When I was a new BJJ student, I was on a budget and wanted to know if the costs of BJJ would be worth the money. After years of training both BJJ and other martial arts, here’s what I found:
The money it costs for BJJ is worth it if you want to learn submission grappling; either for fitness, fun or self-defense. On average, BJJ gym subscriptions cost $60-120 per month, with average BJJ sportswear costs ranging from $20-200 per item, these costs are similar to other martial arts’ prices.
In this article, I’ll cover some of the key things to consider when deciding if BJJ is going to be worth the money for you including:
- What you’ll learn
- Some alternatives to BJJ
- BJJ benefits
- And some costs involved in BJJ (subscriptions, sportswear & equipment)
You don’t need loads of stuff for BJJ, check out my article for the 6 things you’ll definitely need for BJJ & why.
BJJ Costs vs Worth
Whether or not you think BJJ is worth the cost, is the same as with any other sport, hobby or martial art; it will depend on three things:
- What are your goals vs what you’ll learn in BJJ?
- What other benefits do you want from BJJ?
- What are BJJ’s costs vs other martial arts’?
Let’s have a look at each.
BJJ: Your Goals vs What You’ll Learn
If your goal is to learn a grappling based martial art including takedowns, ground fighting, and submissions, then BJJ is worth learning.
BJJ is one of the most complete forms of grappling and has grown massively since its early domination in the UFC.
Nowadays, BJJ is practiced globally by students with many different goals and aspirations.
In BJJ you will learn a complete grappling system, from both the standing position, and on the ground including:
- Takedowns & throws
- Ground transitions & position fighting
- Submissions: choke holds & joint locks
BJJ schools all over the world do a great job of teaching their new students the fundamentals of grappling with a progressive, structured training program.
If this sounds like what you’re looking to learn, then BJJ is one of the best options available to you, and is well worth learning.
The Alternatives to BJJ
The two main grappling alternatives to BJJ are Judo and Wrestling, both of which are great forms of grappling.
However, again, it comes back to your goals and what you want to learn.
In Judo, you may find that you are learning a lot less ground fighting and submissions than in BJJ. In Wrestling, you will not learn to fight from your back, and in most forms, no submissions either.
Whereas in BJJ, you will learn both how to fight from your back, and how to finish your opponent with submissions.
BJJ: Other Benefits
The second thing to help you decide whether BJJ is worth it or not, is to ask yourself what other benefits do you want to get out of learning BJJ.
BJJ is a great form of self-defense. If you’re looking to get into Jiu-Jitsu for this reason, then the cost of training BJJ is definitely worth it.
BJJ can be a very fun and social martial art to get involved in once you get settled into your BJJ school and make new friends.
You’ll likely make great friends on the training mats over time, and most schools have regular social nights out together.
BJJ is also great for fitness too, so as you’re learning self-defense and having fun with your friends, you’ll also be getting a good workout in at the same time.
Discover more about BJJ and its fitness benefits in my other article.
BJJ’s Costs vs Other Martial Arts
The main thing to consider when trying to determine whether BJJ will be worth the cost for you or not, is how does the cost of learning BJJ compare to learning other martial arts.
Most BJJ gyms/ schools charge a monthly subscription ranging anywhere from $60 – 120 paid directly from your bank account.
On average, this price is the same as other martial art gym subscriptions.
Some will require a minimum term (3, 6, 12 months for example), but most will be flexible with this and have a ‘cancel anytime’ agreement.
Another common option is to pay-per-class, which can be worth it if you’ll only be training once or twice a month, but can quickly become very expensive if you’re training regularly each week.
BJJ Sportswear & Equipment Costs
When you start BJJ, you will need to buy the correct sportswear and equipment, which is a cost factor you need to consider when judging if it’ll be worth the money for you.
Some martial arts are cheaper to learn than others, you can check out the cost of learning martial arts (including the cheapest) in my other article.
But again, it comes back to your goals and what you want to learn.
The cost of BJJ sportswear and equipment can soon start to mount up, but to begin with there are only a handful of things you need.
In BJJ you will need to buy:
- A Kimono (also known as a Gi)
- Protective baselayers (rash guard)
- BJJ shorts
- And a mouth guard (optional)
Average BJJ Sportswear & Equipment Costs
|Kimono (Gis)||$25 – 200||£15 – 150|
|Rash Guard (Baselayers)||$20 – 65||£10 – 45|
|BJJ Shorts||$15 – 75||£10 – 50|
|Mouth Guard||$5 – 80||£5 – 65+|
What you need for BJJ depends on the type of training you will be doing too.
Check out the 6 things you’ll definitely need for BJJ & why in my other article.
For example, for Gi training, you will of course need a BJJ Gi. However, most schools will also require you to wear an appropriate rash guard under your Gi too.
You can learn which Gis you can wear (including colors you can wear) in my other article.
Rash guards are worn in BJJ for better hygiene than cotton, and to protect your skin against mat burn, chafing, and abrasions, while still offering plenty of stretch and movement.
For No-Gi training, you will again need the appropriate rash guard, but you will also need appropriate shorts too.
You will need shorts that have no zips (to avoid injuring your partners), and preferably no pockets to avoid fingers and toes getting caught in there and getting injured.
Not everyone in BJJ wears a mouth guard for training, however, it is still common to see and some schools may even require you to wear one. Check out my other article on the importance of a BJJ mouthguard.
Are BJJ Privates Worth It?
BJJ privates are worth it because you get 1-on-1 tuition from your coach. Private sessions focus on your current skill level which means you’ll see bigger improvements to your weaknesses than you will in normal training. Tailored tuition and improved progression make BJJ privates worth the cost.