Is There Anything Wrong With Professors Who Try To “Steal” Students?

As an homage to Tom Green (nice little throwback,) Honor Gis put together this hilarious video about “undercutters.”

As funny as the video is, it is a parody of something very real that happens: academies trying to hurt each others’ businesses.  These undercutters can show up in different forms.  For example: I heard of one academy owner trying to sign up one of my teammates to his gym by offering to buy him out of his existing contract.  I don’t think stuff like this is okay.

Jiu-jitsu academies are first and foremost businesses.  Their goal is to make their owners money.  There are however certain ethical boundaries, and while students should have absolutely no qualms about cross training or even switching academies, trying to come in and steal other academies’ students is at least a bit underhanded.

Using marketing tactics to try to attract students is just part of the game, but if you are aggressively approaching other gym’s students and trying to use the tactics that undercutters use, you are behaving in a manner that many would view unethical, and probably rightly so.  Hard selling may be appropriate in some cases, but probably not when it comes to martial arts.

Have you ever encountered undercutters in your jiu-jitsu career?  Ever visit a gym across town and have the owner or head instructor try to hard sell?  What’s the craziest example of undercutting you’ve ever seen?  Has anyone ever offered to buy you out of your existing contract?

I think it’s okay to promote one’s gym, let any and all visitors know about the benefits available, and if they ask pointed questions about pricing, don’t hesitate to work with them, but the parody in this Undercutters video is sometimes far too real.

Here’s the original clip on which this skit was based:

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio ( and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo ( NottaRookie, YM ( discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap ( discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards ( discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


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