Business Versus Loyalty in Jiu-Jitsu: What’s More Important?

Would you open a BJJ school near the academy where you train?


The topic of loyalty in jiu-jitsu has always been something of a hot button issue with many practitioners. Many believe that being loyal to the team you train with is the most important thing in jiu-jitsu. The question I have been asking lately is: What happens when you open a school near by the academy where you train that is not affiliated with the academy you train with? Is it fair to your team?

Many practitioners might not think is something that happens very often, if ever. It actually does happen more than you think. This might not seem like a big deal when it comes from a training standpoint. It just means that there is another school in the area. From a business perspective however, it is a very big deal. If the new school is within a close radius to the original academy, it takes away from the original academy’s prospective students as well as current students. Often times, many new jiu-jitsu students will go ahead and pick the cheapest school without doing their research on the instructors at the school or the classes offered. Well known schools with high level instructors will often charge more than a smaller school. The saying “you get what you pay for” could not be anymore true. If a person has no knowledge of jiu-jitsu, it could be difficult for them to understand the true value of being able to train under an accomplished coach and competitor instead of just training with any average instructor.


What do you think? Should loyalty come first in jiu-jitsu? Or is it a business and should always be treated as such? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I disagree with Damian. First, I don’t think anyone could have enough experience training under different high level competitors who are also coaches, as well as non-competitive coaches, to make such a blanket statement. Secondly, when you look at the schools that tend to be the biggest competition powerhouses, you see a great deal of them that are led by successful competitors. That being said, non competitors can also make incredible coaches. It’s a matter of how much the person really wants to be a great coach, and how well they can communicate with, and inspire their students.

    That being said, I think loyalty is very important, and the only way I would open up a separate school from my own Academy, would be if I had to move away for any reason. You are who you are in jiu jitsu largely because of how well you are coached. To then go and take food out of their mouths is wrong.


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