to create a second path within Jiu Jitsu by becoming not just a top athlete, but learning other skills to open up new horizons within the Jiu Jitsu market, you probably won’t be able to live off Jiu Jitsu.
There are other options in the Jiu Jitsu world that will increase as the sport grows as a business, other needs will have to be fulfilled. A clear example of those new needs emerging in the market is the number of brands producing Kimonos. We have people living from this essential Jiu Jitsu tool and we are increasingly in need of better, more technical Kimonos, that meet the needs of athletes. The expansion of Kimono brands means people can support themselves in ways where they are not just being a teacher. Jiu Jitsu is also lacking in specialized media – a void that needs to be filled with new people coming from the market with ideas that can make this a successful domain within our sport. It isn’t an easy path, but it is a path that can create opportunities by helping the athlete turn into an entrepreneur and opening the range of opportunities that Jiu Jitsu can give to those who want to live off the sport.
The athlete who wants to have a successful academy needs to understand how a gym operates, how Jiu Jitsu is taught and what the best teaching method is to apply to students. The entrepreneur needs to be informed about the market that he wants to act in, and to constantly study. It needs to be part of his life, he needs to be aware of the world of Jiu Jitsu in order to discuss and discover new possibilities for the growth of this market. Understand where there is a hole in the Jiu Jitsu market, where you can create a new product or even improve a product that already exists to meet the new members of Jiu Jitsu. We must have this entrepreneurial outlook if we really want to live off Jiu Jitsu; there are several possibilities for growth and improvement of this universe making it expansive, we shouldn’t only think in the short term, wanting to become only the best fighter in the academy. This is no doubt important and very cool for competitions, but we must also think about having a plan, discipline, persistence, perseverance, and resilience for your business to be a success case in which you can live off of it for the rest of your life.
A valuable tip is not to narrow your vision, try to broaden it whenever possible by preparing to the fullest.