Yes, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Is Expensive, But Here’s Why It’s Worth Every Cent!

flickr/ creative common: Alex Geslani

With the holidays currently underway and the start of the new year next Monday, New Year’s resolutions are making their way to the front of people’s priorities.  A lot of people view jiu-jitsu as a worthy resolution, but often think of excuses not to train. A common excuse not to train is that jiu-jitsu is expensive, which it is. 

I’ve discussed why jiu-jitsu is so expensive in another article .

There are a ton of activities that are cheaper than jiu-jitsu.  In an argument with a gym owner who made the bold claim that jiu-jitsu is cheap, I listed off about 20 alternative hobbies that are cheaper.  But jiu-jitsu has something that most hobbies do not: it provides numerous benefits.

Jiu-jitsu gives its practitioners the ability to defend themselves if they ever need to, providing a fantastic set of combat skills for close quarters violence.  It has proven itself to be one of the most effective and efficient martial arts in the world, and if someone were asking me for a single standalone art that would give them real world ability to defend themselves against both skilled and unskilled attackers, I’d tell them to look no further than BJJ.

Jiu-jitsu gives its practitioners a tight knit community that translates to having friends in every city in the world.  If you are visiting somewhere and want to meet people, look no further than your local BJJ academy.  

Jiu-jitsu also provides us with a fantastic way to stay in shape and relieve stress.  I can think of few things that are more satisfying than strangling another person at the end of a stressful day.  I refer to my training partners as human stress balls, and the feeling of having to defend against another person’s calculated attacks is similarly cathartic and stress relieving.

Jiu-jitsu is quite expensive.  Casual training will cost you upwards of $100 a month, and in major cities will cost upwards of $200.  And that doesn’t include other expenses associated with it, like uniforms and the cost of having to do laundry more regularly.

At the higher end, a single tournament can easily cost a practitioner over $1000 if you take into account the cost of travel and hotels.  And if you compete regularly, that means you’ll shell out around $100 just in registration fees every time you compete plus the cost of travel to and from a tournament.

The cost of doing jiu-jitsu is deemed worth it by those of us who train day by day, and if someone is using cost as an excuse not to train, offer them a list of the benefits of training and ask them what other hobby provides those benefits.  Chances are, those options are highly limited.  

So the question to be asked is: while jiu-jitsu is definitely pricey and expensive, is it unreasonably so?  For those of you out there who have been training for a while, would you train your experience on the mat for a lump sum of the money you’ve spent?  

Of course not!


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