The Business of Jiu Jitsu with Tom DeBlass

Professor Tom DeBlass' Academy Ocean County BJJ--photo courtesy of Tom DeBlass

Professor Tom DeBlass has built one of the largest and most successful jiu-jitsu academies in New Jersey and recently celebrated Ocean County BJJ’s 10th Anniversary.  He competes on the highest stages and has been instrumental in the development of some of the most well-known and prolific competitors on the scene today.  

In this short, two minute video, Professor DeBlass divulges the secrets behind his success as a jiu-jitsu businessman.

Key Ideas from the Video:

  • Be Professional–Opening up your own academy means so much more than being passionate about the art of jiu-jiitsu and wanting to share that passion with others.  Just as there are endless tiny details and bumps in the road to black belt, there are even more when it comes to owning an academy.  You have now chosen to become responsible for each and every one of your students and a journey that will hopefully lead them to a better version of themselves.  Are you ready for that responsibility?
  • 24/7 Job–You do not have a day off.  Outside of the academy you are planning curriculum, monitoring attendance, planning events and tournaments, all while maintaining your own mental and physical development.
  • You are working for your students–Owning your academy and being professional doesn’t mean doing whatever YOU want when YOU want it.  You are providing a service to a wide variety of people and age groups.  You will teach artists, business people, stay-at-home parents, children, and others.  It is your responsibility to inspire each and every one of them.  If you do not, they will leave and perhaps turn their backs on martial arts forever.
  • Smile, speak well, and treat people with respect–People don’t come to your academy to be miserable.  A smile and a word of encouragement will do wonders for your students.  You know it’s a long road.  It’s your job to remind them that they can do it if they persevere.
  • Learn from Karate–BJJ practitioners have a tendency to speak ill of karate or taekwondo schools, but these schools tend to be very large and successful businesses.  What can you learn from these places?  Perhaps they treat their students with respect and offer a safe, structured environment?  As an instructor, you cannot water down jiu-jitsu, but you must not be closed-minded when you see success and automatically dismiss it as somehow wrong.  Look at other martial arts schools and learn from them.

In closing, there really are no secrets.  Love jiu-jitsu, be genuine, and seek to help as many people as you can.  Follow those rules, and you will see success.

Professor Tom DeBlass can be followed on Facebook at the link below.  In addition, you should take a look at the Ocean County BJJ website.  Finally, Professor DeBlass is the Event Coordinator for this year’s ADCC North American Trial in New Jersey on Nov. 19th.  Follow the ADCC North American Trials Facebook below.

Follow Professor DeBlass on Facebook Here

Visit Professor DeBlass’ Academy Here

Follow the ADCC North American Trials on FB Here


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