Breaking Down the Cost of Jiu-Jitsu Classes: How to Train BJJ Without Breaking the Bank

May 6, 2024
Not everyone is made of money – so just how much are jiu-jitsu classes going to cost you? If you’re careful, BJJ doesn’t have to break the bank! Keep reading to learn how.
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How much do jiu-jitsu classes cost?

Paying membership/gym fees is where most of the money will go when you start training. But there are also a few other things to consider, such as the cost of equipment and any supplemental learning material you may choose to invest in (e.g., instructional videos, private lessons, seminars).

The sport can become quite expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you're smart about how you spend your money. And considering the many benefits of training jiu-jitsu, the cost of jiu-jitsu classes is easy to justify!

The cost of jiu-jitsu classes can vary depending on the city, the size of the school, and the frequency of training. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for membership/gym fees.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is one of, if not the most, effective martial arts in the world.

Jiu-jitsu's origins can be traced back to Japan a few hundred years ago. Jigoro Kano – a student of traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu, opened his own school and started teaching his own style of jiu-jitsu – known today as Kodokan Judo. One of Kano's top students, Mitsuyo Maeda, travelled to Brazil in 1914 and taught the Gracie family Kano jiu-jitsu/Judo members.

The Gracie family took what they learned from Maeda and developed it into what we know today as Brazilian jiu-jitsu – a system for fighting and self-defence that focuses on ground fighting, grappling, and the use of various submission-holds, including arm locks, leg locks, and chokes/strangles.

The development of BJJ has shown the martial arts world that, with sufficient technique, smaller opponents can defeat much larger, stronger opponents. In recent years, BJJ has developed into a worldwide phenomenon.

That means there's probably at least one Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in your city, if not many. Which brings us back to our golden question: how much will it cost to start learning jiu-jitsu?

The Costs of BJJ

"How much is jiu-jitsu class going to cost me?"

This is a typical question from someone starting off in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In these next sections, I'll go over not only how much jiu-jitsu classes cost (on average), but I'll also go over many of the other extra costs associated with training jiu-jitsu.

How Much Do Jiu-Jitsu Classes Cost?

Generally, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 for jiu-jitsu classes. But this price will depend on a number of factors.

The most expensive membership you can get at a gym comes along with access to unlimited classes, meaning you can train as often as you want. Many BJJ gyms also have plans where you can pay per month, but some gyms offer deals if you register and pay for the full year at once.

If you're not sure how many classes you'll be able to attend in the first few months of your jiu-jitsu journey, many gyms also offer membership on a per-week basis, where you don't have to commit to a long-term membership. This type of membership is also ideal if you're travelling and want to visit a new gym and want to drop in on a few of their BJJ classes.

Also, some gyms also offer other martial arts/activities besides just BJJ, allowing you to get package memberships so that you can train BJJ and Muay Thai, for example.

In sum, jiu-jitsu class costs vary depending on the city, the size of the school, and the frequency of your training (i.e., weekly vs unlimited training). Most gyms offer trial classes, so you can check out a gym's vibe before committing to paying membership fees.

How Much Do Gis and No-Gi Gear Cost?

Jiu-jitsu equipment costs can start to add up if you're not careful.

For starters, you'll need a gi, a belt, and a rash guard. If you're training no-gi, you'll need a rash guard and board shorts.

A good gi can cost anywhere from $75 to $250. Some gyms offer deals where they provide a gi with a yearly membership, for example. If you want to train on consecutive days, you'll need at least two gis, as it's recommended that they air-dry – and that can take quite a long time. Some gyms require you to wear a gi of a specific colour or a gi with the gym's logo. Check with the head instructor to see what their gi and other equipment preferences are before you buy.

Because grappling is a contact sport, a mouthguard is often recommended as a supplemental piece of equipment. The cost of a mouthguard can be inexpensive if you get a boil and bite (i.e, about 20$), or more on the expensive side if you get one made by a dental professional (i.e., $150-$400).

What About BJJ Accessories?

Want a t-shirt with some BJJ-related pun on it? How about a bag with your team's logo? How about a black belt keychain? Or what about purple finger tape to match your purple belt?

The world of BJJ accessories is enormous, and while they can be nice to have, many of them are not necessary for your training. What's important is that you train BJJ – whether or not you have the swag to show for it. Time spent on the mats doesn't cost a thing... besides your membership fees, of course.

What About Competitions, Seminars, and Instructional Videos?


Competitions can be a great way to improve your BJJ game. They can also become quite expensive, especially if they're not local.

First, consider the cost of entry fees. For IBJJF tournaments, this is often well over $100 – without only one match guaranteed. Second, if you have to travel to a competition, that might include you paying for gas, meals, and accommodations at a hotel or Airbnb. However, competitions can be fantastic learning experiences – as long as they don't break the bank.

Seminars/Private Lessons

If you want to speed up your BJJ development, seminars and private lessons are great ways to learn from experienced practitioners.

However, you can expect it to cost upwards of $100 for a seminar or a private lesson with a black belt instructor. If we're talking about a famous competitor, that price could be a few hundred dollars instead.

Instructional Videos

There are a lot of free instructional videos on YouTube, where you can learn hundreds of new techniques from the pros. But to take your learning to the next level, many practitioners shell out a bit of extra cash to get their hands on a full instructional video from one of their favourite grapplers.

Popular sites like BJJ Fanatics and Jiu-Jitsu X have produced dozens of high-quality instructional videos, where you can get access to several hours of instruction from a world-class athlete.

While many of these videos can be a bit on the expensive side, both sites offer deals on a regular basis, making these a more affordable supplementary resource for your BJJ training.

What About The Other Costs?


Hygiene is a crucial part of BJJ training. You'll be doing a lot more laundry once you start training BJJ. Also, if you don't shower at the gym after class, you'll be showering at home (I hope). At that, some practitioners buy special anti-fungal soap (e.g., Defense Soap) to prevent infections.

Hey – someone's gotta pay for all that soap and water!


If you drive to the gym, you'll have to factor in how much you pay for gas – in some cases, how much you have to pay for tolls and bridges, too. This can quickly add up if you don't live near your gym and if you're attending several classes each week.


BJJ practitioners tend to clean up their diet as they progress in their training. For the most part, buying better quality food tends to cost more.

Also, many athletes begin using nutritional supplements, before and after classes to help with their energy levels (i.e., caffeinated pre-workout blends) and recovery (i.e., protein powder, branched-chain amino acids).

Fitness, Injuries

Many practitioners also seek to improve their strength and conditioning outside of BJJ class through supplemental fitness training. Maybe this means buying some equipment – like dumbbells, or a stationary bike – for your home gym. Maybe it means you get a membership at your local fitness centre.

Likewise, if you're attending BJJ class a few times a week, you're likely to pick up an injury or two sooner or later. Taking a few classes off can help fix more minor injuries, but some require seeing a physiotherapist, osteopath, or other sports medicine professional. Depending on your insurance coverage, this can sometimes be quite expensive. That's why injury prevention in BJJ is so important.

Is It All Worth It?

Considering the amazing range of benefits associated with training jiu-jitsu, the costs can easily be justified. Also, if you don’t go overboard with new equipment, accessories, and instructional videos, BJJ doesn’t have to be super expensive.

If your training goals involve winning major competitions, then, yes, BJJ might start to get a bit expensive, relatively speaking. But for most BJJ practitioners, this isn't the case.

Nowadays, with the internet, you can do your research before picking which gym you want to train at. Likewise, you can find deals online and buy discounted equipment instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the trendiest gis and the sleekest rash guards, for example.

No matter what your goals are – from middle-aged hobbyist to young aspiring world champion – the return on investment from learning/training BJJ is incredible.

Sure, buying new gis and rash guards, and spending money to travel and attend a seminar of a famous BJJ athlete can be cool. But it’s the time you spend on the mats, training, sweating, and struggling with your friends that really matters.

From that perspective, it’s hard to put a price tag on BJJ.